Why Are Orange Tree Leaves Curling?

Orange trees are really great to grow because they produce fruits that are delicious and rich in vitamins.

That is one of the reasons why some people start growing orange trees at home. But when you grow an orange tree, there are chances that you will encounter some problems.

One of the problems that you may encounter in growing an orange tree is the curling leaves. Curling of the leaves can happen to any plant and tree.

When this problem happens you need to know the cause of it so that you can provide good treatment for the problem.

Why Are Orange Tree Leaves Curling?


Some pests can cause some problems to your orange tree, especially to its leaves.

Pests can make orange tree leaves curling. Some pests that can cause that problem are citrus canker, white fly, aphids, mites, citrus leaf miner, etc.

There are some predatory insects like ladybugs, predatory wasps, etc that can control some of those pests.

You can grow some kinds of plants like Zinnia, Parsley, Dill, Fennel, etc., near your orange tree to encourage more of those predatory insects.

In that way, your orange tree will be safer because those insects can help control pests on your tree.

Aside from that, you can also spray insecticidal soap and neem oil to control pests. These sprays are useful and are considered organic.

But spray it when the weather is not too hot because when you spray it, it can burn the leaves and branches of the tree.


Diseases can also be a cause of why the leaves curl on your orange tree. Some of the diseases of this tree are Armillaria root rot and Phytophthora root rot.

These problems are in the tree roots and they can happen because of overwatering or other factors.

One way to control those things is to use a fungicide. A fungicide can be a useful treatment for those things which can make your tree better.

Water Problems

There are two types of watering problems that can happen which can cause curling leaves on an orange tree.

The first one is underwatering and the second one is overwatering. Why underwatering can cause the orange tree leaves to curl?

The orange tree needs water. The amount of water they need will be based on their size, age, and soil moisture.

When lacking water, the tree doesn’t get enough water they need. Commonly at least 1.5 inch of water per week is enough for the orange tree.

But still, you need to consider their size and soil moisture. You can check the soil moisture manually by pressing your finger two to three inches in the soil.

If you feel it is still moist, you don’t need to water your orange tree but if it is too dry you need to give them water.

Another way is to use a screwdriver. Same thing you need also to push the tool into the soil and check the moisture. If it is hard to press the screwdriver it tells you that the soil is too dry.

There are also some tools that you can use like a soil moisture meter which tells you if you need to water your tree or not.

Overwatering can also cause leaf curl but not as much as underwatering. Still overwatering is not good for an orange tree.

Too much water can cause root rot which you need to avoid to keep your tree in a good shape.

Make sure your pot/container has good drainage to avoid waterlogging. 

Hot Weather

Extreme heat can make orange tree leaves curling. Sunlight is good for the tree to make its food but too much heat can cause some problems.

The weather is different in every country and there are places that are experiencing hotter weather than others.

If you are living in a place where hot weather comes, you may need to protect your orange tree from extreme heat.

Bring your potted orange tree indoors to give them a good shade. Placing your orange tree in shade will keep them away from too much heat which can cause curling leaves.

But if you are growing a tree in the ground, you may need to make some protection for them against the heat.

You can also add mulch to the topsoil to keep the moisture of the soil. In that way, the water evaporation will not be so fast.

Mature trees can live much more than younger trees in hot weather. A good watering can keep them thriving and keep the leaves healthy.

Transplant Shock

If you buy an orange tree and you want to transfer it to a new and bigger pot, transplant shock can happen.

You need to be careful in handling and transplanting your orange tree to keep them thriving.

Most trees are prone to transplant shock, especially those bigger and mature trees.

You can prevent the high impact of transplant shock by carefully moving the orange tree.

You can water your tree first a few hours or one to two days before transplanting. Next, make sure that the new environment is already prepared.

If you are going to plant your orange tree in the ground, make a hole double the size of the tree root ball. Then, make sure that the tree root ball will not be damaged.

After that, gently move your orange tree into the hole or in the pot. Cover it with soil and you can also put some compost.

Finally, give your orange tree water to help them start establishing. When the transplantation is successful you will see that your orange tree is growing well.

If you are not going to be careful in moving your tree to a new environment, chances are they may have curling leaves.

Some of the causes why orange tree leaves curl are due to watering problems, pests, diseases, weather, and transplant shock. By treating the problem the leaf curl will be fixed.

Damaged Branches

Sometimes there are damaged branches and the leaves on that part will curl and turn yellow. There are many reasons why a branch or branches on the orange tree get damaged.

Strong wind can come and may break the branches or the branches are cut without even noticing it.

So take a look if there are damaged branches on your orange tree to know what causes the leaves to curl.