ladygaga
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dwarf citrus tree emergency!!!!! :*( :*( :*(

The other topic I posted before about my dwarf citrus trees I ordered online came in today, and they were not what I expected. They are extremely tiny and I really have no idea what to do with them, I wass told to buy a 5 gallon pot but judging by the size I really have no idea what to do from here. I'm posting this pic of all 3 please help they sent no instructions on what to do and I'm really scared if they aren't given care asap they will die !!! I need to know how long they can stay in these containers and what I should do for the time being before they are repotted and how big that pots should be and what soil to use :*( please help these trees will be my pride and joy !!

[img]https://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj127/momenttt/IMG_20110224_194912.jpg[/img][/img]
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Kisal
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The first thing you must do is give that lovely kitty a smooch on the nose from me! :D

Remove the plastic wrappings from the little trees. Look at the bottoms of the pots. Do you see any little root tips emerging from the drainage holes? If not, then the situation is not urgent. All will be well for at least a week, quite possibly longer, so you have plenty of time to evaluate things and plan your approach. :)

Those look like 2" pots. Is that about right? If you see roots emerging from the drain holes, you will want to repot them, but I would wait a couple more weeks before I did that.

Select a pot that is about one size larger than the ones the trees are currently in. I would choose a 4-inch pot, I think.

When it comes time to repot the trees, you will need a potting mix that drains rapidly and doesn't hold too much moisture, so avoid those with a lot of peat moss. If you aren't able to find anything like that, then you'll have to add some coco fiber or perlite. (Coco fiber is also known as coir.) Combine 2 parts of the potting mix to 1 part of the coco fiber or perlite.

Before we get into the details of repotting your trees, let's assume that they're going to be fine in the pots they're in, for awhile at least. Give them at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day. If you can't provide that, then you'll have to supplement with a grow light.

Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Give them enough water so that the excess runs out the bottom of the pot. Don't allow water to remain the the drainage tray or saucer.

They need high humidity, so you might want to place them on a humidity tray, which is just a tray filled with pebbles. Add enough water to fill the tray to just below the surface of the pebbles. You don't want the pot touching the water surface. The diameter of the tray should be at least as wide as the widest part of the tree. An alternative is to mist the plant with water several times a day, but I find that too messy. Also, I feel that a humidity tray provides a more constant source of humidity around the leaves.

Now, tell me about the root situation. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

ladygaga
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The smooch has been given isn't she just so pretty? Her name is abby :o) but ok this is a lot of information, I would say your guess is right that the plastic containers they are in are about 2". The root situation is that 2 of the 3 have very tiny roots peeking out that can barely be seen, but one of them has a huge long root that literally is hanging out the bottom and I'm guessing this is NOT good. I'm prepared to go to my local nursery tommorow to purchase the pots that are needed in the long run and the soil and fertilizer. I honestly don't know how to mix soil and where to get the coco fiber. In the online instructions that I did finally find it said to use miracle grow potting mix for citrus and cactus, do you think that would be ok? And I'm very confused as I am new to all of this since I'm only 18 but why do I have to repot in a 4" pot instead of just getting the 2 gallon pots I was told to use? I'm sorry for all these questions and I saw you answered my yucca cane question before but I really am excited to have these in my room and I know they will be beautiful :*) thank you for the quick reply though<3
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ladygaga
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And this is what I'm also alarmed by. The top leaf has a chunk missing, the leaf below it has yellow spots and a hole, and the leaf under that is very shriveled. Is this a bad sign? This is the one tree that has the long root also. [img]https://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj127/momenttt/IMG_20110224_212352.jpg[/img]
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Kisal
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I do not use Miracle Gro, so I can't say that it's good or bad. I've read plenty of negative stuff about it from the members of our forum, though. My impression from other's comments is that the stuff doesn't drain at all well. The nursery staff should be able to recommend something better, and you probably will be able to find coco fiber or perlite there, as well.

You don't want to use too large of a pot, because it makes it much more difficult to control the moisture in the soil. If the soil doesn't dry fast enough, it can make your plants much more vulnerable to root rot, which will kill them. For plants with root systems the size of your baby trees', you don't want more than 1 inch -- 2 at the very most -- of "empty" soil around the root ball. "Empty" soil is soil which the roots haven't yet grown into. Your plants won't need the 2 gallon pot until they are about 2 years old.
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ladygaga
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Thank you for all the helpful information :) Ill try my best tommorow at the nursery I hope I don't do the wrong thing and repotting always makes me nervous I never feel like I'm doing the right thing and I'm always scared of damaging the plant :*( this is so scary
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Kisal
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Remove the root ball from its pot as gently as you can. You don't want to disturb the roots, if you can avoid it.

