Find advice for optimal soil pH and nutrient recommendations for citrus greening-affected citrus trees.

Florida citrus growers are looking for anything that can give them an edge over citrus greening, also called HLB. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center Director, Kelly Morgan, shared soil pH and nutrient recommendations with Florida citrus growers at a recent Citrus Nutrition Day, according to a Citrus Industry article. See the details of the recommendations below.

Soil pH and Nutrient Recommendations for HLB Citrus

According to Morgan, soil pH affects a citrus tree’s ability to absorb nutrients, especially those that are deficient in citrus greening-infected trees, sharing that it was “particularly micronutrients — manganese, zinc and others that we know are usually deficient in HLB trees. The solubility of those nutrients are dependent on the soil pH.”

The recommended optimal range for soil pH levels are 6.0 to 6.5. Florida’s soils tend to be high in pH due to high levels of bicarbonates in irrigation water. Sulfuric acid and phosphoric acid are commonly added to lower pH levels.

Researchers believe that focusing on the nutrients depleted by citrus greening could make a significant difference for citrus growers. “We are still looking at other factors about micronutrients and even some of the macronutrients, magnesium and calcium particularly. These are always going to be something that we need to look at in greening trees. We have some research going on now looking at different application methods, amounts and timing,” Morgan said.

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