Golden Nugget Mandarin, leaves upside down

I’m in need of help… I have a healthy, well watered Golden Nugget, it’s in its second year of producing fruit (and has a good crop coming). I checked with a water meter, and it reads “moist/wet”, and the leaves seem to be a healthy green. But seemingly half the leaves are upside down exposing the bottom. And some leaves are browning… I have never spotted any insect infestations, but perhaps so? Can anyone offer any thoughts what this could be?

You have a mixture of damage, some physical, some due to moisture levels, and some due to pests - including leaf miners and thrips.

If your soil moisture meter is the 10" long by 1/8" probe variety you can toss it. The least expensive viable soil moisture meters I’ve come across are made by ReoTemp.

From your picture, it is hard to estimate the depth of the roots - perhaps they are 15" down on top of clay or further down in a more desirable soil. The shorter ReoTemp will only reach 14", so purchasing the longer version might be warranted.

Richard, thanks for your advice… question, how do I properly calibrate the ReoTemp meter? That is, how do I know how much water is the proper “5” setting when I’m calibrating it? Also, what size do you recommend? 24"?

Stick it into soil with a known moisture level. For example, a pot with compacted soil that you thoroughly water, then allow to drain, then sit in your garage or indoors (low humidity environment) without drainage restriction for 3-4 days.

I think the 24" is more useful in case you need the length at a later date.

Also, get a 2’ piece of rebar + a mallet if needed, then make a test hole to insure you can insert the probe without damaging it.

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Hey Richard,
What are your recommendations for treatment? I’d love to get your thoughts on treatment options and timing. It seems thrip treatment says to avoid broad treatment, whereas leafminer seems to have particular treatment suggestions.

If you want to be “organic”, then spray every 10 days with Spinosad – 36 times a year. No kidding. And it will only provide partial suppression.