See the ins and outs of using particle film on citrus from the UF/IFAS Tip of the Week article for Florida citrus growers.

Many Florida citrus growers are turning to using particle film on citrus to help mitigate the effects of citrus greening and improve the health of their citrus trees. The latest UF/IFAS Tip of the Week article shared the conclusions of research on particle film. See a breakdown of the specific information from the article below.

What is Particle Film?

According to the article, “Particle films are simply a suspension of microscopic solid inert particles that can be sprayed onto leaves. When the suspension dries, it leaves a film of particles on the surface of the leaf, which reflects light away from the outer leaves of the canopy. This causes the outer leaves, which are usually stressed by high light, to be partly shaded.”

Benefits of Using Particle Film on Citrus

The article shared these benefits:

  • To “take the edge off stress to citrus trees caused by weather and HLB.”
  • To help “trees to grow faster…”
  • To protect trees from experience “less water loss and keep leaves cooler, even when affected by HLB.”
  • To “repel Asian citrus psyllids.”

White Vs Red Particle Film

The article shared that “White particle films are best for increasing light penetration into the canopy, while red-dyed films are best for shading and for reducing psyllids.”

When and How to Use Particle Film

The article maintains that “…trees with particle film were able to better maintain leaf water and keep their stomata open longer for more growth and photosynthesis. This effect is strongest in the dry months of spring and the hot months of summer (March-October).” It is advised that “…it is recommended to use white films when temperatures are more moderate (spring and fall) and red films when high temperatures are straining the trees more (summer).”

The article added that, “Some shade is good, but too much can suppress growth, so researchers are working to identify the best rates. Currently, it is believed that 12 pounds per acre of white Surround kaolin particle film is best in March–May and October–November, while 17 pounds per acre of red particle film is ideal for June–September.

Using Raynox, a carnauba wax-based product, in 1:1 ratios with kaolin helps the particle film stay on the leaves through more than 20 inches of rain. Using Raynox means reapplication is only necessary after new growth covers the old growth.

Make red particle film by mixing in 2.5 fluid ounces of red-colored Colorback mulch colorant for each 1 pound of Surround kaolin particle film. Applications are not recommended in the cooler months of the year.”

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.