Citricus

Citricus

Citricus are medium-high sized trees, formed by a trunk and main branches with different divisions, displaying leaves, flowers and fruits. Furthermore, the leaves differ in size and are perennials that are renewed over time, with predominantly white flowers which are notable for their pleasant aroma. Lastly, the fruit will differ in colour and size depending on the species and variety of the crop.

Citrus trees undergo a stage known as sproutingflowering followed by settingfruiting and fruit maturation, with the dates of each stage depending on the variety and climate of the area.

Each stage has different nutritional requirements:

Macronutrients in citricus

Nitrogen:

These influence vegetative growth, flowering and production, being absorbed throughout the year. Thisnutrient is of great importance for the development of shoots.

A lack of nitrogen produces leaves affected by chlorosis, with production, fruit size, peel thickness and juice all being affected.

Phosphorus:

The amount of phosphorus absorbed by citrus trees is relatively small, but it is of vital importance as it is involved in the process of energy transformation in photosynthesis. Citrus trees also require it for effective rooting and to help flowering.

A lack of phosphorus results in purple leaves, decreases flowering and fruit setting, and also increases falling of the fruits, which will tend to have hollow cores.

Potassium:

This is of great importance in the fruit’s post-flowering, development and ripening stages. In the latter, it is vitally important to producing sweeter, juicy fruits, with uniformity of size and colour. It also helps citrus trees to better withstand the influence of adverse climatic conditions.

A lack of potassium may be evidenced as smaller leaves, defoliation, smaller fruits, thinner shells and premature fruit falling. The crop will also be more susceptible to drought.

Calcium:

A structural element of walls and cell membranes, this nutrient is of great importance for the quality of the fruit ultimately produced by citrus trees, improving sugars, juices and production yields, and reducing falls. Its application is important in fruit setting and fruit development.

A deficiency in calcium produces problems in old leaves as well as defoliation, and the fruits will remain small and deformed, diminishing the harvest yield and resulting in greater acidity and less juice. It also affects tree growth and root development.

Magnesium:

This is an important component of chlorophyll, with its application being very important at the sprouting, setting and fruiting stages.

A magnesium deficiency produces yellowing between the leaf veins, and the basal section will remain green and assume a V-shape. The symptoms occur in old leaves. After elimination of Mg after satisfying fruit requirements, the symptoms can be observed on leaves close to fruit. This deficiency produces fruits with reduced sugar and vitamin C.

Sulphur:

This is an important element in the process of protein formation and in the synthesis of amino acids. Its application is important in the sprouting and setting stage.

A sulphur deficiency produces similar effects to a nitrogen deficiency, with the difference being that the former causes chlorosis in young leaves. A sulphur deficiency is usually linked to excess nitrogen.

Micronutrient in citricus

Iron:

This forms a part of essential pigments in respiratory processes. It is also involved in photosynthesis. Iron increases the sugars in the fruit, and so it has an effect on the final quality of the fruit.

An iron deficiency can be attributed to excess calcium. It manifests as chlorosis in the leaves, which, as with the fruits, become smaller and smaller. Sprouting is also reduced.

Boron:

This element is of great importance in cell division and pollination, increasing the yield and quality of the fruit, as well as in the translocation of sugars. It is important in the setting stage.

A boron deficiency stops meristematic growth and in many cases the apical bud dies, the leaves show ripples and the fruits display deformations and increased shell thickness.

Zinc:

This is a widespread deficiency in citrus; this micronutrient is important to develop the formation of chlorophyll and promote the growth of leaves and shoots on the tree. The application of zinc is of vital importance at the sprouting stage.

Zinc deficiency produces yellowing between the leaf veins, and shoots are similarly affected. The number of flowers is reduced and the fruit is of lower quality.

Manganese:

This is an essential element in chlorophyll formation, nitrate reduction and respiration. It ensures the development and quality of the crop.

A manganese deficiency causes chlorosis in the tissue between the leaf veins, which remain dark green. In addition, this deficiency causes the leaves to fall prematurely.

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