The answer in my case is too much water, it has rained and rained over the last 8 months and our lime tree is not in well draining soil. However there are many other reasons for this to occur.
Yellowing leaves on citrus trees can indicate several potential issues, in order to treat the tree it’s essential to diagnose the exact cause. Potential problems may be a nutrient deficiency, overwatering, under-watering, pests or disease.
It’s worth noting that some leaf yellowing and shedding is a normal part of a citrus tree’s growth cycle. Older leaves may naturally turn yellow and drop, especially during the changing seasons. If new growth appears healthy, and only a few older leaves are yellowing, it might not be a cause for concern.
Citrus trees are sensitive to extreme temperatures, especially cold. Frost or prolonged exposure to low temperatures can cause leaf yellowing. Ensure your tree is adequately protected during winter or cold snaps, using covers or other measures to shield it from cold weather.
Yellow leaves can occur because of the following …
Nutrient deficiency: Citrus trees require specific nutrients to thrive, including nitrogen, iron, magnesium, and zinc. A deficiency in any of these nutrients can lead to yellowing leaves. Consider fertilising your tree with a citrus-specific fertiliser or applying the deficient nutrient as a foliar spray.
Overwatering or poor drainage: Citrus trees prefer well-draining soil. If the soil remains consistently wet or waterlogged, it can cause root damage, leading to yellowing leaves. Ensure that your tree’s root zone has proper drainage, and adjust your watering schedule accordingly, allowing the soil to partially dry between waterings.
Underwatering: Conversely, if your citrus tree is not receiving adequate water, it can result in yellowing leaves. Ensure you are providing sufficient irrigation, especially during dry periods. Remember to strike a balance between watering enough and avoiding overwatering.
Pests or diseases: Certain pests, such as aphids, mites, or citrus leaf miners, can infest citrus trees and cause leaf yellowing. Additionally, diseases like citrus greening or citrus canker may also lead to yellowing foliage. Inspect your tree for any signs of pests or diseases, and if present, treat them accordingly using appropriate insecticides or contacting a professional arborist or horticulturist for guidance.
If you think the issue is a magnesium deficiency Epsom salts can be beneficial for citrus trees when used appropriately as it helps to address magnesium deficiencies in the soil, which can cause yellowing leaves.
Here’s how you can use Epsom salt for your citrus trees:
Create a solution using Epsom salts. The general recommendation is to use 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt per 2.5L of water. You can adjust the amount based on the size of your citrus tree. Dissolve the Epsom salt completely in water, ensuring it’s thoroughly mixed.
Pour the solution around the base of your citrus tree, making sure it reaches the root zone. Avoid splashing the solution on the leaves as this may cause leaf burn. Apply the solution during a period of regular watering or rainfall to help it reach the roots effectively.
Depending on the severity of the magnesium deficiency and the response of your citrus tree, you may need to repeat the application of the Epsom salt solution every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. However, it’s essential not to overuse Epsom salt, as excessive magnesium can lead to other nutrient imbalances.
Keep an eye on your citrus tree’s foliage and overall health after applying the Epsom salt solution. If the yellowing leaves improve, it indicates that the magnesium deficiency was likely the cause. If the problem persists or worsens, it could be due to other factors, and it may be necessary to consult an expert for further guidance.
Remember that Epsom salt is not a cure-all for all citrus tree issues. It specifically addresses magnesium deficiencies. Proper soil management, including regular fertilisation with a balanced citrus-specific fertiliser and maintaining proper watering practices, is also crucial for the overall health of your citrus tree.