Hi, I got a lemon tree a few months ago. It's leaves are curling and dull. I've given it citrus food and haven't noticed a change. What do you recommend? Thanks, April.
Citrus leaves can curl when temperatures are cold or in extreme heat, some insect infestations such as scale, mealy bug, mites or aphids will cause leaves to curl and also over-watering. Other times it is leaf curl disease.
Adjust watering depending upon the weather. If it is heat, apply Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic regularly and keep it well watered. Also apply Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic regularly if cold, however watch the watering and make sure not to over-water it. Feed with Tui Citrus Food or Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser (suitable for pots and containers). However in frost prone areas avoid feeding any later than March as this will push soft new growth that will frost easily and won’t have had time to harden off.
Some varieties are more susceptible to leaf curl disease than others. Leaf curl overwinters in buds of infected trees. A copper based clean up spray is the most effective way of controlling leaf curl. Spray in autumn/winter using a copper fungicide and oil until bud burst in spring at 10-14 day intervals. Collect up any infected leaves that fall and burn or dispose of, do not compost as this will spread the disease.
If it is an insect problem check at your local garden centre for a suitable spray. If ants are crawling up the tree then there is a good chance there is scale insect or mealy bug or aphids.