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Potted Kumquat dropping leaves like crazy, help me save it!

4 years ago
last modified: 4 years ago

Hi everyone! Long post here but I'm hoping to provide all the details. I've had a potted kumquat tree since last August. Things generally started off well. It had blossoms and put on fruit this winter. But the tree slowly started dropping leaves starting from the base of the tree sometime in November or December. From my online research, I'm guessing I was over-watering and maybe underfeeding the plant. This spring I was worried about the continued loss of leaves, suspected there might be root rot after the winter rains we received in southern California, and generally thought the tree could use a bigger pot. So I re-potted it a couple months ago in a pot a few inches larger in diameter. I used soil marketed for citrus trees, and mixed in some rooting fertilizer with high hopes for my little tree. Unfortunately, I must have botched the transplant since then the tree has been loosing leaves at an alarming rate, again mainly from the base of the tree out. Almost all the leaves on the tree are now yellowing, and you can tell the ones that are about to fall because the spine of the leaf will go yellow first. There are two or three spots with new leaf growth, but even those leaves are looking splotchy and generally unhealthy. I've been watering the plant about once a week, careful not to over water, and fertilized again just recently. The tree is in a spot where it has shade in the morning but is in full sun for a good part of the afternoon. See below for a few photos of plant

Anyway, we're getting into the hot summer weather and I'm worried that the tree just won't be able to recover. Any suggestions for how I might be able to bring my tree back to a healthy state? Should I trim back the canopy so the damaged roots don't have as much tree to support? Any fertilizer schedule you would recommend? Anything else I should be doing?

Thank you!

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