Aussies Living Simply

Identifying 2 Citrus Problems

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    Hi all,

    First I’ve been almost non-existent on these forums for a while. Some may remember I posted some pictures some months ago of our fruit trees of the house we just moved into. Well there have been a lot of issues with the house (old house, crappy building inspector…) and we’ve been in catchup mode regarding the garden. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed with the whole thing but we’re so in love with the place!

    Anyway, I’ve asked friends, borrowed books, googled… and I have two citrus problems I’m hoping someone here can help with.

    1. Lemon tree, thick rind, no juice

    The tree itself looks very healthy, always with lots of blossoms and fruit, but so far all the lemons have been horrible. Almost no juice at all. Here’s the tree:

    Here’s an example of one of the standard lemons:

    Now, about 6 weeks ago, someone suggested just adding some citrus feed to the tree, so i did this in the correct amounts.

    Recently, some new lemons have appeared. Like this:

    They aren’t ripe yet but they look good.

    We cut these open and they look massively better. But because it’s been quite rainy here, I don’t know whether it’s the feed or the extra rain through autumn and winter.

    Here’s a comparison:

    Is there anyone who can definitely tell me what the problem is, and whether it’s likely to be feed or water that’s caused the change?

    2. Tangelo, leaf problem, not looking too healthy. The problem is there seem to be so many possibilities for the cause of this. I’ve also applied citrus feed to this tree 6 weeks ago but it appears to have done nothing.

    Here are some photos of the leaves.

    Can anyone identify the problem.

    Heaps of thanks.


    Quick googling nets me problem 1 is either caused by too much nitrogen, not enough phosphorous (some sites point to potassium). Either way, some sort of nutritional imbalance and your fertiliser application probably sorted that.

    Second problem indicated root rot or water damage.

    The first tree appears to have nice form and a healthy amount of mulch, is that a recent edition? What sort of mulch is it?

    Couple of sources:


    the varieties of lemons differ and some are thicker skinned than others. I find if they are thick skinned and not juicy, if I pick them and put them in a bowl for a few weeks they improve greatly. The other problem I can’t help with.


    Thanks S.O.P

    Re the 2nd problem, could that have been because I (possibly-I’m not sure) had it planted in a clayey spot? I’ve recently moved it and noticed the roots weren’t spread out but were all twined up. So that picture is of it in its new spot, as of about 2 weeks ago.

    The mulch on the first tree? it’s me doing the best I can with nothing. I mowed the grass under the tree fairly heavily, then raked it all out, then threw in some old weeds and mowed them as well, then raked it back.

    bluezbandit, I might have thought this also (the varieties of lemons differ and some are thicker skinned than others.), except that the tree seems now to be producing “normal” lemons.


    The thick rind usually occurs in young citrus but yours looks quite mature,so whatever you applied plus the extra watering its been getting probably rectified the problem.

    Citrus do like a good drink when producing fruit.

    The lime could be magnesium deficiency,moisten the area under the branches then add 2 tablespoons of epsom salts in a 10 litre water can and apply to the moistened area,the results will take a while to see but new growth should retain its green colouring.

    If you can source Allan Seales books they’re full of good stuff,mostly out of print these days.


    If lemons are left on the tree for too long, the rind gets really thick and the inside dries up, so if those lemons were on the tree when you moved in, perhaps that was the problem. 🙂


    Thanks everyone for your help here. 🙂

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