Kumquat not growing but produced fruit and looks healthy...

doomahxJanuary 4, 2013

Hi,

I purchased a meiwa kumquat tree for my container garden back in june and everything seems to be going well except one thing. It really doesn�t seem like it has grown at all! 6 Wonderful smelling flowers bloomed shortly after it arrived, the flowers fell off and left 6 pieces of fruit, 4 fell off but 2 survived and finally ripened two weeks ago. Aside from the flowering and fruit there have been no visible signs of growth, it�s the same height, there are no branches forming and it still has the same 7 leaves it arrived with.

I am in zone 7 and it�s in a 2 gallon pot using al�s gritty mix and it looks very healthy aside from this whole not growing thing!

Any ideas?

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

How often do you water and fertilize?

Josh

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 7:05PM
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doomahx

Summer i was watering every few days but now maybe once a week? I test the soil with a wooden skewer generally.

Been a while since I fertilized. I read that fertilizing should be done during the spring and summer. I use Foliage Pro

This post was edited by doomahx on Fri, Jan 4, 13 at 20:39

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 8:34PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Ah, well I think this is the limiting factor, then.
With the Gritty Mix, you'll want to provide a consistent stream of nutrients, at a reduced rate,
throughout the Winter. You're two steps ahead already, with the skewer and the Foliage Pro.
1/4 teaspoon per gallon would be a fine start with the next watering.

There are good reasons not to fertilize in the Winter *if you're using peaty or heavy soils that don't
allow you to water thoroughly. The salts accumulate without the benefit of regular flushing.*
Al has written extensively.

Josh

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 10:46PM
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doomahx

Thanks for the info! Should i be using the solution with every watering then?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 5:41AM
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groem(6)

It has 7 leaves? So its just a little twig? It has been putting all of its energy into making fruit. Pinch off the flowers or fruit if it blooms this spring. It should then be able to grow. Depending on lighting it may not start to grow much untill the days get longer.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 10:51AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Dooma, yes with every watering :-)

Josh

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 12:13PM
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oceandweller(8B)

Kumquats also need a fair amount of sun to full sun to do the best. You have to think, most are grown farther south where the sun is brighter.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 9:12AM
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doomahx

Just wanted to give an update.

I started using diluted solution of fertilizer with every watering as suggest and within a few weeks two new branches shot out.

The leaves on the new branches are almost full size now but it seems like growing has stopped again, is this normal? Do trees generally have growth spurts with periods of rest in between?

Something else i noticed is that the new leaves are starting to curl on the sides, what could be causing this? They are starting to look a bit like the leaves in the attached picture as far as shape. (this is not my tree though, just an example)

This post was edited by doomahx on Wed, Feb 20, 13 at 6:53

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 6:49AM
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mrlike2u(**)

Try leaving it in one spot for a while by preference if you have a south west exposure. Maybe somebody who knows more about the silly skew or dowel watering tactics can help you more.... to me it looks like your sipping it when you water.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:59AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Dooma,
closely examine the leaves for evidence of pests.
Also, you might try adding vinegar to your water and watering without fertilizer.

Oh, and yes, citrus grow in spurts/flushes.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 11:43AM
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doomahx

Thanks for the fast responses.

I assume I'm adding vinegar to lower the PH? For PH testing purposes should I be testing the water alone before watering or should I test the potting medium along with it? Basically, does water PH = soil PH or is there often a large enough variation to warrant testing both consistently?

This post was edited by doomahx on Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 5:54

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 1:00PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Don't even bother with the pH of the mix. Just focus on the water and the fertigation solution. I would test the water, then add vinegar until the pH is between 5.2 - 5.8 (and record how many teaspoons were needed).

Try a vinegar + water combo without any fertilizer this time. Consider it a slight flushing. Resume fertilization with the next watering.

Incidentally, I just acidified my water this morning and gave my citrus a thorough watering.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 4:35PM
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doomahx

Can I use any type of vinegar? I have rice vinegar and cider vinegar but no white vinegar lol

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 5:35AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I wouldn't, personally. Just white vinegar.
That said, read the label - compare what the rice/cider label says and what the white vinegar label (check online) says.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 1:19PM
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doomahx

Looks like another few months of smooth sailing has come to an end.

The weather has been getting nice so I decided to start keeping my kumquat tree outside as night temps are now in the upper 40âÂÂs and 50âÂÂs. It seemed happy for the first week but now IâÂÂm noticing the leaves are becoming dull, discolored and losing their gloss. They arenâÂÂt really turning yellow or brown, just more like the green color is fading to a whitish color and the leaves have become a bit rough rather than shiny and smooth. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 2:40PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Do the leaves look like this, by chance?

If so, it's nothing more than a bit of sun-bleaching. Move the tree into the shade (or dappled sun) and it should begin to improve immediately. If this is not how the leaves look, post a pic and we'll attempt a diagnosis.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 4:33PM
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doomahx

Mine donâÂÂt seem as yellow as some of yours but the color fading is similar. I took it out 3 weeks ago and I gave it 3 days in the shade before I put it in a sunny spot. As itâÂÂs already been out in the sun for two weeks will it still benefit from some more time in the shade?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:06AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I think it will benefit from some additional shade.
The leaves in the pic above were burned at the end of the season when the sun's angle had dropped enough for the light to come through an open place in the trees.

Anyhow, post a pic when time allows.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:38AM
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doomahx

Sorry it took me so long to respond, been very busy and almost forgot i posted a thread!

