Fruit and Vegetables

Mandarin leaves


Question: Mandarin leaves


Good morning, despite having protected my plant, in pot, of robust mandarin with cellophane, the frost of the past weeks has made the leaves dry. Breaking branches, I saw that they are not completely dry. This plant was born from a seed planted by my father 20 years ago and was quite high. Do you think there is still a remedy to try to make it live? It is a fond memory of my father who died years ago.
Thanks and best regards
Gaetano La Greca

Answer: mandarin leaves


Dear Carmelo,
although citrus fruits are plants that cannot stand frost, they are also robust plants, which recover even after high stress; I advise her to prune the plant, shortening all the branches, so as to completely remove all the dry leaves and the apices of the ruined branches, to stimulate the plant to produce new shoots.
In fact, the winter just passed had a decidedly stark climate, if this event were to repeat itself, I invite you next year to cover the plant with non-woven fabric and not with transparent plastic film.
The woven fabric - also called non-woven fabric - is having great success in gardening because, in addition to validly covering the crops, it allows the plant to transpire, and to the weather water to reach the ground; in fact it often happens that the plants covered with the plastic film suffer, not because of the cold, but because of the lack of watering, given that the water does not penetrate below the layer of plastic that covers the plant.
In addition to this, we must never forget that plants are living beings, and as such they breathe, through the foliage, and the plastic does not allow this important physiological function.
It often happens that the parts of the plant that remain in contact with the plastic rot or are ruined by condensation, which is usually formed on the inside of these small improvised greenhouses.
For all these reasons, I recommend the non-woven fabric, which is above all an easily available material, both in the nursery and in any hobby shop; there are various sizes and also different weights, or different thicknesses: the thicker it is, the more it protects the plants; therefore very thick sheets are suitable for protecting plants in areas where winters are very cold.
For greater practicality, commercially there are also hoods in non-woven fabric, equipped with belts or tapes to fix them at the base of the plant to be protected, in this way it becomes really easy to cover our slightly delicate plants; with the caps it is also possible to quickly cover the plants even only for that very cold and frost-free week, to then discover them as soon as the climate becomes acceptable.
In any case, I assure you that after a light pruning, and perhaps a little fertilizer, its plant will begin to vegetate again, since the twigs inside them are not yet completely dry.
Since the plant is in pot, I also advise you to repot it, using fresh, rich and very well drained soil.