The Q&A Archives: Caladomin orange branches getting brown

Question: Recently, my caladomin orange shed all of its leaves. After that, suddenly it covered with flowers. Now, the flowers are gone, but the branches are kind of dying slowly. They are getting brown at almost all the branch tips. I've tried to cut the dead branches off. What happened? How can I keep my orange alive? I have had it for five years. It has had flowers all year round, one crop after the other. I have it indoors, and bring it out in the summer. Please help.

Answer: If you've had the orange tree for 5 years, you certainly know how to take care of it. It is unusual for a tree to suddenly shed its leaves and the burst into bloom, unless it is just about to die. For some reason, dying trees sometimes produce a huge quantity of flowers and fruit just as a last ditch effort to produce new life in the form of seeds. It's odd, but I've seen it happen. Dying branches usually indicate a problem with the roots. Too much or too little water; too much fertilizer, or even exposure to cold temperatures can all cause the tips of the branches to die back. If it were my tree, I'd unpot it and inspect the roots. Healthy roots are creamy white inside; dead or dying roots will be brown or rusty colored. If the roots look healthy, repot your tree in fresh potting soil. If the roots are dying, cut away the dead portions and then repot in fresh potting soil. This effort may save your tree. I hope so!

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