Growing Citrus trees at home is such a rewarding experience. Your family and friends will delight in the fragrance and taste of healthy, home grown fruit.
However, to be successful requires that you monitor your plants for signs of pests or disease. The best time to deal with a problem is before it becomes a problem.
There are a number of different pests and diseases that can affect Citrus in different areas. When not sure always check with your local Ag Extension Service.
With all product recommendations, follow label directions for dosage and application instructions for safest, most effective results.
The Nature Hills Horticultural team recommends the following solutions:
1. Phytophthora Root Rot - Can result from poor draining soils or from overwatering in a container. Dulling or yellowing and dropping of leaves can be the first indication. SOLUTION: Decrease water and test by plunging index finger to the knuckle to determine when the soil is on the dry side.
2. Scale - Armored Scale or Soft Scale. SOLUTION: On younger plants, use high pressure water and a cloth to wipe off the insects are the best approach. On larger trees high pressure water to all that are visible. After you have removed what you can see using a physical action, apply Bonide Neem Oil Concentrate according to the directions on the label.
3. Ants – Ants can cause problems by "farming" the Scale and Aphid eggs on your Citrus tree. SOLUTION: To effectively control ant populations, spray Fertilome Fruit Tree Spray Neem/Pyrethrin in the early morning or late afternoon to keep the ants out of the canopy.
4. Mites - There are a number of different types of mites that can explode in population in the summer or when brought indoors in the fall. SOLUTION: Limit watering to maintain Citrus on the dry side. Spray with Bonide Neem Oil Concentrate at first sign of mite activity. It’s best to keep this product on hand to catch activity immediately when you first notice it.
5. Fungus Gnats – These small black insects can appear during changing seasons. SOLUTION: First, decrease your watering to get the Citrus plant on the dry side and then apply Fertilome Triple Action Plus RTU Spray to the soil.
6. Rats and Squirrels - These critters can eat your crop quickly. Squirrels are notorious for stealing the whole crop overnight! SOLUTION: In the home garden, it’s convenient to discourage these nuisance animals by shaking Bonide Repels-All® granules around the outside of your home, garden and sheds. If required, baits and traps can be used to eradicate.