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Orange tree/adolesence

My orange tree is unhappy and I'm hoping someone can help!
Before we moved, it was happy, full of leaves etc.
When we moved house the builders left my tree on the floor, on the underfloor heating, this caused leaf loss.
I moved it to a sunny window cill, supplemented light as always with my grow light.
It was over watered after being left on the underfloor heating, I started to worry about root rot.
Repotted my tree, all the roots were healthy, first question I have is, outlined in red, should any of this be under soil level?
After repotting all the leaves left drooped practically straight away, the next day I researched and found out my plant had early scale, these have all been removed by hand, my plant is left with only 4 leaves which are all facing downwards as seen i  the image, will these pick back up over time? The plant is grown from a seed of an orange my dad had, ive had it two years, is there anything i can do to help the leaves perk up again? If so how long should I wait until I expect to see improvements.
Is the tree okay in a room with underfloor heating, but being raised up on the window cill away from the heat source. Many thanks for any help and advice as this orange tree is the love and bain of my life 


  • bédébédé Posts: 3,070
    edited March 2023
    The roots you highlight should be buried, but will be quite happy above soil level.  

    The leaves are unlikely to perk up.  My much bigger lemon tree often loses a lot of leaves in the garage over winter, but they grow again in the spring.  The supplier said keep it dry, but it loses fewer leaves with my just-a-touch-of-water-every-weekend approach.  It lost even more the winter I kept it in a cold greenhouse.

    I will think of a grow-light..
     location: Surrey Hills, England, ex-woodland acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,408
    edited March 2023
    Citrus trees aren't really suitable for homes heated for human comfort - that's too warm for them. I think @Nanny Beach grows a lot of citrus so perhaps she could advise you.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,671
    Citrus, like many trees, are rarely happy for long kept indoors all year round. There is little benefit to leaving the roots above the soil level and you don't say what soil you are using. A free draining gritty soil is best and the recommended feed.
    Your photo doesn't make it very clear but it appears that you have 3 live stems.  Is the main trunk alive ? Is the pot appropriate to the root ball size and does it have sufficient drainage ?  A hot dry atmosphere won't help so all you can do to avoid that would be good.
    Leaf loss is normal on an established tree.  
    To put it bluntly, Citrus aren't really House Plants despite them often being sold as such. If you can manage to rejuvenate your Orange and be able to give it the summer outside in a suitable spot, your Dad will be proud of you :)
    @Nanny Beach also grows Citrus so perhaps she may have further advice.

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,714
    edited March 2023
    Hello Phillipa and Jenny, just found your "shout". Firstly,Nichole, are you in the UK?  We have 4 lemon,a calamondin, mandarin, the oranges are very tender, they go in the conservatory for winter. We also have a grapefruit 30 years old... hubby grew that from a pip,and a lemon at the same time. I used to grew seeds in the dining room window sill,he pushed a couple of pips in. They both "took", the lemon died off completely after a year,no idea why. The grapefruit is a beast,it flowered after 10 years, never has since. The others are shop bought,many years old. They live roughly from October to April in a greenhouse. No, they don't like Central heating at all, they need high humidity. If you have to keep it indoors, somewhere cool,out of the sun. It doesn't need a grow light,it. wants a winter break. Scratch a bit of lower bark,see if it's green. If it's brown,it's dead and no point wasting time and money.It doesn't want heat/sunny window/grow light. Let me know if it's alive, happy to give more advice 
  • Nanny Beach 

    Thank you for your reply, I am in the UK.
    So originally dad had 3, grown from seed.
    His house was essentially like a green house in the second front room, as one the roof was made of glass,  during the summer it hit 40 degrees in there!
    My mum no longer wanted the trees in her house, so I took them.
    This tree is now around 4 years old, the other two died a short while after moving to mine, all 3 were dying at the time they were about 6 months old.
    I know it should be bigger for four years old, but it was my first ever plant of any kind so its had a tough up bringing.
    The lady at the garden centre cut a bit back and she said the insides are green so it's definitely still alive.

    My old house was always cold, we never put the heating on. I had it under a velux window that got sun in the afternoon and added the grow light and it was thriving.

    I initially thought overwatering was the issue as I was always watering it. I bought a moisture meter and it read wet plus, so then I worried about root rot and repotted ASAP last Saturday, I expected new growth, but what growth I did have the leaves started to point towards the floor.

    I can find it a home away from the heating, I just didnt want it to be too cold 

  • Would this outside do the job? 
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,714
    edited March 2023
    Hello Nichole, that's good it's still alive. It would have liked your last cold house. Where in the UK are you? We are in the lower SE corner,10 minutes away from the sea., and as I said oranges are much more tender than lemons. As you've managed to keep it a couple of years,tell me your feeding/watering regime. I'll post a picture of mine, literally now in the conservatory with them. Honestly, I don't think that green house would be suitable. My lemons are in a completely bubble wrapped green house,in a little section of their own, bubble wrap thrown over them,and a 250w green house heater. With all this,in the beast from the east, when we had 2 days and nights of -12, they lost their leaves, which grew back in spring. If it's indoors,it will never be too cold.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,714

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,714
    edited March 2023
    There is lot of fruit on the mandarin, just beginning in the calamondin. The conservatory is north facing,gets no sun in the winter,it's just getting high enough in the sky to start coming in now....on the table full of seed trays. There are 2 radiators, winter night it goes down to 9c,  if it's frosty has reached 44c in summer, although north facing,it's a bungalow. They will be starting to go outside in the day end of this month. How often do you feed and water?
  • It sounds a bit silly to even ask, but if my orange lost its last leaves it has left, will it still be able to grow again? Or once it has no leaves is that it?
    Wow, they're awesome, I'd love to see an orange on my in the future.
    I used to water randomly, like maybe twice a week, used to pour a random cup of leftover water from the night before from bed.
    Then got sprayers, and would mist probably too often.

    Since being in the new house, I couldn't find any of my misters, so I ended up using an indoor watering can.
    I never let it dry out, hence it probably losing leaves.
    I'd water, but never enough for it to come out the bottom.

    After buying the moisture meter, and seeing it staying at wet plus before repotting I realised I should probably limit myself to once a week, which feels impossible.

    I was using a winter orange feed, before when my orange tree was lush and green, I dont think I actually did any feeds.
    When at the garden centre she recommended the seaweed feed, I think I'm meant to use it every other water, but again not sure if it's a good feed
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