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Thread: Calamondin losing leaves

  1. #17
    Scarlet's Avatar
    Scarlet is offline Gone with the Wind
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    Quote Originally Posted by starloc View Post
    They don't need a lot of light but they do need some , most citrus are very small trees and grow under another canopy of trees naturally, they will grow better with lots of light but you need to be carefull about the root temperatures with strong light, winter sun being low in the sky causes the leaf drop, as soon as the shortest day is past the light gets strong , roots are at the coldest and the low sun in the sky gets in the windows in a direct beam and sunburns the leaves and they overheat dry out and fall off not usually a problem with additional cfl lights as like the leds they are very gentle light but it does all depend on root temperature.

    Depending on the variety of citrus it takes many years to flower form seed, mandarins only a few years 3 or 4, lemons about 10 years grapefruits can take 20 to 30 years, but...with seed grown citrus you cant prune them until they flower so it can be a problem with size , they need a count of a certain number of leaf nodes to have grown before they will mature and be able to flower. this is why grafted ones are best but rooted cuttings are usually as good sometimes better , just seed grown takes ages

    Citrus never become dormant like many plants this is why you need to feed them all year many people change to low nitrogen in the winter ( sold as winter feed ) this causes yellowing leaves!

    Only water when dry and always feed with every watering citrus fertiliser ( like citrus centre ,champak or vitax ) is best as some can have salts that cause problems ( I used a well known garden brand of fertiliser on some and it caused major problems due to the form of nitrogen that was used causing salt burn to the leaves) ,
    Some dull looking yellowing leaves are normal all the time and eventually drop, just old leaves , with cold roots citrus leaves look very dull and not as green as the root activity becomes very low with compost temperature below 12C but the plant still tries to grow and it cant get nutrients.

    Also , dull yellowing leaves can be caused by incorrect pH of the water / compost made worse by low temperatures and less nutrient intake, when watering I add a cap of white vinegar to each 15l bucket of water ( if I cant be bothered measuring the acidity! ) or I sometimes measure it exactly with soil testing kit ( but often cant be bothered!)
    Lovely to see you back and posting Starloc!
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  2. #18
    ameno is offline Tuber
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    Quote Originally Posted by starloc View Post
    Depending on the variety of citrus it takes many years to flower form seed, mandarins only a few years 3 or 4, lemons about 10 years grapefruits can take 20 to 30 years, but...with seed grown citrus you cant prune them until they flower so it can be a problem with size , they need a count of a certain number of leaf nodes to have grown before they will mature and be able to flower. this is why grafted ones are best but rooted cuttings are usually as good sometimes better , just seed grown takes ages)
    I had originally thought mine was a lemon, but I realised last year that lemon leaves do not have winged petioles, and mine are distinctly winged.
    I guess it must be some manner of mandarin, as we don't eat grapefruit or oranges, so it can't be one of those.

    The pH point is interesting. I had read before that they prefer slightly acidic soil (although not as much as the likes of blueberries), but apart from trying to only water with rain water, I never gave it much thought. Maybe I ought to start adding vinegar to some of my waterings...
    I also probably don't feed it enough, if I'm honest. In the winter, especially, it usually gets very little, as I only water it every 4-6 weeks (it takes than long to dry out between waterings in the winter), and often forget to add food when I do water it.
    As for size, I did prune it a little last year, as it was getting too big to get in and out of the conservatory, but otherwise I never prune it. It's a little over a metre tall (not including the pot), with a trunk about 3cm thick at the base.

  3. #19
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    Slight pruning occasionally can make it grow more leaves, so speed things up , but best avoided , try spraying every couple of weeks with potassium nitrate ( ebay...check its just potassium nitrate ) 1 tea spoon in a litre of water , high nitrogen helps growth and high potassium can help the flowering , needs about 400 hours under 12 degrees C in the winter to flower , or drought stress ( some leaves tend to fall off with drought stress ) so make sure it gets cold at night ( cold with no strong lights is fine unless very cold ) and only water when it dries out in the summer and it should speed things up and trigger it into starting to flower
    Living off grid and growing my own food in Bulgaria.....

  4. #20
    ameno is offline Tuber
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    Oh, it definitely gets plenty of chill hours in the winter. That's definitely not an issue. My conservatory isn't well insulated. It's always frost-free, and can get warm-ish on a sunny winter's day, but for most of winter it's pretty chilly out there.

  5. #21
    pepper1000 is offline Seedling
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    I have the same problem I have lemon, lime and seville orange all in same south facing window lemon is fine but lime and orange have lost all leaves

  6. #22
    DannyK is offline Cropper
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    Maybe too warm and dry indoors.

    My two calamondins ok in greenhouse kept at 40F minimum.

    Have had to spray indoor orchids because of red spider.

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