The Q&A Archives: Orange tree leaves curling up & falling off

Question: My mother has an orange tree that has all the leaves curling up and falling off. It was putting out new leaves and blossoms just before it started to die. She waters it about 2 quarts once a week and it is by a west window that gives it light through sheer curtains. Help, it's dying fast!

Answer: I wonder if this tree is new to the household, or if it's been a member of the family for a while, was doing fine, and suddenly went into this decline?<br><br>If it's a sudden occurrence after a long spell of good health, look for spider mites, whiteflies, or scale on the plant. If you find some critters, submit another question to the Q&A page for a solution.<br><br>Overwatering can cause leaf curl/drop. In the dormant season, wait until the soil dries out about 1/4" deep before watering andkeep the tree in a cool (50-60F), brightly-lit place. If the pot is on a tray, do not allow water to collect so the roots are soaking all day. On the flip side, if the humidity is lower than 50%, citrus also suffers. Mist the tree daily or place the pot on a bed of stones in water. The evaporating water will increase the humidity, and the stones keep the pot elevated out of the water. Citrus need lots of bright light, though they do benefit from filtered light at mid-day. During the growing season, keep soil evenly moist, and take care not to overwater. I hope this helps!

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