Put some of your potting mix in the new pot. Place the root ball of the little tree on the soil. Add more soil under the root ball, or remove a little, until the top of the root ball sits about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch lower than the rim of the new pot. You don't want to put any additional soil on top of the root ball. It's important that the roots continue to grow at the same depth as they were in the old pot. (I actually leave the plant in its old pot while I do this "measuring" step.)

Then use the potting mix to fill in around the root ball. I use an old dinner knife to settle the soil as I add it around the edges. Just poke it repeatedly into the soil you add around the edges, being careful not to hit the root ball. When you are finished, water it very thoroughly, until water runs freely out the bottom of the pot. The water will help to settle the soil and eliminate any air pockets. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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applestar
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All great info from Kisal. :D These are all likely to be cuttings and so don't have much of a root system yet.

If I might make a little suggestion, resist buying decorative pots with tiny holes that are plugged up by saucers that snap onto them.

My citruses are starting to send out their late winter/daylight is getting longer! growths and I suspect yours will too as soon as they settle in. Especially the one with the long root, I would recommend a deeper container than 4". if you look at the nursery area, you'll probably see what I mean, but they have 4" wide containers with 6" depth. Those would be perfect. I actually think 1 quart size deli or dairy (like yogurt or ricotta) container would serve just as well as long as you drill sufficient holes in it, but that's up to you. :wink: The other two probably could manage for the present with 1 pint containers....

Don't worry too much about the damaged leaves. That looks like a new shoot that has recently unfolded and they are still very tender and easily bruised. New shoots are soft enough to pinch off with your fingernails. the crinkled leaves with well defined veins indicate mature leaves which is a good sign that these cutting-grown trees will bloom and fruit earlier than seed-grown plants.

My trees put out another flush of growth after being sent outside for the summer -- I have to check but I think after the night temps settle above 50 degrees. I'm pretty sure these weakling late winter growths are not as important.

wordwiz
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I'm growing two in DWC systems. They looked just like yours when I first got them, including a couple of leaves that looked like a cat had decided to taste them.

Though they have been under a 400-watt MH bulb all winter, they only started to grow enough to notice in the last month.

Mike

gros michel
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All good advice you've recieved though I always tend to go for larger containers and would have repotted them even if it were into some cut off bottoms of plastic half gallon milk containers with some drainage holes cut in the bottom. ( I use those a lot in a pinch). I tend to disagree with a lot of great gardeners on this so I guess it's personal preference wanting to let the roots develop as large as they can to support the top growth.. The one thing I'd warn you about is A) avoiding overwatering since if the root system is very small and the top growth so large you could easily kill them with kindness more so than neglect. .... and B) spider mites :evil: . These are tiny insects everyone at one time or another is pagued with and they'l literally suck the lives out of the leaves. You'll know if you have them if the leaves start drying and seem covered with a fine dust, as well as webbing in severe infestations. This can be easily solved using an insecticidal soap or better still just rinsing the plant regularly ,either using your kitchen sink sparayer or a bathroom spray fixture. Just make sure to get the spay on the underside of the leaves as well since that's where they tend to hide out.
Good luck with them.
Last edited by gros michel on Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

wordwiz
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Here's what the orange tree looks today:

[img]https://www.valleycat.net/garden/2011/orange.jpg[/img]

It was the same size as yours when I got it back in early November.

Mike

ladygaga
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I'm sorry I haven't responded sooner but the trees are all still in the same containers because I haven't gotten a chance to go to my nursery :*( I have been misting and watering them though by submerging in a tiny plastic container when the top soil was dry and let it drain because that's whatt the nursery told me to do in the meantime but I will be repotting them either today or tommorow. I'm going to see what the nursery suggests as far as pot size and soil mixture and ill definetly post again when everything is finished for an update of exactly what I used and a picture of them for you all :o) thanks again for all the help! I really love this forum :)<3
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Green Mantis
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:?: Does anyone know where I can purchase a Calamondin Dwarf citrus plant, in Alberta, Canada?..........I have been looking for so long and just can't find one. Asked the big nurseries and they have either just sold out or didn't get them in. These are the kind that the chinese people use for chinese New Year's. ANY help would be much appreciatted. Thanks.

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