citrus leaves curling
Mon, Mar 28, 2022

Citrus Leaves Curling: Causes of This Phenomenon and Methods of Treatment

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Citrus Leaves Curling: Causes of This Phenomenon and Methods of Treatment Article Preview

Citrus trees are resilient plants that may thrive in a variety of environments. Because of their resilience, citrus trees such as orange, lemon, kumquat, and grapefruit are relatively easy to cultivate. Curled leaves on citrus trees are most often an indication of disease, pests, or other plant issues. Today, we will analyze what causes citrus leaves to curl and how to cure your favorite trees.

citrus leaves curling

What Is Citrus Tree Leaf Curl

Leaf curling on citrus trees is a problem that many gardeners are all too familiar with. When the leaves of your lemon tree turn yellow and curling, it’s a sign that your fruit trees are being attacked. Your plant’s leaves will seem deformed or bent, and they can be brittle to the touch.

Curled leaves aren’t simply unsightly to look at; they’re also unsanitary. They might hold back the growth of your plant. The leaves curl up, making it difficult for them to absorb the sunlight required for photosynthesis and fruit production. Consider citrus leaf curl to be a robbery on your citrus plants. Let’s see what causes leaf curl on citrus trees.

Why Are My Citrus Leaves Curling

leaf curling on citrus trees

Nutrient Deficiency

Potassium and iron shortage in citrus plants, such as oranges, can result in symptoms including curling and yellowing leaves. This issue is usually caused by an excessively high pH in the soil.

In most citrus trees, fixing the soil pH with the optimum fertilizer and supplementing with an iron will halt and treat the curling leaves. A low-phosphorus, high-nitrogen fertilizer for citrus plants will assist to rectify the pH and nutrient deficit issues.

To prevent citrus leaves curling downward on your orange, kumquat, lemon, and Meyer trees, we recommend using a foliar nitrogen-rich fertilizer for citrus plants.


While not all fungi are hazardous to citrus trees, some, such as botrytis disease and bacterial blast, can cause damage to the leaves. Lime tree diseases such as citrus canker, leaf blotch, and others create distortions in the leaves, which can also lead to lime tree leaves curling. Similarly, diseased lemon trees will have splotchy, dry, or curled leaves as a symptom of poor development.


Citrus tree leaves curling can also be caused by pests that drain the sap from the plant.  Psyllids, mites, scales, and the aphids on lemon trees are examples of these pests. These bugs can lead to leaf deformations over time.

Citrus leafminers are citrus-loving bugs as well, although they don’t feed on sap like the others. Instead, after hatching from their eggs, citrus leafminer larvae dig into leaf tissues and form white tracks on the leaf surface. If the number of citrus leafminers is modest, they aren’t a serious threat to your plant. Too many tunnels on leaves, on the other hand, might cause leaf curl and distortion.

Environmental Issues

The vital activity of any plant is impossible without enough water. For example, when your pothos leaves curling, one of the first things you look at is the watering schedule.

Not surprisingly, water stress is arguably the most evident reason for citrus tree leaf problems. Water shortages will ultimately harm flowers and fruit, causing them to drop prematurely. You’re not watering your tree enough if the leaves curl inward while maintaining their green color and the soil surrounding your tree seems to be dry to the touch. In the case of the orange tree, the quantity of water required is determined by the tree’s kind, season, weather, and size. In July, when it is dry, an orange tree with a 15-foot canopy requires 29 gallons of water every day! The orange tree can also be harmed by overwatering. Make sure the tree is planted in a well-drained place. Remember that citrus plants dislike damp feet.

Now that we have identified the main possible problems, let’s find out how to stop leaf curl in citrus trees.

Citrus Leaf Curl Treatment

citrus tree diseases leaf curl

The leaf curl can be treated in a variety of ways, depending on the reason. Consultation with local gardeners is your best choice if you’re unclear about the source of your plant’s ailment. In the meanwhile, there are some effective DIY remedies you may perform at home to control your plant’s health. Here’s how to fix leaf curl on citrus trees:

Use a Potassium Fertilizer

Fix the soil pH to 6.0-7.0 and feed the trees with adequate fertilizer – ideally one with more potassium. It will help to cure leaf curl with a yellow discoloration in orange and lemon trees.

Plants that appreciate coffee grinds include citrus trees. By applying coffee grounds to the soil, you can adjust the pH and feed the plants. Moreover, it is a natural approach to amend the soil and restore curled leaves in citrus trees.

Kelp meal, which is manufactured from kelp and seaweed, is another organic alternative to synthetic potassium fertilizer. It’s quick-release plant food, so sprinkle it on the soil to boost potassium availability, especially if there’s a shortfall.

Follow a Watering Schedule

Watering mature citrus trees deeply once every 10-12 days is a fantastic approach to correct citrus leaves curling problems. To avoid overwatering the plant, allow the soil to dry out between watering. In the summer, give potted citrus plants up to 5 gallons of water every week. Allow the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry out before watering your potted fruit trees. When temperatures are quite high, especially in the summer, mulch around your trees to prevent excessive water loss from the soil, in addition to keeping a healthy watering schedule. This will keep your plants’ leaves healthy and prevent them from curling and fading.

Treat the Citrus Tree Diseases

Examine your citrus tree’s leaves to see whether they’re curled due to plant diseases. Spots or tiny patches will frequently accompany leaf browning and loss of form caused by fungal diseases.

If the fungus is serious and causing substantial harm, use a copper spray to treat it. Trim and prune the infected branches to prevent the fungus from spreading to other sections of the citrus tree.

Get Rid of Pests

The curled leaves can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil. If the infestation is serious, your plant may require a weekly treatment to recover.

Remember to spray pesticide liberally on the leaves when using it. This ensures that the insects are completely oil-coated. Check for microscopic bugs eating in bunches on the undersides of the leaves as well. When all the pests have been removed, your plant may begin to recover.

Keep Track of the Right Temperature

Seasonal fluctuations can stress your citrus plants. They flourish in the summer, although they can become dehydrated if the weather is too hot. In addition, if it is too cold in the winter, the leaves might become brittle and frost-damaged. As a result, depending on the environment, you might try to balance the temperature by giving shade or removing it when you notice leaves curling.

Whether you have peach, orange, lemon, or mandarin trees, the same procedures should work to get rid of citrus leaf curl.

Leaf Curl Prevention through Trimming and Pruning

citrus leaf curl over watering

Pruning your citrus trees regularly helps to aerate and encourage their development. Dead branches are removed to let air and sunlight into the shady regions of your citrus trees, as well as to prevent fungus from forming on them.

Skirting is another way to prune and trim. This is done to allow air to flow at the bottom of the trunk and branches of citrus plants.

Citrus trees look very attractive in gardens, but they may be subject to pests, illness, and dehydration. It’s advisable to obtain expert gardening assistance as soon as citrus leaves begin to curl. Your local gardening experts will figure out what’s causing the leaf curl on your fruit trees and suggest the best course of action. Your favorite citrus trees will grow healthily and provide you with lots of fruit for years to come if you give them adequate care and upkeep.

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