Leaves on Indoor Orange Tree Dropping - Knowledgebase Question

cambridge, Ve
Avatar for suzanned6
Question by suzanned6
February 1, 1998
The leaves on my orange tree are curling up and falling off. The tree was putting out new leaves and blossoms just before it started to die. I give it about 2 quarts of water once a week, and it is by a west window that gives it light through sheer curtains. What do you think is wrong?

Answer from NGA
February 1, 1998
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?

If it's a sudden occurrence after a long spell of good health, look for spider mites, whiteflies, or scale on the plant. Examine the new growth, looking for very fine webbing or masses of tiny insects feeding. Scale insects will look like small oval bumps about 1/8" long.

Overwatering can also cause leaf curl/drop. In the dormant season, wait until the soil dries out about 1/4" deep before watering and keep the tree in a cool (50-60F), brightly-lit place. Do not allow the plant to sit saturated in a saucer full of water. 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 benefitfrom 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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