Find out what the experts say are the best citrus leaves for nutrient sampling to guide your fertilizer decisions.

Using citrus leaf sampling is a good way to take a look at what nutrients your grove’s citrus trees have and which nutrients they need. In the era of citrus greening, also called HLB, giving trees adequate nutrients is key. It’s also important to not over-fertilize trees, both for the environment and for your citrus operation’s bottom line. A UF/IFAS Tip of the Week shared tips on choosing the best citrus leaves for nutrient sampling. See the details below.

How to Choose the Best Citrus Leaves for Nutrient Sampling

According to the UF/IFAS Tip of the Week, “Collecting the right leaves for sampling is the first step to making fertilizer decisions.” Tips on choosing the best citrus leaves for nutrient sampling include:

  • Leaf samples should be made up of 100 leaves.
  • The best leaves are 4- to 6-month-old spring flush leaves.
  • Choose leaves that are taken from nonfruiting branches. This is because “University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) recommendations are based on leaf nutrient concentrations from nonfruiting branches.”
  • Do not “collect leaf samples from both nonfruiting and fruiting branches. Mixing leaf samples can skew the leaf analysis and lead to inadequate fertilization.”
  • Currently, there are no recommendations for collecting leaves from HLB-affected trees versus healthy trees, as research has shown that patterns of macronutrients and micronutrients in fruiting branches and nonfruiting branches are the same.

Research is currently on-going to see if there is a need to change the recommendations for collecting leaf samples from HLB-infected trees.

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.