Overwatering Citrus Trees

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Citrus trees require just the right amount of water to remain healthy and bear fruit.

Whether you are commercially growing citrus trees or growing a single tree in your back yard, over-watering your citrus trees can cause serious issues. Over-watering not only saturates your tree, but the soil around it which causes other imbalances. If you can recognize the symptoms of too much water, you can correct the situation with your citrus tree before other problems set in.



Look for issues with your citrus tree's leaves. If they seem to stop growing or thriving, check the color. Yellowing leaves or brittle leaves can indicate that your citrus tree has had too much water. If the leaves begin drooping or seem to be growing in unusual configurations, this can be another indicator of too much water. If your citrus tree is already bearing fruit, examine the fruit. If it begins dropping off the tree before it has ripened or if the fruit begins splitting, your tree may have been over-watered. Be alert also for signs of disease in your citrus tree.


Results of Over-watering

Over-watering can cause many problems for your citrus tree such as reduced oxygen levels, iron chlorosis and root or foot rot. Root rot is a fungal disease that occurs below the soil line on your tree's trunk. It can progress downward along the root structure if not contained quickly. Root rot eats through the tree's bark and stops the tree from absorbing nutrients and water.

Too much water in the soil flushes away iron reserves that your citrus tree needs in order to remain healthy. The most obvious sign of iron chlorosis is that the tree's leaves begin to yellow but the veins remain bright green. The leaves may also fall off, and the tree becomes spindly.


Proper Watering

You can find a water meter at any home improvement or home and garden supply store. These meters are simple to use; simply insert the thin post into the ground and the needle indicates the moisture levels in the soil. When you water your citrus tree, water near the drip line and allow the water to soak into the soil. Instead of a sprinkler or using a hose attachment to water your tree, use a soaker hose to be sure your tree gets water at its roots. Let the soil dry between waterings so air can work into the soil and get to the roots. Use your water meter to measure the soil's moisture levels between watering sessions.



Cricket Webber

Cricket Webber began writing for fun as a young adult and started writing professionally in 2010. She is based in the deep South. Webber specializes in articles on greener living. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in education from Converse College.