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Author Topic: Bearss lime tree needs help  (Read 183 times)

Kulezi

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Bearss lime tree needs help
« on: March 15, 2020, 10:46:10 AM »
Hello all,
We got a Bearss lime tree as a gift a few years ago, and it looks like it's not doing well.  We have moved around, so it has been neglected.  It is now settled in a sun room that gets full sun most of the day, and stays 40-45F on winter nights, so it should be a good environment for it.

I've looked up the leaf discoloration and think its either zinc or magnesium deficiency, and have added some of each recently plus fertilizer, just 3-1.5-2, getting citrus fertilizer soon. No instant results, but we'll see.

It has become a bit larger than I'd like it to be (not getting pruned regularly), and I'd like to prune it back, but am not sure how much I should cut it back.  It's a bit big to get it through the door to be outside in the summer.  Most of the leaves are at the end of the branches, without many in the middle of the tree. Can I cut it back to just a few leaves?  Does one trim the roots as well to keep the tree small and in the same size pot?

This is my only citrus tree, I would love to help it flourish now that we are settled.




Laaz

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Re: Bearss lime tree needs help
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2020, 11:00:29 AM »
Looks like magnesium deficiency & yes it will take time to recover. You can cut it way back & it will force it to flush new growth lower down. When citrus is grown in heavy shade the new growth will reach for the best light & become very "leggy". Once you prune it back, put it out in direct sun & it will produce a much fuller tree.

Millet

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Re: Bearss lime tree needs help
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2020, 12:12:51 PM »
First, you are trying to fertilize a container tree with an organic fertilizer 3-1.5-2.  What makes organic fertilizers, such as Citrus Tone and many other brands, available to the tree are microorganisms.  Microorganisms react with an organic fertilizers to break them down into a form that is useable by the tree. Organic fertilizers are OK for trees planted outside in the ground because of the millions of microorganism per gram of soil. However, container culture does not contain no where enough microorganisms to achieve the nutritional availability of your fertilizer.  Organically derived ferts are extremely inefficient when applied in a container setting. And they also tend to lack many of the required micronutrients. Your tree would be better served with a liquid synthetic with a full range of required plant nutrients and in the correct proportions.  As you only have one tree to feed I would recommend something like Foliage Pro 9-3-6.  The fertilizer you used is why you did not see any favorable results after you applied the 3-1.5-2 fertilizer.  Laaz. is correct, your tree is not getting enough sunlight.  It should have been place right next to the window.  Even then citrus trees growing in doors through the winter always have trouble.  Second, looking at the pictures you supplied, I do not think the problem is a deficiency of magnesium or iron.  Deficiencies of these two elements always  show up on the tree's new leaves, not the older leaves of the tree. Also the leaf pattern in you picture is not correct for magnesium or iron.  The deficiency is manganese, but you do not have to worry about it at this time because the deficiency will correct itself after you begin to apply an appropriate fertilizer. Citrus are heavy feeders, requiring more nutrition than  most plants.  This tree should be fertilized approximately once every two weeks.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 12:35:40 PM by Millet »

Ilya11

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Re: Bearss lime tree needs help
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2020, 02:29:09 PM »
Best regards,
                       Ilya

Millet

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Re: Bearss lime tree needs help
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2020, 03:04:25 PM »
Zinc deficiency and manganese deficiency leaf symptoms do look very much the same, EXCEPT zinc deficient leaves are always quite DWARF in size, while manganese deficient leaves remain full normal size.  The leaves on Kulezi's tree all look to be of normal full size leaves.  One thing for certain causing the condition of Kulezi's tree is the method the tree has been fertilized. I think it is a manganese deficiency. However, in the realm of all possibilities of zinc deficiency no matter how small it is quite easy to a correct zinc deficiency.  A single foliar spray of either one of the following chemicals: Zinc Sulfate (ZnSO4), or Zinc Oxide or Zinc Nitrate can correct  the zinc deficiency. A soil application of zinc in a fertilizer application is neither economical nor an effective method to correct a zinc deficiency. 
« Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 09:13:17 PM by Millet »

Laaz

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Re: Bearss lime tree needs help
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2020, 03:10:19 PM »
It is more than likely a combination of multiple things.

lebmung

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Re: Bearss lime tree needs help
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2020, 05:57:55 PM »
Looks like magnesium deficiency & yes it will take time to recover. You can cut it way back & it will force it to flush new growth lower down. When citrus is grown in heavy shade the new growth will reach for the best light & become very "leggy". Once you prune it back, put it out in direct sun & it will produce a much fuller tree.

Laaz is right. If the tree spends the winters indoors, you would need a small plant anyway. If you trim it now 1/3 and heavily fertilize, it will send new growth and form a more round small canopy.

 

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