The Q&A Archives: Mini Orange Tree - Losing Leaves

Question: About 3 years ago I aquired a mini orange tree. It was about 5 inches when I aquired it. I keep it in a sunny location (indoors) by a window with southern exposure. This year, in early November, leaves started falling off the tree (it is now about 2 1/2 feet tall), and now no leaves are left in January. The previous 2 years, the tree did not lose leaves, at least not many. Is this normal? Is my tree just dormant? Or.....did my tree die? Thanks you for your assistance.

Answer: It is not normal for the tree to defoliate, and based on your description it is possible it is dead. The three main causes for a citrus tree to lose its leaves would be overwatering (in winter especially), underwatering, and a pest/disease problem. Without seeing the plant while it still has some leaves, it is difficult to trouble shoot. If the tree needed repotting or had an untreated pest or disease problem, that might have killed it. I'm really sorry about your tree.

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