You can’t imagine my excitement when after feeding my citrus plants they had both (Eureka lemon and Tahitian lime) begun to flower. Yet, in almost the very same breath I noticed that the leaves around these blossoms were littered with squiggly lines – a trademark of the citrus leaf miner. If you have citrus leaf curling problems on any of your lemons, oranges, mandarins etc then you can be certain that the leaf miner is at work.
What is a Citrus Leaf Miner
The citrus leaf miner is the larvae of any type of insect. It could be from a moth, fly or even some flying beetles. Once the larvae have been spawned they begin burrowing through the inside of the leaf leaving their squiggly marks behind. At face value this seems quite harmless until they start to exhibit leaf curling.
This is where, as the larvae develop, they use the leaf as a coccoon protecting themselves in the pupae stage. Once the leaf has been curled it stops those citrus tree leaves from photosynthesizing disturbing the health of the plant and reducing the fruit yields.
Alas citrus leaf miners can’t be stopped from entering your trees but they can be halted in their tracks.
How Can You Cure Citrus Leaf Curling
While there are many inorganic pesticides on the market that will do the job for you solving citrus leaf curling is not as challenging as it may first seem. There are two strategies that should do the trick for you.
- Remove any diseased leaves and burn them. This hopefully ends the lifecycle because the pupae don’t get to maturity and continue breeding. It also allows healthier leaves and branches to take their place.
- Spray the leaf miners with your own organic mix. Fill a 9l watering can with water and add 200ml of cooking oil and a dash of liquid detergent. Then pour this over the affected leaves. This won’t repair the leaves but it will kill the leaf miners and stop the lifecycle as well.