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Can you help save my orange tree?

Dear all,

Sorry to bother you, but I have quite an urgent problem with my indoor orange tree, to which I am pathetically attached. I am now very worried about its survival.

It's leaves look green and healthy, but they have started to fall off at an alarming rate. There are one or two branches now with only a couple of leaves left as this has been going on for a couple of weeks. The leaves are not yellow and I am not overwatering. I have picked off two or three scale from it, but can that be behind the serious leaf drop it is suffering?

The tree is about six foot in its pot, so I guess it is adolescent (as you can tell I am a rank amateur, but I love this tree...)

Can anyone help? It is a very pampered tree which I mist daily and feed with citrus feed once a week, but it is in dire straits... thank you very much in advance... Michael

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Posts

  • MuddyForkMuddyFork North HampshirePosts: 435

    Scale insects will probably be the cause of the leaf drop.  You need to check the back of each leaf paying attention the the central vein area.  I lost a 6 foot lemon tree to a scale insect infestation.   

  • MWSMWS Posts: 6

    Thank you, MuddyFork. When it arrived from the shop at the start od December, I picked off maybe 30 scales and in the end treated it with a recommended Winter tree wash. That seemed to work for a month or so, but I have since found three or four more scales recently. Should I just keep wiping down the leaves and picking off the scale, or is there a more drastic treatment I can try? thanks again for your help... M

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,349

    Is it too warm?

    . I find citrus trees dont like central heating. My lemon is kept just frost free over winter, although oranges will prefer a minimum of about 10C.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,396

    If I bought a tree which came complete with 30 scale insects I would take it back and demand a refund image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • MWSMWS Posts: 6

    fidgetbones that could be it - it is in the house by French windows to give it light, but it is near a radiator. Perhaps I just don't have the conditions to keep an orange tree - I have no conservatory. It's not looking good for my tree, poor chap. Thanks very much for your reply. M

  • MWSMWS Posts: 6

    Thanks Dovefromabove - yes I did go back to the supplier, Tho they suggested that while scale could be annoying, fluctuating temperatures were probably to blame. Certainly not ideal though! thanks very much for your reply. M

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,396

    Scale will put the plant under stress so it is less able to cope with other things.  They should be selling plants in an optimum condition to cope with changing to a new environment.  They're trying to pull the wool over your eyes.  I'd still take it back.

    But whatever you decide to do - good luck. image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,349

    The only time I bought a big lemon tree indoors by a radiator, it dropped all its leaves. I gave it a severe pruning and it resprouted new leaves in the spring. Its not dead yet, just unhappy. Keep it only just damp over winter, and don't feed until spring.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • MWSMWS Posts: 6

    Thanks fidgetbones - last question, I promise. Does that mean I should give it a severe prune now? And how much should I take off? Thanks for your advice - I came to the right place. And thanks Dovefromabove for the good luck! M

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,830

    I would agree with everything that everybody has said so far and would only add that they need a lot of light and fresh (ie not stuffy) air.

    Could you show us a picture of a typical stem?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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