How to Diagnose Problems With Citrus Tree Leaves

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Citrus trees are actually evergreen shrubs. They grow best in frost-free regions and never go dormant. You can gauge the health of a citrus tree by its leaves, which should be glossy green and straight. The most common leaf problems in citrus trees are a result of drought, fungus, insects, or lack of nutrients.

Things You'll Need

  • Sunshade
  • Mulch
  • Limestone
  • Compost material
  • Pebbles
  • Fertilizer
  • Cotton swab
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Neem oil
  • Shovel
  • Look for evidence of curled, brown or bleached out leaves; this is a sign of sun scorching or lack of moisture. Increase watering, especially in the summer, or cover the tree temporarily with a sunshade. Build a larger watering moat around the tree base.

  • Citrus leaves that have mold, blackened veins or black lesions are likely to have a fungus or root rot caused by too much moisture. Make sure the citrus tree has good drainage so it is not sitting in pools of water for long periods of time. If drainage is your problem, add limestone, compost material or tiny pebbles to the soil around the tree.

  • Yellow leaves on a citrus tree are a sign of lack of nutrients. Citrus trees need nitrogen, iron and zinc to be healthy. Fertilize the tree with citrus tree fertilizers that contain ammonium sulfate and chelated iron.

  • Scale on your citrus tree will be indicated by curled up leaves that are falling off. Insects cause citrus tree scale. Common insects on citrus leaves are aphids and thrips. If there are not many of these insects, scrape them off with your fingernail or use a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol and squish them. If you have a lot of insects, spray the tree down either with environmentally friendly neem oil or with rubbing alcohol.

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