How to Care for Citrus Trees
When it comes to giving citrus trees tender loving care there are a few basic principles – and one of the most important is adequate nutrition.
Citrus trees are gross feeders – that means they need to be fed in July, November and March with a good citrus and fruit tree fertiliser. Give them 125 grams for every year of the tree’s age at each of the applications. But when the tree gets to about 10 years old or older it needs 1 1/4 kg of fertiliser. Spread the fertiliser evenly around the drip zone, water in and the tree will power away.
Even with regular fertilising the leaves might still show symptoms of iron deficiency. This is evident when the leaf veins stand out dark green and the tissue between turns a pale green, yellow or even white. To correct this and other deficiencies, add trace element mixture around the base of tree.
If the fruits are sour there is a simple way to sweeten them. Sprinkle about six handfuls of sulphate of potash around the tree and then water in with two teaspoons of Epsom salts mixed into10 litres of water.
There are a few pests that attack citrus and one of the most common is the citrus leaf miner. It’s not life threatening, but it will reduce the yield. Look out for silvery trails in the leaf – that’s made by the miner and it distorts the leaf. Spraying with a white oil preparation will soon control that.
Any black discolouration on the leaf is a black sooty mould. It’s always associated with one or other of the so called sucking insects. These could be mealy bugs, which are small, white, furry looking insects and that are sticky to touch. It could also be scale or aphids. Spraying with white oil or a soft systemic insecticide will usually bowl these off.
One of the best known pests is fruit fly, which ruins the fruit. To get something to control this, go to your local nursery and get an organic fruit fly control.
Another citrus pest is citrus gall wasp. The insect lays its egg in the branch, which swells so the hatching insect can get food. Prune the gall out and get rid of it before September when the adult hatches.
Citrus trees are great in the garden. They look fabulous and provide wonderful fruit. Grow them in pots, in courtyards or in smallish orchards. If you follow the simple rules of fertilising, watering and tender loving care, they’ll reward you, with plenty of beautiful fruit. Source ABC.
By eHow Contributor
The Citrus tree, originating in Southeast Asia, grows at maturity up to 30 feet in height. The fruit of the orange tree is actually a berry that grows up to 4 inches in diameter. With care, you can have a healthy orange tree with plenty of delicious fruit.
Water your newly planted orange tree two to three times the first week and once or twice a week for the next few weeks. After this, water the tree whenever the soil dries out 1-2 inches down.
Weed the area around the orange trees but avoid mulch, because it can cause foot rot disease.
Add mycorrhizal fungi when planting your tree or after, inoculating the soil near the root zone, to help the roots develop if this fungus is lacking in your soil.
Apply fertilizer after the young tree begins to grow. Provide a single cup of ammonium sulfate split into three or four applications in the first year, scattered on the ground around the tree and watered thoroughly. Increase the amount to two cups in the second year and three in the third.
Bank your orange tree by building up clean soil around the tree trunk to a height of about 15 inches if you have freezing weather in your region in early fall. This insulates the tree and absorbs the sunlight. Or wrap the trunk with commercial tree wrap, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
The information given herein is for educational purposes only, If further information is required, please contact your local nursery or garden centre.
Published: Zarai Media Team