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Citrus not growing

We've had a mandarin tree for about three years now. Its leaves are light green in colour and its fruit, the size of a marble, drops off. It doesn't seem to be growing at all.


IT sounds as if your mandarin needs a good boost of nutrients. Most young citrus trees need regular feeding and watering during dry periods to crop well. Ideally, apply a dressing of citrus fertiliser at least every spring and late summer, more regularly if the leaves still look pale and growth is slow. Make sure there's plenty of water in the soil when you do feed.

Water regularly in dry periods over summer and autumn when young fruit is forming - lack of water at this crucial time is one of the main causes of premature fruit drop. And mulch over the roots with compost or other organic material to conserve soil moisture.

Check for scale, which are one of the worst citrus pests, and spray with an oil such as Eco Oil, Clear White Oil or Conqueror in winter, if necessary, to control them.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 170, 2005, Page 28

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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Last updated: October 25, 2005