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Author Topic: Potted Key Lime - suddenly losing leaves  (Read 416 times)

garyk

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Potted Key Lime - suddenly losing leaves
« on: December 29, 2018, 11:07:43 AM »
Ive had two Key Limes in two large pots for nearly 3 years and they have done consistently well.  We live in a desert climate with a high desert winter when we may get down to lower 30s.  During the time Ive had them they have been on daily irrigation which I know is not optimal but my drip system has only one zone.  The plants have done well with this. 

This past spring, I over fertilized and the trees grew a great deal of new leaves but nearly no fruit.  I was told this was a mistake and I now understand it.  Since last May I have not fertilized hoping to right the wrong.

Suddenly about a month ago the plants have begun to lose leaves from the top of the plant.    A friend said they were getting too much water for the cold season in Arizona.  The leaf loss is continuing and I have no solution.

Can anyone help?

TooFarNorth

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Re: Potted Key Lime - suddenly losing leaves
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2018, 12:59:22 PM »
I can think of a few things that may be causing your problem.  You may need to repot /  refresh your soil /  medium.  They could be starving if not fed since May. A lot of water may have flushed all the nutrients out.  I would use a good slow release fert. like osmocote.  If possible pull your tree out and check your root system for rot or excessive circling in pot. You did not give a pot size, or type of medium used.  Citrus need very well draining soil.

TFN

Millet

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Re: Potted Key Lime - suddenly losing leaves
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2018, 02:12:23 PM »
If  you CAREFULLY follow TooFarNorth's recommendations, I think you should solve the tree's problems.   Not fertilizing for seven months was not a good idea.  All container plants should be repotted at least once every two years.  Good luck to you and your tree.

garyk

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Re: Potted Key Lime - suddenly losing leaves
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2018, 03:51:19 PM »
Ok this seems to make sense.  Keep in mind we are now entering our worst weather of the year here in Arizona.  Temps are dipping into the mid 30 which for us is frigid.  Also these trees are in the biggest pots available 2' or more in diameter.  Re potting to me would mean getting a root ball out as best I can and re-planting in new soil.  Is that what you are suggesting?  Should I do it now in the middle of winter?  Thanks for your input.  Im a novice at this.

FMfruitforest

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Re: Potted Key Lime - suddenly losing leaves
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2018, 07:02:01 PM »
if you've kept the soil overly damp your tree is probably experience root rot.

Millet

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Re: Potted Key Lime - suddenly losing leaves
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2018, 08:39:38 PM »
I have re-potted citrus trees in every month of the year, and I am in Colorado with weather much worse than Arizona.   The word for repotting is "CAREFUL".   In Oscar Tintori's book, Oscar writes about the century old containerized citrus  trees of Tuscany that are transplanted every 2 or 3 years without ever taking the trees out of the container.  This is done by using a long knife and removing 2 inches of the tree's root ball on all four sides, followed by refilling the void with new medium.  These 100 year old trees have been re-potted by this method 25+ times, and are still living to this day in great condition.  You see, there is more than one way to skin a cat.   Do what ever method you wish to do CAREFULLY.  I would do as FMfruitforrest writes, and first check if your tree has root rot.  Best to you and your tree.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 08:41:22 PM by Millet »

forumfool

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Re: Potted Key Lime - suddenly losing leaves
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2019, 10:35:08 AM »
Key lime is one of the most cold sensitive citrus your friend might be on to something not that you shouldn’t take the advice given here

Millet

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Re: Potted Key Lime - suddenly losing leaves
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2019, 12:32:42 PM »
In Garyk's tree case I don't think temperature is much of a concern, as the tree are evidently indoors and not out in the weather, 

 

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