The Q&A Archives: Care for Washington Navel Orage Tree over winter months

Question: I received a Washington Patio Tree ... Zone 5 .... this year. We just ate the last orange off the tree ... so sweet and juicy. We know the tree had to come in for the winter ... it is in a sun room. But the leaves are now falling off .. will the tree lose all its leaves? I'm not sure how to care for it. I don't want to lose the tree. Please advise. It is still in the original container. Doris

Answer: Since you live in Michigan, I expect that your orange tree is indoors. If you recently brought it indoors, the leaf drop is most likely due to the stress of adjustment to its new home; it can be stressful for a citrus tree to make the adjustment from being outdoors in full sunshine to being indoors in less intense light. Indoor air is often drier than outdoor air, and nighttime temperatures can be warmer than your tree experienced outdoors. I think your tree will adjust - give it bright, indirect sunshine; enough water to keep the soil moist but not soggy wet; keep it out of drafts; and mist it daily to compensate for dry indoor air. It should replace the lost foliage in a few weeks. Best wishes with your orange tree!

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