En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - January 02, 2008

From: Royal Palm Beach, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Containerized citrus foliage deformed
Answered by: Candace Fountoulakis

QUESTION:

I have three 2-year old potted grapefruit trees that have recently developed problems with the emergence of new leaves. The new leaves are stunted, deformed, often with wavy edges. Although it did have snail issues a while back, I treated for those and that no longer seems to be an issue. I fertilized it with a citrus fertilizer about 3 weeks ago to see if that would help, but it hasn't. I do not see any pests on it that appear to be causing a problem. I'd like to send a photo to help with your assessment, but can't figure out how to do that. Your advice is most welcome.

ANSWER:

To submit a photo for help in identifying problems with your plant, use a digital camera and take several images including details of leaves, stems, flowers, fruit, and the overall plant. Save images in JPEG format, not more than 640 x 480 pixels in size, with resolution set at 300 pixels per inch. Send email with images attached to id@smartyplants.org. Put Plant Identification Request in the subject line of your email and refer to your question above so that we can link the two.

Containerized trees need full sun, loose potting mix and room for roots to grow. If the trees have been in the same containers for more than a year, they need either to be root pruned to keep them in the same size container with fresh potting mix, or moved up to a larger container. Full sun, avoiding temperatures near freezing and cold winter winds will protect the trees from damage. Overwatering is the number one killer of citrus in containers so let the soil dry out (top inch) between waterings. Soils generally stay wet longer in plastic, metal and ceramic containers than in wood or clay containers which permit water evaporation through the sides. Cool weather slows growth, so reduce watering frequency during winter. Soilborn fungi can cause foliage problems, and we would suggest contacting the local Florida Extension Service for assistance in diagnosing your plants' symptoms, including forwarding digital images of the trees and leaves. Check www.ifas.ufl.edu/ for your local extension office.

 

More Container Gardens Questions

Care for indoor Lemon Cypress
November 30, 2008 - How do I care for an indoor Lemon Cypress tree?
view the full question and answer

Container plants for part shade in Bee Cave TX
June 18, 2013 - Dear Mr Smarty Pants, I am looking for plants that will thrive on my covered porch in 3 tall planters. These are meant to help me block an unattractive view out my living room window, so they must...
view the full question and answer

Native small tree or shrub for container in San Angelo, Texas
July 01, 2010 - We live in San Angelo TX and are looking for some type of a bush/tree that will grow in a pot in a shaded area..we would like something that would grow to be about 5-6 feel tall and be rather narrow.....
view the full question and answer

Overwintering a Juncus effusus in Great Neck, NY
October 23, 2008 - Can I over winter a juncus effusus spiralis indoors or must it be kept outdoors? Whether indoors or outdoors, what is the proper way to keep it alive during the winter months?
view the full question and answer

Shady Container Plant for Austin
August 20, 2014 - I am looking for a tall plant/small shrub/ornamental grass for a very large pot that is placed against the north wall of our Austin home. That spot gets some morning sun in the summer, but virtually ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center