Citrus Diseases

by Kirsty
(Queensland, Australia)

Are my citrus okay inside if they look crappy on the outside?? Lemon and Orange skins all mottled. 2 yr old trees.

Cheers Kirsty

Thanks for your question Kirsty, I have citrus in need of some TLC also.

You’ll have to wait until the fruit is ripe to see if it still tastes OK. For now you’ll want to know what has caused this, a disease, pest or lack of nutrients. Then you’ll want to know how to avoid it for next year’s fruit. Some other things to consider: are the leaves affected also? Did you water and fertilize correctly? Below are the basics on looking after Citrus Trees.

In late winter, early spring. Remove any fruit if any present. They like a sunny position but sheltered from strong winds. Keep the area around the tree free from weeds and grass. You can mulch, but not too close to the trunk.

You can grow citrus in a pot. Keep pruned to manage its size, fertilize and water regularly. Try a Dwarf Fruit Tree for container gardening.

Feed two to three times per year – August and February. Feed the roots, which means the fertilizer will be out a bit from the trunk. Try alternating fertilizers ie a citrus food then a blood and bone or seaweed type fertilizer.

Remove any dead or damaged branches. Prune the branches going inwards and low branches to help with air circulation. You don’t need to prune citrus every year. Prune after the last frost.

Citrus Diseases and Pests:
For any leaf or branch disease – have a look on the net to determine the problem, identify the cause if possible and find a solution. Don’t ignore it as it could get worse or cause permanent problems for your tree.

Alternatively, take a sample in a sealed plastic bag into your nursery. A good nursery should be able to help identify the issue and assist with a solution. This website has more information on pests and diseases:

Put any fruit you find on the ground into the compost – leaving it lying around will attract bugs.

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My Citrus Problems
by: Liz


My Citrus problem is slightly different, in that the fruit goes sort of bad on one end. You see a sort of ring on the skin and the fruit is falling off. After a few days it goes soft and its actually bad.

I heard Col Campbell say that it would be helped by Dolomite as it is caused by a calcium deficiency.

I bought a bag of Dolomite but I am unsure of the dose? I thought that I would give my bigger trees a few cups and the smaller ones abut one cup.

What dose would you use Leah?


Liz Oakes

Liz, this is a great question - I always just sprinkle my fertilizers in a light layer around the tree (where I guess the roots would be, not the around the trunk). I must say I don't measure. I don't grow many fruit trees, we only have 4 as we have a fruit bat problem here in Queensland. I'll look into this more and update this post. I would think you'd dig the dolomite into the soil a bit.

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