Is that normal

foolishpleasureNovember 27, 2012

I have one orange tree in 10 gallon pot. It is now in the utility room at 60 degree and 3 no heat flourcent lambs. Why it islosing its leaves. Is it a sign of stress?

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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Maybe it need more sun?

If you cannot get it into the sun more often an upgrade in lights might be good...but I dont know what else could be wrong because the list is pretty long...

Maybe with some more information the pros can get your plant straight again =)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 10:12PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Leaf cupping is usually a sign of water deficit. Check to make sure your tree's roots are moist.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 11:07PM
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Yes, losing it's leaves is a sign of stress ... it's normal for a citrus to shed some of it's older leaves but other than that it's stress.

Some possible reasons:

1) If you put the tree in your utility closet without adapting it to the lower light levels and different temperature levels gradually it can lose it's leaves

2) If it's not getting enough light, it can lose it's leaves. If it's getting no sun exposure then I highly doubt that 3 fluorescent lamps is anywhere near sufficient. It would be OK supplementary light. If there is no sun exposure you'll probably need an HPS lighting system or LED but the LED setups are very expensive. Even with those fancy lighting setups you'll still need to gradually adapt the tree to the different light conditions.

3) Change of watering practices (too much water OR not enough)

Pictures with close up of soil, leaves, and an overall pic would help; also some more information about where it is like is it getting any external sun? Is it a constant 60 degrees?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 12:05AM
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what's the wattage of the lamps? you need some high wattage CFLs, around 40-60 actual watts, 200-300W incandescent equivalents.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 1:19PM
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The lamps are 60 watt and I water it once a week. My guessing is that the tree is stressed because it came from the Nursery green house to my Utility room Different condition. The tree has no sun at all because the sun does not hit my utility room.. I can switch it into the garage where ther is some sun but the garag is colder than the utility room.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 1:33AM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Some people have had success with putting there trees in a low light condition but they usually keep them on the colder side. It will most likely lose all it leaves but probably wont die. It for sure wont be healthy come spring.

You are in zone 7b. where at roughly? Have the temperatures been above freezing? I would take it out daily if you are warming above 50 or so. Even true sun when its a bit chilly is better than no sun at all.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 9:04AM
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Hi Mike!

Yes, to go along with Mike, what is your real name by the way, because I am afraid I might address you as 'Foolsih' by accident:-)?

I would leave it outside as long as you don't get a freeze at night. The growth will drastically slow down in cold temps, but as Mike says. it won't die, unless of course you over water it.

Your tree is definitely stressed and hopefully the next thing that won't happen is a spider mite problem at this time since they truly attack weak plants. Leaves drop green like that either from under watering and or mites.

Don't you have any window at all with light? Why are you keeping it in such dismal conditions?

Hope to hear from you.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 9:23AM
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My zone is 7B in Annapolis MD. My name is Abe. Today I took the tree out from the basement to the garage where it gets alot of sun in the afternoon when it is sunny and not over-cast. The gaeage is unheated should I provide a portable heater. At night the temp probably 40-45 range. How can I find that the leaves are dropping because of mite. Is there a spray for that thing.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 8:43PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hi All
I am new to citrus, so this is just a guess... but could the soil be part of the problem? It looks like it would hold too much moisture.

Here is a copy and paste from another thread that describes the soil that Abe has this tree in.

Abe, correct me if i'm wrong.

"""The soil I used is 1/3 soil with humus 1/3 sphagnum moss and 1/3 perlite"""


    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 9:22PM
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I'm in zone 7b also Atlanta and leave my trees outside almost all winter unless temps drop below 30. I have then on rollers and when it looks like a cold night I just pull them into the garage at night. I know of someone who brings them indoors, reduces watering which causes the leaves to drop because of the low light and water but in the Spring he takes them outside, waters them and they sprout new leaves. So the choice is yours. Some folks try growing them indoors in a bright window. The trouble with that is that they usually develop red spider mites and end up dropping leaves because of the mites and low light. This is the least way I like. I prefer leaving them outside. It will also make them a stronger tree.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 2:54PM
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Jojo, VERY observant!

I never saw that. Please, take what Jojo is saying seriously and also those temps are just fine if you are using a very good porous mix in which it seems you are not.

With heavier mixes, once roots rest at temps below 55, it's hard to avoid root rot in many cases.
I don't know what to say, because when I was growing citrus in the type of soil you mentioned Abe, I killed them. I wish I could help further. For some reason I thought you were using very porous mixes.

Hopefully someone whom grows in heavy mixes can come through for you:-)


    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 7:48PM
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What is the porous mix. I am not familiar with that. I use 1/3 Humus, 1/3 mos and 1/3 perlite for my fig trees, Blueberry and blackberry and all doing very well and giving me enough fruit. I was told the perlite allows air to the roots and the moss hold moisture to prevent dehydration. I am new to Citrus only 3 trees. If I need to use different mix I am open for any good ideas.

Another issue some one told me because my garage is unheated and the floor is concrete he mentioned that he used electric heating pads under the pots is that a good idea.
I use electric heating pads under the vegetable pots when I grow seedlings It raises the temp about 7 degrees. When I feel it with my hand it is just lukewarm.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 10:45PM
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Hello Abe and happy Saturday.

It is a mix is very well described in a thread I will link you to at the bottom of this post:-)

Actually, the pots are better on the floor since they will conduct some form of heat from the floor verses suspended in air or lifted off the ground.

I am not familiar with using heat pads as a success for my plants other than seedlings, but I do know when I did try this method on a gardenia and a jasmine duke which love warmth, they rebelled and dropped all their leaves because of lack of enough light. I wish I could help you there.

Always remember...Less light should = less warmth
More light should = more warmth

Hope this helps:-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Porous mix described here

This post was edited by meyermike_1micha on Sat, Dec 1, 12 at 10:44

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 9:54AM
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Well, I guess the edit didn't work this time after I realized I forgot to give you the link Abe.

I hope this helps:-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Porous mixes described here

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 10:47AM
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Thanks Mike. It is very elaborate article. But even I don't follow every thing in it my plants has the advantage of using the the big pot (the Earth) because all my pots are plamted in the garden soiland the toots run freely in the garen. I put them in pots to able to protect them in winter. The Earth is the best natural drainage I use.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 12:54PM
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