Help! I think I over fertilised my little kaffir lime a couple of weeks ago! I’ve removed the soil from below and given it a decent water; anything else I can do?
I used Richgro Black Marvel which I’ve used 2 or 3 times before (twice a year) but never had my leaves do this before.
Welcome to Workshop. We're really pleased you could join us but are sorry to see your poor lime tree is struggling. Perhaps one of our community's horticulturalists such as @Noelle or @DonnaE might like to share their thoughts. I'm sure your photos will help but you might also like to tell us where you are based and what type of soil you have. And why do you think you over fertisiled the tree?
Thanks again for joining in the discussion. Please let me know if you ever need a hand getting the most from the site.
Hi Jess (@Jess21)
Could be any one of several causes: iron deficiency, alkaline soil, water-logging are just a few. Start by doing a pH test on the soil.
If it is alkaline, then cause if likely to be lack of available iron which is chemically 'locked up' in alkaline soils. Citrus like an acid pH so adjusting the soil acidity will often fix problems. Sulfur added to the soil (as per label directions) will amend the pH and that will also help release nutrients unavailable when the pH is too high.
It's unlikely you would have over-fertilised unless you applied the product at far greater than the rate recommended on the bag. Too much fertiliser can burn the roots and damage usually shows up on the lower leaves and branches first because they are closest to the source of the burning. Always read and follow application instructions.
Don't take too much soil off the surface or disturb the roots of citrus trees including lime. They have very shallow fibrous root systems and react really badly to having their roots tampered with! Scraping off soil to remove fertiliser can harm the roots.
While citrus need regular watering, they resent being over-watered. A good soak once or twice a week is all that's needed. ALlow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings - not to the point where the leaves droop or wilt but enough to allow the soil to oxygenate.
So, start with the soil pH test and work from that.