Explore the latest information concerning citrus root health and fertilizers where citrus greening is concerned.

Citrus greening affects all parts of a citrus tree, but it really does a number on a citrus tree’s root systems. Evan Johnson, a plant pathologist with UF/IFAS, maintained that he and former colleague, UF/IFAS researcher Jim Graham, found “that HLB causes severe damage to the root system,” about 10 years ago, according to a Citrus Industry article. The use of fertilizers to promote citrus root health has changed significantly since then. See the details from Johnson below.

Citrus Root Health and Fertilizers

The root damage caused by citrus greening makes it harder for citrus trees to uptake both water and nutrients, and the damage is irreversible. This has changed how citrus growers fertilize their groves, Johnson said, explaining that they went from three fertilizer applications a year to what Johnson calls “spoon feeding.” Citrus growers now generally utilize fertigation to deliver lower amounts of fertilizer right to the root zone.

This is similar to the more frequent, but smaller, irrigation doses that are also common. Johnson said it “actually does improve the health of the tree.” He also shared that in some groves, root mass is increasing. Johnson said, “We’re not sure of the exact cause. We’re hoping to, in the next few years, figure out what factor it is,” so that it can be replicated and used as another way to combat the effects of citrus greening.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.