Yellow Orange Leaves & Mystery Pumpkin

Question:

I need help with a sick orange tree. It has been healthy with wonderful oranges, but for the past year, it hasn't looked good. The leaves are a light green to yellow color, although the side of the tree facing the sprinkler seems much healthier. I thought it was Chlorosis, so I fed it iron; then citrus fertilizer. What should I do to change things?

Answer:

  • The lack of iron, Chlorosis, is not the only cause of pale green to yellow foliage on citrus as well as many other plants. However, I don't believe iron deficiency was the problem.
  • Chlorosis shows up on the new growth, so the entire plant doesn't turn a pale color or go yellow. Also, the veins remain green while the rest of the leaf discolors. This well may be a nutrient deficiency but not iron.
    • Nitrogen is the primary nutrient that keeps plants green. A nitrogen deficiency causes the leaves to lose color and turn yellow.  It also encourages new growth. So,I’d continue feeding with Citrus Food monthly during the growing season, March through October. There are many types of citrus fertilizers available from organic to synthetic.
    • Next, you need to review your watering practices. Once the rainy season concludes, you must water the day before or at least four hours before feeding and immediately afterward. Watering after the fact is discouraged, why, do you ask?
      • Plants that are on the dry side when fertilized will also turn yellow or the foliage could have brown spots. Even at this late date, I'd construct a six-inch-high water basin around the plants; it should extend from the trunk to a foot beyond the drip line. The basin is removed with the rainy season begins. I'd fill this basin once or twice a week depending on the temperature. In about six weeks you should see some improvements. If not, then I'd wait until next spring and supplement the citrus food with Zinc and Magnesium. Liquinox Zinc and Iron are liquid supplements available online or in some garden centers. 

Question:

 I have a pumpkin plant volunteer that is growing out of my compost bin. I'm not sure what variety, either last-years jack-o-lantern or maybe an Asian type, it is green a striped now and just tennis ball sized. Can you guess what I might be growing?

Answer:

  • The offsprings from hybrid plants are very unpredictable in the next generation. Pumpkins will cross-pollinate with squash and cucumber plants, so the gene pool is very mixed in the set of seedlings. The new plants are a combination of all of these characteristics. I don't have a clue as too how they'll turn out. You're going to have to wait to see what you have. You can say now that it will be stripped and not a solid color. You may not be pleasantly surprised, but you will not be disappointed.