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Treating root rot in citrus

19 Feb

Root rot in my kaffir lime tree

Today I uprooted the very sad looking kaffir lime tree and inspected the roots more thoroughly. I definitely have a case of root rot on my hands. You can see that the roots are wet and soggy, and the brown sheath on the roots rub off very easily with my fingers.

I have read that root rot can be treated with a 20% bleach solution, so that’s what I did. I made up a bucket of 20% household bleach, and sat the tree in it for a couple of minutes.

lime roots sitting in a 20% bleach solution

Lime roots sitting in a 20% bleach solution

I then re-potted the lime into the same soil, but in a terracotta pot rather than the grow bag that it has been in. I then flushed the new pot and soil with the bleach solution by pouring the whole bucket over the new potted tree in soil. I now need to leave it until the soil dries out – and must not water until the top 2 inches of the soil is dry. I suspect that it may be too late for my poor little tree, but we’ll see how it goes.

Re-potted kaffir lime

I am keeping a close eye on my other trees, because I have obviously been overwatering them too. I unpotted one of my apple trees today, but the roots of that look OK. More of a concern is the reaction to the foliar feed of iron chelates that I sprayed the other day. I think that is what caused the black blemishes on the young leaves of my mandarin, and my mulberry has blemishes too, and it has dropped a bunch of the immature mulberries. Tragedy. I don’t know what I was thinking by spraying the mulberry with the iron. It was clearly only the citrus that needed it.


**Update** My Kaffir lime eventually died – I think it was just too late by the time I treated it. I’ve been treating root rot lately by using Phosphorous acid (in the form of Yates Anti-rot). It can be used as a preventative treatment too.

Fruit and failure

17 Feb

My kaffir lime is wilting...

I recently bought a bunch of fruit trees from Daleys Fruit. I have two dwarf tropical apples (Golden Dorset and Anna), a Eureka lemon, a dwarf emperor mandarin, a kaffir lime and a dwarf black mulberry. I’ve planted them all in 15 litre grow bags, and they have been going great guns- until now.

My kaffir lime tree has suddenly developed a wilt even though it’s thoroughly watered. I haven’t let it dry out and I’ve watered it daily – exactly the same as the other trees.

I did some googling, and was sure that what I had was root rot. Root rot causes wilt and is caused by overwatering, which is quite likely what I’ve done. The problem is that I’ve unpotted the poor thing, and the roots look fine. Now I’m just slowing watching it die, powerless to stop its demise. Any ideas are welcome. Thankfully the kaffir lime was actually an error. I meant to order a Tahitian lime, and bought the kaffir instead. So if one had to die, I’m glad it was that one.

My mulberries are just developing that slight purple tinge

In happier news, my dwarf black mulberry tree is doing amazingly well. I planted it into the grow bag a little over a month ago, and I already have fruit! I’m probably not supposed to let it fruit so early, but I have no self control. I currently have a little over 20 berries, and every day there are more. They are just starting to turn purple, and I can hardly wait.

Today I got home from work and my parcel from the Digger’s Club had arrived. I joined the club the other day, and ordered a bunch of seeds and a purple asparagus seedling. I hope to plant it this weekend. As part of the order I also got some of the CSIRO’s clever clover mix. I plan to pull up the very sad looking annuals in the front yard and plant the clever clover as a green manure to improve the soil. The neighbours will think I’ve gone mad – planting grass in the garden bed – but I hope it will improve the soil enough to grow an impressive pumpkin patch next summer 🙂