I know that (generally speaking) yellowish to lime-green leaves combined with slow/weak growth in a plant are an indication of inadequate nitrogen, and one must fertilize accordingly.

However, does the same apply for a plant that is showing considerable growth but with pale-colored leaves?

Consider this calamansi (citrofortunella microcarpa):

enter image description here

The previous growth (before I bought it) consists of small, dense, dark-green leaves. The growth since then takes the form of much larger and paler foliage.

I do fertilize (though not too much), and the leaves are from the same stem so it's not graft vs host.

Am I doing anything wrong or is everything normal?

  • 1
    I can't see anything with that magenta colored lighting.
    – Escoce
    Apr 6, 2016 at 20:54
  • Correct me if I am wrong, but I'm guessing that it was kept in a greenhouse or outdoors before you purchased it and that now you are keeping it indoors under a grow light (hence the magenta tinting of your photo).
    – user13580
    Apr 6, 2016 at 21:45
  • @JimYoung that is correct. It's too cold here in Illinois for it to be out of doors just yet. Apr 6, 2016 at 21:50
  • we need a picture in good light of a close up of the new growth. The usual suspect is not nitrogen deficiency but iron/manganese deficiency brought on by alkaline water changing the soil pH
    – kevinskio
    Apr 6, 2016 at 21:51

1 Answer 1


They look like a normal growth of fresh green new leaves to me. They are often a paler green for a time until they mature over the seasons growth. It looks very healthy to me There may be deficiencies but it's not clear to me from this picture.

  • Why are they so much bigger than the existing growth, though? Apr 6, 2016 at 22:17
  • Possibly/maybe because the older leaves are from the original tip cutting whose leaves would have been smaller. With the newer leaves having the benefit of a root system and fresh soil from which to draw nutrients. It may well just be getting into its stride and growing well. From the picture it looks as though you are doing everything right.
    – user13638
    Apr 6, 2016 at 22:21
  • @MahmoudAl-Qudsi it does indeed look healthy
    – Escoce
    Apr 7, 2016 at 2:41
  • No worries 🙂glad to be able to help
    – user13638
    Apr 8, 2016 at 6:54

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