Leaves drooping after being in the sun

sehratOctober 24, 2012

I recently got a miniature Trovita orange tree and planted it in a pot in my living room. It is healthy and green and I've been using a moisture meter to make sure I'm not overwatering. The last few days have been chilly and rainy and I don't think its been getting very much light, so today, when it was sunny and 75 degrees I took it outside for a few hours to soak up some sun. But now all the leaves are limp and drooping and it doesn't look healthy at all. Help!! Will it recover from this?? Did I make a mistake taking it outside?

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Hello Sehrat.

You didn't say what area you live in. It could make all the difference, especially when it comes to the sun being a factor.

In my area, the sun has the strength of a strong flash light at high noon which will burn nothing. I can even stick a plant that has never seen the outdoors in full sun and it won't even get burnt.
What I can tell you is that if your soil has been toooo wet for too long, root rot will set in rapidly and cause your leaves to wilt in warm sunshine because it will not take up moisture.

Why not learn to use your finger, feel if your plant needs water by the weight of the pot, or use a very much easier method, a wooden dowel or wooden shish kabob stick?

I have never had good results with moisture meters and have still over watered plants with them. I no longer use them.

Your tree should not have done that unless you live in a very hot climate where the sun is very hot. If it is just a matter of your trees not taking up moisture rapid enough to keep up with the hot sun, it should come around and not be wilted by dusk.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 6:33PM
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If your sun is so weak, maybe it is time to start planning your vacation to Guatemala. I live in a place called "The City of Eternal Springtime" and you have to go out every morning with a big stick and BEAT your plants, just to try to keep them in line.
FYI all the friends of Mayan Meyer Lemons have VIP status in Guatemala.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 7:09PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Serhat, I agree with Mike. Can you post a photo or two of your tree? Just by the description, it sounds like your tree is in need of water. Don't trust the moisture meter, trust your finger. What potting medium are you using? And of course, where do you live? If you can help us out with this info, and provide some photos, we can better advise you.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 9:15PM
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I've been trying to come up with a good analogy of leaves and roots.

Lets try mail order medicine.
You are the leaves, water is your life saving medicine, and the roots are the mail order company.
You place an order for medicine that takes 2-3 weeks for delivery. Your need for medicine varys based on how much time you spend in the sun. The problem is that the mail order company doesn't immediately respond to you requests. Too much medicine is bad and too little medicine is bad.

If the plant is too dry you could try misting the leaves.
The leaves can absorb some water and a higher humidity surrounding the leaves can reduce respiration loss. You could do this until the mail order arrives.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:32AM
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