The Q&A Archives: Overwintering Orange Tree

Question: I put the orange tree in a container, so it can be brought in the house for the winnter. Since I brought it in, it seems to be losing some leaves. I need to know about the care for inside, sould I go buy a sun light and about fertilizer and watering or any other suggestions. thank you Rick Pickinpaugh.

Answer: I think your orange tree is just trying to adjust to the lower light levels indoors and the changes in temperature and humidity. Once it adjusts, it should produce healthy new leaves. The culture of citrus plants is not particularly difficult if the following requirements can be met.

Temperature: Citrus plants grow best indoors with 65? days dropping five to ten degrees at night.

Light: Some direct sun is desirable for at least part of the day. During the summer, citrus plants may be placed outside to take advantage of better growing conditions and extra light. Let the plants acclimate to sunny conditions by placing them in the shade of a tree or north side of the house for the first several days. Make sure they have plenty direct light eventually. Re-acclimate them to lower light at the end of the summer by keeping them in a shady place for a week or so before bringing them back indoors.

Soil: A soil containing a fair amount of organic matter (leafmold, peatmoss or compost) is desirable. Since citrus plants prefer acid conditions, use peat in the potting mix to help keep the pH down. Use about one-third sterile potting soil, one-third perlite or vermiculite, and one-third peat or other organic matter in the potting mix.

Fertilizer: Use a fertilizer formulated specially for acid-loving plants, mixed so it's half the recommended strength. Fertilize the plant only when it is actively growing, usually April through August or September.

Pests: Scale, whitefly, and spider mites are some of the more common pests of citrus. Many insects can be prevented from gaining much ground by making sure the foliage is kept clean by periodically washing the leaves. Pay special attention to the undersides as well as the tops of leaves. To treat insects chemically, check garden centers for products currently approved for use on houseplants.

Hope these growing tips are helpful!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Lestv and is called "Butterfly on Spider Lily"