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To remove or not to remove

I have an indoor calamondin orange tree, acquired in March 2021. March-June absolutely fantastic then June-August dramatically died- potentially due to overwatering. Mid August it was resurrected via neglect and was quickly resuscitated using Baby Bio houseplant food within 4 weeks to the pictures now linked.
Now that the past medical history is covered, I've identified that the bark is missing towards the top of the tree where it originally had life. My first thoughts were: Infection? Rot? Google wasn't giving a straight answer. My question is, is it worthwhile removing this top part of the plant with no new growth? The growth further down the trunk has been excellent and there are new buds coming from the trunk even towards the higher end so there may be a chance that this top area is still alive and could potentially be worth saving. To add onto this some areas of the top (Bark picture-lowest branch and close to trunk) are green and to me green equals life so this is another factor. Please note that I am not an experienced gardener/plant career so this situation is incredibly new to me if the answer seems obvious to you.

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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,272
    I think I would wait another month or two to see if any more dormant buds break on that main stem and then cut off the dead stuff above the highest bud.

    Rather than watering from the top I advise the dunking method as it's hard to over water and ensures that the whole of the compost and roots get wet so are not under-watered.  Place the entire pot and compost in a bucket of water, submerging it slowly.  Wait for all air bubbles to stop rising from the compost then remove the pot and let it drain.  Put it back in its decorative pot.

    Check for needing watering again by poking your index ginger in up to the first knuckle.  If the compost feels dry, dunk again.  Frequency of need will depend on the time of year, growth rate and its proximity to a heat source such as radiators or direct sun in winter.

    From late spring to mid autumn you need to be giving it a high nitrogen (N) feed for foliage and the rest of the year a special citrus feed containing high levels of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) along with essential minerals such as magnesium to encourage flowers, fruit and general health.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 6,560
    Where do you live? There aren't "indoor" plant,they are shrubs or trees. They do need over winter protection. I only ever water ours with rain water,have the specific summer and winter feed. In summer,they sit outside. They don't like central heating,too dry.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 4,435
    edited 14 September
    Is it a grafted plant? If it is, the new growth could be coming from the rootstock, which means it would be a different variety from the top part. It looks to me as if the top part could have been grafted on to the top of the straight trunk.
  • Jac19Jac19 Worthing, South Coast of EnglandPosts: 280
    That brown part of the plant is kind of cool, like a sculpture of sorts.  I would leave it.  The other parts will grow around it.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,272
    Hadn't occurred to me that it might be a graft in which case what you have growing is an ordinary citrus stock plant.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 4,435
    edited 14 September
    Obelixx said:
    Hadn't occurred to me that it might be a graft in which case what you have growing is an ordinary citrus stock plant.
    I don't actually know whether citrus are grafted - I can't grow them, nowhere suitable to overwinter them, so I've never really looked into how to they're grown - but I thought with the thick straight trunk and then a thinner bushy part above, it looks as if it might be top-grafted.
    If it is a rootstock growing, it might still make a nice green foliage plant, but I've no idea whether it'll get to fruiting size in a pot or what the fruit would be like.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,272
    I have 3 citrus plants but all too bushy to see graft but it wouldn't surprise me.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Jac19Jac19 Worthing, South Coast of EnglandPosts: 280
    On second thought, I would wait for the green bits to grow a bit more and then remove the dead part.  That will allow space for the new shoots to grow upwards.

    It looks like a graft to me, too.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 10,943
    @dpurple034 when you say it's an "indoor calamondin orange tree" was it sold to you under that heading? Citrus are not generally indoor plants, as mentioned by others on the thread.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 72,031
    edited 15 September
    Calamondin have long been sold  as in the houseplant section of GCs etc labelled as ‘houseplants’  and described as suitable for growing indoors …. then when the buyer gets them home and investigates further (if they do) they find advice saying they’re suitable to grow in a  conservatory or on the patio.  

    It’s a bit misleading … it’s been going on for years … I remember my mother buying one as she was told it was suitable for a bright windowsill … it wasn’t happy … all the leaves fell off and it died within a few months. 

    This site says they’ve been sold as houseplants in the UK since the 60s, which is when my mother bought hers. 

    Having done some Googling it seems that they are frequently grafted. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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