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Plant Diseases/Over fertilized citrus trees

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Lemon tree
Lemon tree  

Lemon tree
Lemon tree  
Good morning, Kathy.  I live on the Gulfcoast of MS.   I have 2 calamondin orange trees and 1 Meyer lemon tree, all in pots and all in a potting soil specially formulated for citrus trees. I went to a nursery and asked about when to fertilize them and the lady said early fall (right now) is fine. She citrus trees for sale and seemed knowlegable so I bought a bag of fertilizer from her, formulated especially for citrus and avacado trees.  She said about 1/2 cup per tree will work every 3-4 months.  I'm not sure how old my trees are. The young orange tree is probably less than a year, about 10" tall, and has not flowered yet. The other is maybe 3-4 years, about 18" tall, and has 50+ fruits on it currently. The Meyer lemon tree is probably 3-4 years old, is about 24" tall, and is currently flowering. I fertilized them the other night, keeping the fertilizer away from the trunk. The next day we got a really heavy rain while I was at work. When I got home several of the leaves on the lemon tree were brown, wilted, or had fallen off. The young orange tree was the same but not as bad. The older orange tree with the fruits, however, was in excellent condition.  No fruit or leaves lost.  Even the very young, light green growth is still alive and doing well.  I removed as much of the fertilizer from the 2 trees that were negatively affected as I could.  I rinsed them off well and repotted them with new potted citrus plant soil (the same that I had them in before) hoping to separate them from as much fertilizer as possible. They appear to be doing a little better, still losing a leaf or 2 every day since fertilizing.  Both still have what appear to be viable leaves and branches.  We've continued to have some heavy showers over the last few days so I brought them all in under the carport to keep them from getting too much water.  Can you give any insight as to why this happened to these 2 trees and not the other?  Any further suggestions that you have on how to avoid this in the future and how to properly care for my trees would also be greatly appreciated.  I've attached a few photos. The first is of my lemon tree prior to fertilizing.  The second is after fertilizing.

Answer
Hi Rick,  Wow it did a number on your plants.  I think they were thinking they were in the ground with that advice.
A slow release fertilizer you would put maybe a teaspoon into a small pot.  I do not know if it is available in your area but Keyplex puts out a great fertilizer that you spray on the leaves which is minor nutrients not chemicals.
There is also a product called Atomic Grow which will absorb into your plant and make it healthy again by removing that which should not be there from using the wrong products on it.  It is organic and will raise the brix in the plant going into the leaves, stems, branches and roots.  Brix is sugar so you will bring in the pollinators to have a better fruit set.  Bad bugs and fungus will go away.  Possibly the one that was not effected may not have gotten the rain amount the others did is the only thing I can think of at this point.  www.atomicgrow.net and read some of the information which may also help.  kathy  

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kathy crowley

Expertise

Tropical plants in Florida, Bamboo, Vines, Fruit trees, Antique Roses, rare plants from around the world.

Experience

Nursery business for 19 years

Organizations
Bamboo Society, Rare Tree Society, Rare Fruit Tree Society, Passiflora Society

Publications
Florida Gardening Sarasota Magazine Bradenton Herald Tribune Sarasota Herald Tribune

Education/Credentials
Self taught, family history of nursery business

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