The Q&A Archives: Potted Blood Orange Tree

Question: My son sent me a Blood Orange Tree through 800-Flowers that was literally steaming when it arrived. Half the leaves fell off within a few days, and they sent me a replacement, but the original plant is not dead yet and I would like to save it. I did re-pot it into a larger pot, but a few more leaves seem to fall off every day. The second tree is doing well + seems to tolerate the Mesa sun on my patio just fine; but if I try to put the first tree out for even an hour, it goes downhill again!

I'm new to AZ, and when I lived in PA, I had a small Orange tree I kept in my kitchen that was supposed to be an oramental, I think, that grew so well that I had to re-pot it numerous times. It bloomed + bore fruit constantly, and I used to make my own marmalade and sangria from the small oranges!

Also, I would like to know what plants will attract hummingbirds that I can put on my patio (I already have a few like: lantana, angelonia, hesperaloe, and some trellised vine with tiny deep blue trumpet flowers... )

Thanks for your help!!!

Answer: Wow! I hope your new trees live up to the reputation of the tree you had in PA! The trees that you got were from a florist so I expect that they were grown in a greenhouse and shipped directly from there. Sunshine in a greenhouse isn't the same as Arizona sunshine. And, greenhouses are usually humid - not so in Arizona (except during a monsoon). Your trees, especially the finicky one, will need to be gradually acclimated to the sun. It won't hurt them to sit in bright light on your patio. If the one tree tolerates direct sun, you can leave it in the sun. But the one that balks when it gets direct sun can be left in a bright but not sunny spot. This winter, when the sun's rays are not so intense, you can set it in direct sun. Any new leaves it develops should be able to tolerate next summer's sunshine.

Some of the best plants for attracting hummingbirds are Chuparosa; Arizona Yellow Bell; Baja Fairy Duster; Desert Milkweed; Red Yucca; Turpentine Bush; Desert Willow;
Cascalote; Aloes. Anything with a trumpet shaped flower will also attract them.

Best wishes with your garden!

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