Here are the pictures.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 7:11AM
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doomahx

Picture 2

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 7:12AM
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doomahx

Picture 2

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 7:22AM
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doomahx

IâÂÂve had it out of the sun under dappled shade for about a week now and it looks like whatever is going on isnâÂÂt getting any worse. That leads me to believe you were correct and that it was some sort of sun burn/bleaching. How should I go about getting it back into the sun?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 11:01AM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

I put my tree in the sun at sun rise and removed it when the sun reached 30 deg off the harison. I increased the time about 15 minutes longer each day. On cloudy days I left it out all day. It took about 2 week to acclimate. It is easiest to start acclimating earlier in the year when the sun is lower..


BEFORE


aFTER I dropped the tree 3 times and snap whipped the trunk twice and lost over half my leaves. there are 6 active buds sprouting. moving out is a difficult process

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 9:05AM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

I lost the top of my tree to accident and it is really filling out with expanding buds. These are bud swells now

See pics

potted meiwa tree from seed


top view buds expanding


next section potted meiwa tree


middle section


lower middle


upper base view


Base of potted meiwa kumquat tree from seed

Click on each picture. Click on the magnifying glass in the lower right corner. Click same spot on dropped down picture to zoom to 8 megapixel To close 8 megapixel click the go back button in upper left corner i9n picture frame area.

See meiwa at its best click on link below

Here is a link that might be useful: https://plus.google.com/photos/111099372377958308731/albums/profile?banner=pwa

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:46PM
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DWD2(10a, Sunset 17)

doomahx, I think if you go to this site:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_citrus
and start reading through the many documents available there you will find good, authoritative information. I think the pH advice you got above is not the best. The ph of your potting media is VERY important. Perhaps these will help:
http://www.caes.uga.edu/applications/publications/files/pdf/B%201256_6.PDF
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/floriculture/plugs/ph.pdf
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/floriculture/hils/HIL590.pdf

Citrus typically have 3 growth flushes a year. A forum for growing citrus is here:
http://citrus.forumup.org/

I hope you find this useful. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 4:40AM
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doomahx

@Poncirusguy, there is finally some new growth on mine too. It looks to be around 12 new branches and around 7 flowers. I'm trying to decide whether or not i should get rid of the fruit so the tree can focus all of it's energy on growth. After they bloom get to smell to blossoms of course.

@DWD2, Thanks for the reading material. I'm on vacation this week so i can get through it tomorrow. The first link doesn't seem to work though/

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 6:40AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Dooma, you're doing just fine.
The information I've given you regarding media, pH, and fertigate pH is right on, so disregard that shot in the post immediately above yours.

Again, the pH of a container media is far less important than the pH of soil.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 10:26AM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

greenman28
Again, the pH of a container media is far less important than the pH of soil

In your last sentence did you mean to say water where you said soil? I am paying close attention to the tread also.

Thanks Steve

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 12:22PM
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DWD2(10a, Sunset 17)

doomahx,
Hey, enjoy your vacation!

Sometimes, links can get changed when copying & pasting. Try these:
http://www.caes.uga.edu/publications/pubDetail.cfm?pk_id=7351
http://www.caes.uga.edu/applications/publications/files/pdf/B%201256_6.PDF

Both the University of Florida and North Carolina State University horticultural web sites are fantastic sources of information for container gardeners. You may find that what the experts at those universities teach is not infrequently at odds with some of the opinions expressed by folks on this forum.

I, respectfully, completely disagree with greenman28's opinion based on my growing experience and what the horticultural professionals have to say, a small portion of which is in the links above. So, we will have to agree to disagree on this one. I sincerely apologize if what I posted was viewed as a "shot." I simply meant to disagree. There is a HUGH literature on the importance of managing pH of container media. You can Google Paul Fisher or William Argo among many horticultural scientists who have done extensive research on pH management in container media. If you really want to understand the subject, I highly recommend this book:
http://store.meistermedia.com/understanding-ph-management/
It is $20 well spent in my opinion.

There is also a lot of literature on managing the pH of the water used on plants. It is important to understand the difference between pH and alkalinity. The links above discuss that very effectively I think. If your water is very alkaline, a weak acid like acetic acid (vinegar) will do a poor job of adjusting pH. I also note that the links above demonstrate that there is a very wide range of pH optimum for different, container grown plants (note Figure 2 in the second NCSU link). I can not put my finger on the reference right now, but my understanding is that the pH optimum for citrus is more like 6.2.

Oft times on this forum, it appears that advice is based on personal experience which can be really helpful and it is wonderful that people are selfless enough to want to help. Sometimes the advice is distinctly at odds with what horticultural scientists have determined. My opinion is, in those cases where there is a meaningful difference between the 2, the person offering a one off opinion simply got lucky. They got a media where they did not encounter a problem simply by good fortune or a trial and error process without a scientific method to drive understanding. I personally think it would be truly helpful if people on this forum would point us to the source(s) of their understanding when offering advice. I think it is particularly important to do when there is a difference of opinion. I do my best to do that.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck with your kumquat!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 2:38PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

We'll agree to disagree, fair enough.

Steve, perhaps I wasn't clear in my phrasing. What I meant is this: the pH of container media is far less important than the pH of the soil when a plant is growing in-ground. In other words, there is much more leeway in a container media; and where we can direct our energy is adjusting the pH of the fertigating solution (so that nutrients can be taken up in that optimum range).

Yes, vinegar is weak, and it degrades, so it's not a cure all. Extreme cases will call for more extreme measures.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 5:08PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

Thanks, Josh

I did completely miss it. I didn't pick up on that we were comparing pot media to in ground media. Either way It makes my job with my tree so much easier since I am in pot not ground. I read these forums daily to keep ahead of future problems.

Steve

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 5:22PM
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mrlike2u(**)

Do skews also measure the rain fall in a container on feeding day too ?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 5:03PM
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