The Q&A Archives: Moro Orange Tree Problems

Question: My husband and I bought a Moro blood orange tree from the local greenhouse a couple weeks ago. We have it in the house and it does not seem to be thriving. When we brought it home there were 45 little oranges on it is down to 6. It is constantly losing/dropping leaves and is starting to look quite thin. I don't know what we are doing wrong. It is getting ample light (right in front of window with blinds half up), we check the soil every other day and water if it feels dry, we have been spritzing it with water every time we water it as well. Why is our tree dieing off like it is? Would it prefer outdoors?

Answer: This is partly due to shock from moving to new growing conditions and partly because this is what citrus trees do! They set far more fruit than they can carry to maturity, so they drop the excess. Leaf drop is also common. As long as you care for it properly, it should start pushing out new leaf growth. They do need 6-8 hours of full sun or as bright light as you can offer. When you water, make sure water soaks deeply through the entire root system, not just the top inches of soil. Allow the top inches of soil to dry out before watering again. Citrus do not need spritzing. They thrive in both Florida (very humid) and Arizona (very dry). I live in Arizona where there are orchards of citrus, and no spritzing takes place! Finally, after it recovers from shock, start it on a fertilizer program. Citrus are heavy feeders. Use a product formulated especially for citrus and follow package instructions. Don't overfertilize, which can burn roots. And caues leaf drop! Good luck with your blood orange.

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