I need help with some orange trees

bonsai-novice

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This isn't really bonsai related but more just general health related.

I have several orange trees that I have grown from pips, but they are now not looking very healthy. Their leaves curl at the edges, and they are sort of goung dappled with white?

I tried putting them outside but i am not sure if that would have done them more harm as it is so much hotter and sunnier.

Last time I put them outside, they started getting these funny little white flecks on their leaves which you can rub off (and which you can hopefully see in the last picture).

I don't suppose anyone has any suggestions for how to get them back to a healthy state?
 

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hinmo24t

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if they went from inside to outside, the transition might have shocked them. best to keep in part shade a few days then move to full sun
 

bonsai-novice

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Do you reckon they should be okay then? I think I planted them about 3 or 4 years ago, so I will be a bit miffed if they end up dying.
 

sorce

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Indoor leaves ain't outdoor leaves. I don't believe in acclimation. It's kinda like tearing out part of your kidney and hoping your lung acclimates for the loss.

Better to get health up before fully defoiloating upon bringing them in and out, once a year. This way you lessen your chance of bringing pests in.

They probably don't send the stress signals that dying leaves put out either, so it lessens your chance of getting pests that way too.

I've always ended up with pest problems after states like this, from late waterings or what have you, so do be watchful of it soon.

Sorce
 

Bonsai Nut

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Check for leaf psyllids. They were the bane of my existence when I lived in SoCal and had 15 mature citrus trees on my property. If not psyllids specifically, look for some other kind of critter particularly in the buds or expanding new leaves. They will often attack the young, soft growth, and when the leaf expands it shows damage from when the leaf was young - particularly if you are seeing curling leaves. Note the white "dust" on the leaf in your last photo, which could be eggs or droppings of insects as they munch on your tree.

I used to spray with organic topical insecticide regularly and it would hold them at bay. Because I was eating the fruit, I did not use systemics.

Otherwise, if it does not appear to be insects, make sure the soil drains freely. Citrus needs a lot of water, but if the roots sit in water it will kill them. I don't think this is a soil problem, personally, but your soil looks a little wet.
 

bonsai-novice

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I think they are planted in mostly garden centre compost? This bigger one in the grey pot has some soil and sand mixed into it.

Concerning the one in the grey pot, as you can hopefully see in the picture, it has a clear runner and is starting to put on a load of new growth. Should i cut it off now before it takes off again?

I left them outside over night and have just brought them inside as it is getting really hot now, about 25°C and i was just looking at the leaves again and all the white "dust" seems to have disappeared?
 

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Lutonian

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citrus can handle Uk heat, the damage looks like sun burn to me. I keep my Kumquats and other citrus outside until temperatures reach between 4-5c at night. The soil I use is john innes no3 mixed with pumice and I water only with rain water as my water is full of chalk.
 

bonsai-novice

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citrus can handle Uk heat, the damage looks like sun burn to me. I keep my Kumquats and other citrus outside until temperatures reach between 4-5c at night. The soil I use is john innes no3 mixed with pumice and I water only with rain water as my water is full of chalk.

We have really hard water here. Do they not like it?
 

Bonsai Nut

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citrus can handle Uk heat, the damage looks like sun burn to me.

Citrus can handle direct tropical sun without a problem. Think of all the citrus groves in Florida and Southern California (I lived in "Orange County" California). Sun burn damage is easy to rule out because sun burn is always most pronounced on the top and exteriors of your tree, while inner leaves are undamaged. This damage is universal - even on lower leaves. Plus sun burn does not cause dimpling.

Dimpled curling leaves are almost always insect damage.

As far as hard water goes, the mineral content of the water is less important than the pH. Citrus need slightly acidic soil (pH 6.0-7.0) or they will start to have difficulty taking up certain trace elements like magnesium, manganese and iron - even if the elements are available in the soil. However iron and magnesium deficiency presents itself as yellowing in the leaf - without curling or dimples. Our tap water in Orange County was 8.0 - 8.5pH, so even the professional growers would use acidic fertilizers (usually sulfur compounds).

(Photo of insect damage on mature orange tree in orchard)

orange-leaf-curl-1024x682.jpg
 
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bonsai-novice

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I was just wondering if it was the sun because, although they live in my bedroom, which has a big south facing skylight, I think they only get direct sunlight for about 3 or 4 hours? so I was wondering if the sudden increase in sunlight would damage them?

Next time I repot them, would it be best to use ericaceous compost instead of normal compost?
 

Lutonian

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Citrus can handle direct tropical sun without a problem. Think of all the citrus groves in Florida and Southern California (I lived in "Orange County" California). Sun burn damage is easy to rule out because sun burn is always most pronounced on the top and exteriors of your tree, while inner leaves are undamaged. This damage is universal - even on lower leaves. Plus sun burn does not cause dimpling.

Dimpled curling leaves are almost always insect damage.

As far as hard water goes, the mineral content of the water is less important than the pH. Citrus need slightly acidic soil (pH 6.0-7.0) or they will start to have difficulty taking up certain trace elements like magnesium, manganese and iron - even if the elements are available in the soil. However iron and magnesium deficiency presents itself as yellowing in the leaf - without curling or dimples. Our tap water in Orange County was 8.0 - 8.5pH, so even the professional growers would use acidic fertilizers (usually sulfur compounds).

(Photo of insect damage on mature orange tree in orchard)

View attachment 386934
Your right looking at the photos again and it isn't sun damage. My citrus have been almost pest free here in uk. The water has a high pH around here
 

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