Managing Pests in Citrus Trees: Why I use and recommend Organic Orange TKO
For many years companies have been selling products containing d-limonene, derived from orange peels, as safe household cleaners. They have a strong citrus scent and are pleasant and effective for both indoor and outdoor use. Manufacturers weren’t making claims for any pesticidal use, however, because dealing with the regulators around making claims for pesticidal efficacy is highly cost prohibitive. The OMRI certified Organic product called Organic Orange TKO was chosen to test on our citrus trees.
It’s been great to secure a chemical free zone at the nursery where I work. We now grow premium Organic citrus trees for sale to people all over the US. Our success grew from combining fertility management, monitoring and timely low toxicity inputs to achieve the most beautiful and productive organically grown citrus nursery trees on the market. They command a premium price and a growing loyal following, primarily through mail order channels.
Using Organic Orange TKO regularly as a ‘plant wash’ during key times in the season, has proven invaluable to round out a successful IPM approach. Using Organic Orange TKO as a plant wash reduces fly-ins and discourages ants.
Testing showed not only no phytotoxicity, at even the highest rates, but also great efficacy against ants and all scale insects, while being relatively ‘soft’ on beneficials (predaceous insects and spiders). Timely sprays of a 2 oz per gallon solution every two weeks has proven effective to prevent fly-ins of egg laying Citrus leafminer moths. It helps deter ants, and if necessary can be used a a 4 oz per gallon rate to drench citrus roots when pots have been infested with ant nests. In most cases the nest is destroyed in with the first treatment.
Because of it’s safety and efficacy, I think more people who grow citrus trees, both potted and in the ground, should know about Organic Orange TKO. Being an excellent emulsifier, it has also found it’s place as a component in more complex herbal concoctions used by maverick gardeners such as The Invisible Gardener.