Why is my dwarf citrus tree losing healthy leaves

I have a dwarf imperial mandarin about 50cm height in a barrel pot with 30cm diameter and dwarf seedless japanese mandarin about same height and in a bigger barrel pot with 40cm barrel. Was look fine from earyl autumn, some new growths from the imperial. Few days ago they starting loosing the healthy green leaves. The imperial leaves fall off with the stem attached, but the japanese mand without the stem. The imperial has nearly half of leaves gone. I do carefully watering them, weekly soak watering when there is raining within the week. Seasol mixed powerfeed fortnightly and seasol mixed Yates thrive flowers and fruits soluble for fortnightly rotation. Put chicken manure in mid autumn around the edge of the barrel pot outside the canopy and cover it with sugar cane mulch and gravel inside within the canopy. Used Yates Uplift Root Booster in early autumn for the kick start. Both of them use organic potting soil mixed with sand. Should i change them to perlite instead of sand? I attached a photo, i took the picture when it was raining and some of the fallen leaves on the soil been thrown to the bin already.

yates

20 April 2013 01:34 AM

Hi Ferry,

Thank you for sending the photos of your citrus trees. You obviously wanted to keep their growth at a certain height - the reason for them being planted in pots and not in the ground. From the photos, the plants looked like they have only recently been planted. It is hard to say why they are dropping leaves. I am assuming the barrels they have been planted in have plenty of holes in the bottom to allow the water to drain away. If there is one thing that citrus hate, is having wet feet. Lack of oxygen around the root system will cause them to drop their leaves. Check to see that there are sufficient holes and they are not blocked. Too much fertiliser can also cause them to drop leaves. It is good to fertilise citrus but when citrus are young the most important thing for them to do is to be able to establish a good strong root system. The growth will come later. All of the fertilisers you have mentioned are excellent fertilisers but at this stage, it might be wise to stop fertilising and concentrate on helping them to establish that root system. Continue to use the seaweed solution on a monthly basis. Before watering, check the moisture in the soil by putting your hand down into soil to see that it is not too wet. I am sure with you caring for your trees, they will respond well and then power on.

Topics: Fruit and Citrus Issues: Plants