This grafted 'imperial' mandarin tree was planted in this pot over a year ago and is not healthy.

Other plants at the store actually had fruit on them when I purchased this but it has never fruited.

It's in a full sun position in Queensland, Australia so I do wonder if it's too much sun.

I water it once a week or so, there's a hole about 10mm in diameter at the bottom of the pot for drainage.

The soil is a mix of potting mix and compost but it's just from a hardware store so honestly could be very low quality.

As you can see, the leaves are yellow, brittle, and have little dark dots on them.

Any ideas? I'm pretty clueless as to what this plant needs to thrive.

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  • Are you using fertilizer? Is it possible that the pot dries out between watering? Are you seeing new growth?
    – Stephie
    Commented Oct 21, 2020 at 7:33
  • I've only added a handful of osmocote pellets a few times. It possibly dries out between watering. I'll make an effort to check the soil next time. I'm seeing new stems but they're mostly leafless. I'd imagine it should be significantly larger and fuller after all this time. Commented Oct 21, 2020 at 8:56
  • That's quite the mismatch between the rootstock size and the graft too. Not likely to relate to the problem but interesting
    – kevinskio
    Commented Oct 21, 2020 at 16:24
  • that has only got been exacerbated with time too Commented Oct 21, 2020 at 21:02
  • See if you can get a pH test done on the soil in the pot - it should be on the acid side of neutral, a bit less than 7.0 Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 11:43

1 Answer 1


The yellow leaf colour, chlorosis, indicates a root issue from either nutrient deficiency or a watering problem. Citrus likes a freely draining mix on the acidic side. The nutrients are unlikely to be depleted after a year so it means it can't access the nutrients due to a pH issue, or the roots are damaged.

I'd suggest repot with a citrus potting mix, examine the roots at the same time, and enlarge the drainage hole.

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