Curled Leaves On Citrus Plant

My lime tree which is about 7 years old, is quite green and healthy. Every year it gives me over 100 big size limes.  The citrus tree does not demand a lot of attention except regular watering and fertilization 2-3 times a year.

Citrus Leaf Curling due to leaf Miner.  See the white lines as the larvae tunnel through leaf tissues.
Citrus Leaf Curling due to leaf Miner. 
See the white lines as the
larvae tunnel through leaf tissues.
This year there was prolonged periods of high temperatures and rain so the tree suffered a few diseases. It developed curling of leaves and their discoloration.

Curled leaves on citrus plants like limes, lemon and orange trees are a matter of concern as it may indicate significant problems.

What To Do For Curling Citrus Leaves?

If there is a problem of citrus leaf curling, then what should you do to control it and revive your citrus tree.

This article gives various reasons for citrus leaf curl and their treatment and control.

Citrus Leaf Curl Reasons and Treatment

What Causes Citrus Leaf Curl?
Citrus leaf curl may be caused by the following reasons.
Citrus Leaf Miners Damage
Citrus Leaf Miners Damage

1. Pests Attack 

Aphids, spider mites, citrus leaf miners, mealybugs and scale insects are common sap-sucking pests. These pests feed on citrus leaves and suck the sap from transport tissues. This can cause deformations of leaves causing curling, cupping, wilting and discoloration.

This will not kill the tree, but they will reduce the yield.

The adult citrus leaf miner, a tiny night flying moth (see the picture) do not suck on leaf juices, but their larvae tunnel through leaf tissues as they grow, forming serpentine mines in the tender new leaves of all varieties of citrus leaving a silver trail in their path.

Adult Citrus Miner
Adult Citrus Miner
The mining causes the new flush to twist and curl and prevents it from expanding fully.

The first sign of the pests problem is squiggly lines on the leaves and then distortion of leaves. If you see undulating white or yellow lines on the green leaf surfaces, then the problem is due to citrus leaf miners. A careful examination of the leaves can reveal tiny pests like aphids, mites, etc. on the underside of leaves.

How To Control Curling of Leaves on Citrus Tree?

Cut off any damaged, curled or rolled leaves that might be hiding the pupae. Do not add these to compost bin.

If you see these pests, spray your citrus tree with a solution of neem oil or horticultural oil (pest oil) or with insecticidal soap. Repeat every week until all the signs of insects are gone.
Do not spray the oil if it is too hot.

Some predatory insects like ladybugs, parasitic wasps and green lacewings help control pests naturally.

2. Water Stress

If the leaves are of usual green color and begin to curl inward, it may be the sign of  watering problem. Apply a 3 inch layer of organic mulch around your citrus plant and increase watering.

3. Fungal Diseases

Several fungal diseases like bacterial blast and botrytis disease cause the leaves of citrus tree to curl, distort, yellow, wilt and drop prematurely from the tree.

Bacterial Blast
If infected with bacterial blast, black lesions start on the petiole and moves to the axil and the infected leaves will curl, wither and drop.

Control of bacterial Blast
Protecting the citrus tree from high winds will help reduce the chance of bacterial blast. Apply copper sprays to trees infected with bacterial blast.

Botrytis Disease
If the citrus tree has damage or injuries, then it may be attacked by botrytis disease. The infected areas due to botrytis disease develop grayish, velvet like mold causing leaf discoloration and curling and fruit drop.

To avoid fungal disease, the citrus tree should be prevented from mechanical injury. Applying copper fungicide before rains can prevent the fungus from reaching the fruit.

If your citrus tree is healthy, it can better withstand attacks from pests and diseases.

So keep the ground under the tree clean from fallen leaves, blossoms, fruits and twigs. It will reduce the possibility of many citrus problems.

4. Potassium deficiencies

Id deficient in potassium, the citrus leaves show a yellow cast that are bent downward at the tip. Check the soil pH. 

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