06 September 2013

New Plants & Citrus Tree Transplant Update

Pin It!
It's been 4 days since I've repotted my Meyer lemon and Key lime trees. I have been watching them very closely for signs of distress.

My lemon tree is saying, "What transplant?", but the lime is wondering how I could do such a thing to it. Poor little lime tree. It's drooping and wilting and cupping its leaves. It even lost a rather large lime. There's also something on its leaves, but it has been there since I bought it. I have yet to identify what it is. Please help, if you can!

My guess as to the droopiness, etc., is that I didn't get the gritty mix up in between the roots well enough. It is requiring more water and it does respond to it, so that's a good sign.

I ordered some seaweed extract to help the roots generate more growth. It won't be here for a few days though.

Got my fingers crossed!

As for the new lemon tree, it is in the original container and original growing medium. I'm going to leave it like that until spring, I think. It is doing fine. I sprayed it yesterday with Neem oil at the strength of 2 tbsp/gallon of water. That will be a weekly routine. It will be fed with Foliage Pro like the others.

With the other 2 trees I have been removing the tiny new fruit. I have read that I should let it set the fruit and then remove it for at least the first year and maybe the second. The lime has produced a ton of fruits, and I removed all but 2. The lemon had not flowered too much before the transplant and there was no fruit to remove yet. When it does, I will remove them too. The old wives tale is for every fruit you remove now, 4 will grow later. I will do that for the first 2 trees. As for this other lemon, I will be pruning it lightly soon, but I am not going to remove the fruit that is growing. I just want to see what happens.

The tropical hibiscus I bought for my Mother's 90th birthday is doing fine. It has several buds on it, but no open flowers. I sprinkled some slow release Osmocote around it, but otherwise just gets watered. I am researching the gritty mix for this plant too. It should be repotted, I think, I can see roots in the holes on the bottom.

Tomorrow is her birthday and 2 little buds looks like they might be open for her tomorrow. That would be great!

UPDATE: I've been keeping a very close eye on my citrus trees as the weather starts to cool off. We've had several days in a row with no sun, all cloudy, cool and windy. I started bringing the trees in at night about the 1st week in September and back outside during the day. I would say that where they are during the day probably doesn't get as much sun as they need. So overall I think they've been light deficient the past 3 weeks.

I have noticed over the last several days that the 1st Meyer lemon's lower leaves are starting to turn yellow. And today I noticed that I have lost 4 leaves. The Key lime is also yellowing a little. I'm not sure if less light will do that or not or if the wind or cooler temps can do it, but it's a problem for me and apparently for my trees.

So I made the decision to bring the trees inside for the fall and winter. I don't have my complete light set up finished yet, so I have my light fixture hanging from my weight bench in the garage. This is their first day under the lights. Got my fingers crossed.

In my next post I will show you my set up and explain where and from whom I got so much help. :)

04 September 2013

Meet the Cow Killer

Pin It!
Ok, so I'm outside on the driveway, barefoot, transplanting my citrus trees. Out of the corner of my eye I see this HUGE thing run across in front of me. Freaking out now and shuddering as I type at the thought of that thing.

It looks like a ginormous ant. Look at it, it's horrible!

I have never seen one of these before. After an Internet search I discovered this is a female velvet ant. They are not aggressive, so I've read, but I immediately put a bucket over it so I could contain it.

I have also read that they can deliver a very painful sting, a sting so powerful it can bring down a cow, hence the name cow killer. I don't know if that is exactly true or not, but I'm not going to find out. You can read more about it here.

I'm actually glad this is the female...the males can fly!

02 September 2013

Repotting My Meyer Lemon and Key Lime Trees

Pin It!
While I was out gallivanting in the city yesterday there came upon home some very high winds and a short cloud burst. Well, my poor citrus trees were blown over, pot and all. And, consequently, lost a good amount of the potting mix they were in.

I intended to repot them into a gritty mix this next spring. Now that they have fallen over I decided to just go ahead and repot them now. Good thing I bought all the ingredients for the gritty mix a few weeks ago.

This was an all day affair. Straining and mixing the ingredients and watering them all down was very time consuming. And then to get all the old potting mix off the roots was another job. I hope I did it all ok, I've never done it before. I did get some help from Mr. Bumbleberries.

 Then I potted them up, watered them and put them in filtered sun.

I know this has been quite a little shock for my trees. I hope they will handle it ok. I have read that citrus will drop their leaves due to stress from repotting. I fully expect it to happen, I hope it doesn't. I love my little trees and I will be devastated if I've hurt them.

Al's gritty mix recipe is one I found on the GardenWeb forums, where they can't say enough good things about it. It consists of Turface, granite grit, and bark fines. Here is Al's website where you can find out how to strain everything and a few more particulars. You can do a search for Turface distributors here. You can find granite grit at a feed store, it's just poultry grit. Don't get chick grit, it's too small. And bark fines can be found at nurseries perhaps, but the pieces may be too big. I've read that people use Repti-Bark, which is found at most pet store. This is what I used too.

Wish me luck!

UPDATE: It's been 2 days since the transplant. I've been watching the trees very closely. So far the lemon tree seems completely unscathed by the whole affair.

The lime tree is showing some signs of distress. I see the new top growth is wilting over and I see some leaves cupping upward a little. The whole tree seems a bit saggy. I have read that some of this could be due to under or over watering.

I have been reading a lot about it and the transplant and the new growing medium and I have concluded that perhaps my lime tree hasn't gotten enough water. I watered this morning and then again this evening. It might be my imagination, but I think the new growth on top has positively responded to the water.

Both trees are kept in filtered sun for about 7-8 hours. I have removed almost all of the tiny lime fruits that are growing. I removed about 20 a few days before transplant and another 20 again today. The lemon tree has only just begun to bloom a few days before transplanting.

I also bought another Meyer lemon from the clearance aisle yesterday. I'm going to grow this one a little differently to see how it responds. 
Related Posts with Thumbnails