The Q&A Archives: Dropping Fruit On Potted Orange Tree

Question: I have a potted orange tree (Valencia) that blooms profusely and sets fruit readily. However, the fruit falls off once it reaches about 1/4 to 1/2" size. Why? The plant summers outside and is in a sunroom with good light etc. during fall and winter months.

Answer: Citrus fruit drop when the fruits are still small is a natural thinning process. The tree can't supply nutrients and support all the fruit that it can set, so it drops some of it. Citrus trees in an orchard will do the same thing. Be sure to keep your tree regularly watered and fertilized with a nitrogen source. Citrus is a heavy "feeder."

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