The Q&A Archives: Citrus Trees Dropping Leaves

Question: We purchased 1 each of the Navel and Lemon Pario Trees 2 weeks ago from a nursery in Tulsa, OK. Since we have had them home they are losing their leaves and flowers and we need to know is this normal or what do we need to do to better care for the trees to stop this shedding before they die. They are in the house by a large window on the south of the house. We repotted them in a slightly larger pot and watered them the same day we purchased them.

Answer: When any plant is brought indoors it can be a shock to the system since conditions in our homes are generally not as "perfect" as at the grower's. Dropping leaves is a typical reaction to this, and citrus are often prone to leaf drop, even when grown outdoors, when temperature conditions change. Transplanting is another shock to their root system.

Keep your citrus well-watered (but don't let the roots sit in wet soil), as they are highly moisture-dependent. They also need as much sunlight as possible. I wouldn't recommend fertilizing until the plant's start to put out new growth. Use a citrus fertilizer and follow package instructions. Citrus are heavy feeders so they will quickly use up nutrients in the soil.

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