Fruit Maturing Before Reaching Full Size

Question From: 
fran in  cleve,  cleve SA


Nature of problem: 
early maturing fruit before reaching full size


Type of Plant (if known): 
orange tree


Symptoms of Plant Illness (please try NOT to diagnose your problems yourself): 
early maturing fruit


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


How often do you water the plant:
every few days, good soaking


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


What type of plant is it:
orange tree, unknown variety


How long since you planted it:
it was well mature when I moved into the rental property 12 months ago, so unknown.


Have you fertilised? If so, with what and when:
Fertilised with Richgro Fruit & Citrus as directions indicate


Is the plant indoors or outdoors: 


What other treatments have you given the plant: 
Epsom salts around the drip line, and hard water blasting for scale insects, no pesticides used

Upload photo if available: 

Other Comments: 
I have recently moved into a house with a mature orange tree in the yard. When I arrived it had reasonably sized fruit but were splitting and covered in black soot. I have cured it of black powdery mildew on the fruit and scale on the tree. This year’s fruit have formed, are about golf ball size and are ripening well before time. I have fertilised and well watered the tree which is in red clay soil. Please help.


Answer: Hi Fran,  Sounds like you have done everything right.  Your problem will possibly be SA disease. IE alkaline soil and/or a very dry, water-repelling soil. Dig some small holes with a garden trowel and see if the soil is very dry. If it is, use a wetting agent like Seasol Super Soil Wetter. If the pH is much over 7 you may need a soil acidifier (Hydrangea Bluing Tonic might do).  Don