Don’s Expert Answers: My oranges this year were smaller than usual and had a black fungus or something on the skin. They were still delicious. What do I need to do to alleviate this for next season?

Question From:
Solara Zwaneveld in Tighes Hill, Newcastle New South Wales

Nature of problem:
My oranges this year were smaller than usual and had a black fungus or something on the skin. They were still delicious. What do I need to do to alleviate this for next season?

Type of Plant (if known):
Orange tree

Symptoms of Plant Illness (please try NOT to diagnose your problems yourself):
black fungus on skin

Soil Type (e.g. sandy, clay or loam) OR Potting Mix Type:
sandy?

How often do you water the plant:
Regularly by hose. Maybe monthly with sprinkler for an extended period

How many hours of sunlight does the plant get each day:
half a day

How long since you planted it:
I’m renting and don’t know how old it is. It is very well established

Have you fertilised? If so, with what and when:
citrus food spring and autumn and more often when oranges are becoming little bigger

Is the plant indoors or outdoors:
outdoors

Is the plant in a pot or in the ground:
ground

What other treatments have you given the plant:
none

Upload photo if available:

Other Comments:

Answer:
Hi Solara, Basically it needs more water. Get a sprinkler and put it on once a week for 45 minutes, especially when it is dry. I would also try some Scotts Everydrop which is a soil wetting agent. The black sooty mould does no harm. Don

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