have an orange tree which had heaps of little oranges growing well.
One morning when I came out most of the oranges were on the ground
do you know what may have caused this? There is a lemon tree
and a grapefruit tree planted next to the orange and they have not
suffered like this; also it is sheltered from the frost. I live
drop is usually caused by dry conditions, over fertilising, or it
could be something unique to some varieties. Over summer, if the
tree went through a period of drought, especially during flowering
and fruit set, this could lead to fruit drop. A surge of rapid growth
due to an over zealous application of fertiliser can also lead to
fruit dropping off.
Some citrus varieties
are more prone to fruit drop than others and in the first few years
after planting, before trees are established, it is quite common.
Frost can also cause fruit to fall in the early stages.
To prevent fruit drop:
- Protect plants from
frost with frost cloth;
- Mulch plants in early
spring and again in late winter with bark, compost, straw or similar
well-rotted organic material;
- Water regularly, especially
during dry periods and during flowering and fruit set;
- Feed plants in late
winter and late summer with a specially blended citrus fertiliser
at the recommended rate. Water in well. Avoid feeding citrus in
autumn in your region as this will encourage soft new growth that
will be cut back by frost.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH