Citrus physiopathies: causes and treatments

Citrus fruits tend to have pathophysiologies

Citrus usually have physiopathies

Citrus fruits, that is, lemon trees, orange trees, mandarins, and all other species of the Citrus genus, tend to suffer from physiopathies. These have nothing to do with pests or diseases, if not mistakes that are made when growing them. For this reason, we often see that they have fruits with very thick skin or that they do not finish ripening, but we cannot identify the cause of the problem.

And it is that the origin, in these cases, simply is not seen with the naked eye. In fact, to correct it we can only do one thing: guide ourselves by the symptoms. Let us know what are the physiopathies in citrusand what are the measures we must take to regain their health.

Snorting the fruit

The puffing of the fruit is a physiopathy that consists in the separation of the pulp from the peel, or also from the segments themselves. This occurs when it is left on the tree longer than necessarybut it also occurs when high ambient humidity is combined with high temperatures.

Likewise, it is important to avoid the excessive application of nitrogen, as this favors the rapid development of the fruits, and therefore, the appearance of this disorder.


Compost is a natural product

Compost is a natural product

In order not to happen to you again, apart from collecting the fruits as soon as they ripen, what you can do is keep a good subscriber calendar. When a tree receives all the nutrients it needs, it is difficult for its fruits to not develop well.

Therefore, during spring and summer it is advisable to apply a specific fertilizer for citrus fruits, following the instructions for use.

Very thick skin (and little pulp)

Has it ever happened to you that when you went to pick the lemons or tangerines for example, have you found that they have a very thick skin or rind but with hardly any pulp? These may have reached their final size, and even the trees are fine in appearance, but… why is this happening?

Well, it is due to a nutritional imbalanceor to be more specific: a lack of phosphorus, or what would come to be the same: an excess of nitrogen. And it is that when there is too much nitrogen, the phosphorus that is available for the plants decreases.


What to do is fertilize the fruit tree with fertilizers rich in phosphorussuch as bone meal (for sale here!), which is natural, during spring and summer.


This is the typical problem that is not seen until you open the fruit. It occurs when they lose almost all the liquid, as well as their color. It is common in oranges, but also appears in tangerines and other trees, especially when grown in regions where temperatures are high all year round and the soil is very light.


Orange trees can have physiopathiesOrange trees can have physiopathies

Image – Wikimedia / Dénes Emőke

The best thing to do in these cases is to choose varieties that are resistant to our climate, and to the type of soil we have.


It is a physiopathy that occurs when the fruit excretes an oily substance, either due to having suffered an impact that has caused cracks or fissures in the skin, or due to a problem at the cellular level. In any case, this liquid causes the appearance of greenish-brown spots that end up being blackish.

Why does it appear? Well, the main reason is excessive humidityeither environmental and / or on the ground. Therefore, it is important to choose varieties that are suitable for our area, as well as to cultivate them correctly.


In order for this problem to appear in your trees, in addition to what we have already discussed, We recommend harvesting the fruits on the driest days.

Fruit cracking

The cracking of the fruits occurs while they are still on the tree, usually before they mature. At first, only the peel is affected, but the problem is that the pulp is exposed to fungal infections (transmitted by fungi), which gain access to it through the cracks in the skin.

It happens a lot when the plant receives a lot of water for a while, and then suffers from droughts. These changes make you run out of supplies to complete the ripening of the fruits. But you should know that there are other factors, such as potassium deficiency, soils that are too compact and / or nutritionally poor, or even the presence of pathogenic microorganisms.


Citrus can have many physiopathies

Citrus can have many physiopathies

Treatment has to »attack» different fronts:

  • It must be ensured that the plant receives water every time it needs it. Citrus fruits do not withstand drought, so it is very important that they are watered from time to time, avoiding making them go through dry periods.
  • During the entire flowering and fruiting season, it will be fertilized with potassium-rich fertilizers.. It is also highly recommended to pay them with a specific fertilizer for citrus (for sale here!). Of course, they must NEVER be combined: use one month one and the next a different month, and always following the instructions for use that you will find on the package.
  • It’s advisable do a nutritional analysis of the soilto check your fertility.

Has it been of interest to you? We hope that you have been able to find the origin of the problem with your citrus fruits.

Citrus physiopathies: causes and treatments

One thought on “Citrus physiopathies: causes and treatments

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top

Discover more from DIY Gardens

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading