The Q&A Archives: Wilting Orange Tree

Question: I purchased a small orange tree (about 10 inches) to be grown inside at home. Now the leaves are are curled up lenght wise, around the stem. I am not sure if I am doing something wrong, there are still new leaves growing. I wonder if I had over/ under watered? Any ideas?

Answer: It sounds as though your citrus tree is struggling, perhaps from low humidity or lack of water.

Citrus are subtropical plants, and grow more or less all the time in subtropical regions. Most grow in flushes followed by periods of several weeks in which the plants rest. Most indoor environments are warm enough to keep citrus growing nearly all the time. In fact, it is not unusual for citrus trees to bear three or four crops a year.

Grow citrus in a soil mixture of equal parts loam, peat moss, and sand. When watering the plant, soak it thoroughly and then allow the top inch of soil to become somewhat dry before watering again.

Citrus trees are heavy feeders and should be fertilized once a month with a chelated mix of manganese, iron and zinc (most multipurpose fertilizers contain these minerals). Citrus trees also love humidity. You can add moisture to the air with a humidifier, by misting the plants frequently, or by placing them in a tray filled with pebbles with water added to the top of the pebbles.

Best wishes with your orange tree!

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