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

Do plants grow faster in natural or artificial light?
March 13, 2009 - Do you think plants will grow faster in natural light or artificial light or a combination of both? And why do you think that. and need your answer for my biology project please and thank you for your...
view the full question and answer

Plants in wheelbarrow dying in Jacksonville, FL
June 22, 2011 - I planted a wheelbarrow with daisies, petunias and black and blue salvia. the salvia is thriving, but the others died. Is the salvia toxic to them?
view the full question and answer

Container gardening for pool in southern California
October 08, 2008 - I have large planters around pool would like to know what plants to use that will not grow to high or to big and will not have large roots home located in camarillo ca.
view the full question and answer

Growing native vines in pots from Houston
May 28, 2012 - I am writing in regards to your often mentioned issue of plants not doing as well in pots and in the ground. After last years drought, i moved all the plants I had that were in danger of dying of t...
view the full question and answer

Indoor lantana tree dropping leaves
November 06, 2008 - I purchased a lantana tree,a lantana hybrid that is only tolerant to 32 degrees. We are zone 5 so I brought it indoors and it only gets the morning sun, and 85%of the leaves have fallen off. The leav...
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