My little citrus trees had quite the journey while moving. They moved to my parents’ house back in the end of March. Once it got warm enough, my mom moved them outside. The lemon tree grew a bunch of new leaves there. Then, after our wedding, my husband’s parents took them to their house. Then they brought them here on July 3rd.
The little orange tree was in bad shape! The leaves were yellowing, and over the next few days they got way worse even though I repotted them immediately into some fresh citrus soil. Then, three of the 13 leaves fell off. I knew something was wrong.
These trees haven’t had the BEST care since I got them in the summer of 2011. I couldn’t find any citrus fertilizer, so I had fed them a few times with an all-purpose fertilizer. They grew a bit since I got them, but not nearly as much as I expected them to. Part of that could be due to lack of sunlight in my apartment window.
Quite a bit of internet searching led me to believe the orange tree had some root rot along with both a magnesium deficiency AND a nitrogen deficiency, most likely because the rain washed away most of the nutrients the trees had. The lemon tree survived much better. I set off on a mission to save the orange tree.
I don’t have a picture of the dire state the tree was in before any intervention, but here’s what I did:
- July 3rd: Repotted both the lemon and orange tree into bigger pots with fresh, dry citrus soil. I tried to get the trees to dry out. I brought them inside at the threat of rain, and then I brought them out again in the sun. The orange tree didn’t get any better.
- July 11th: Poured some Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate) around the base of both trees and watered it lightly. Within a few days, the bases of the bottom leaves were a little greener.
- July 12th: Diluted epsom salt in water and sprayed it on the leaves (foliar spray). I continued doing this every 2-3 days. The leaves got greener.
- July 15th: Fertilized with dilute fish emulsion, which has a higher ratio of nitrogen compared to phosphorus and potassium. I more or less followed the instructions on the bottle. I diluted it in a gallon of water and poured it until water ran through the bottom. There was a little bit left (between a pint and a quart), so I poured that into the lemon pot.
- July 18th: Dug up the tree and put some rooting hormone on the roots to encourage new growth. I figured all the fertilizer in the world couldn’t help my tree if its roots were crap. I waited until they had dried out to do this so they wouldn’t rot again.
|07-15-13: This was already an improvement from a few
|07-15-13: Yellow leaves, already improving
a bit after some Epsom salt on 7-11-13
|07-24-13: Leaves are much greener (still some yellow
tips, new buds forming)
|07-24-13: Buds forming|
|07-29-13: New growth is very reddish|
|07-30-13: Still a little yellow on the tips,
but the leaves look wayyy better
|08-01-13: Looking good!|
|08-01-13: Orange tree’s leaves are a bit less green than
the lemon tree’s, but I can deal with that. It’s alive!
|Just a month after they arrived. I started with three, but the
lime never got any bigger. Then it dropped all its leaves.
I continued watering it, etc. but it never grew any new
leaves, so I eventually got rid of it.
|About a year ago, there was a little green lemon on my
lemon tree. I can’t find a picture of it when it was yellow!
It never got any bigger than this, though.
|The only flower so far (spring 2012)|
One quick note: the new leaves smell SOOOOO good that I keep rubbing them and putting my face in the plant.