Why Are Orange Tree Leaves Turn Yellow?

Observing an orange tree is beautiful especially when the leaves are well green and many orange fruits are hanging on the branches.

When the orange tree has well cared for it will thrive to the max. You will have an abundant harvest.

But in order for your tree to grow a lot of fruits, it must stay healthy. Some problems may happen like yellowing leaves on orange trees which can reduce orange yield.

Orange Tree Leaves Turn Yellow

Transplant Shock

Moving your orange tree to a new location or new pot can cause transplant shock. Transplant shock causes tree stress which can lead the leaves to turn yellow.

There are some reasons why you transfer a tree but problems like transplant shock may happen and you really need to be careful so that your tree will still grow well.

When transplant shock happens, some of the tree leaves may turn yellow, curl, and drop. It can happen a day or after a few days after transplanting the orange tree.

This can be prevented by being prepared before moving the orange tree to the new location, the new pot.

If you are going to transplant young trees, transplant shock is a little bit low compared to old and mature trees.

So to prevent yellowing leaves for new transplanted orange trees you must be careful and prepare all the tools you need before transferring the tree.

Lack of Water

Lacking water can cause yellow leaves on orange trees. An orange tree can be watered once or twice a week, especially for young trees.

Mature trees are a little bit well established and they can be watered just once or twice a month.

But when the weather becomes hotter the tree must get more water. There will be no rain during summer and by giving them water, the tree will be hydrated.

The tree must get the right amount of water they need so that the leaves will grow well and stay green.

Long drought can affect tree growth and you need to keep your tree well hydrated during those periods.

The Tree Is Overwatered

Overwatering can also cause yellow leaves on orange trees. The tree cannot handle too much water and it causes stress to the tree.

Overwatering can happen when the grower gives a lot of water to the tree or it can happen when heavy rains come.

A watering can or a garden hose can be used to water your tree but just give the tree the right amount of water.

A well-draining soil will also be helpful to avoid waterlogging. Sometimes heavy rainfall comes to your location and you must make good waterways to prevent your tree from getting flooded.

Or if you have a potted orange tree, bring them inside. When the roots of the tree are soaked in water for a long time, root rot may happen.

The roots will get damaged and cannot transport water and nutrients well to the tree.

You can keep the roots healthy by not giving too much water, and using well-draining soil, and the potted orange tree must have good drainage.

Lacking Nitrogen And Iron

Nitrogen is an important nutrient needed by the tree to keep its leaves growing and stay green.

Nitrogen deficiency causes yellow leaves on the tree and to prevent it from happening you need to make the soil rich in nitrogen.

You can use a soil tester to check the nutrients in the soil and then apply the right amount of nitrogen.

The orange tree needs nitrogen because this nutrient helps the production of chlorophyll in the leaves. The chlorophyll helps the tree to convert sunlight into food which makes the tree grow better.

Aside from nitrogen, Iron deficiency can also cause leaves to turn yellow on orange trees. Iron is also helpful for the leaves to grow better.

When the orange tree gets the necessary nutrients it needs, you will not see many yellow leaves on the tree.


Some pests may attack the orange tree which may cause yellow leaves. But one great thing about orange trees is that many available varieties are pest tolerant.

Find some good varieties that are suited to grow in your location and are more pests tolerant. In that way, you will not worry about pests that may attack your orange tree.

But still, if there are roaming pests on your orange tree you need to keep them away from your tree.

You can use pesticides to control them but if you are practicing organic gardening you can use horticultural oil, neem oil, insecticidal soaps, etc.


Extreme weather can also affect the orange tree which may lead to its leaves turning yellow. Even if the tree needs more sunlight, too much heat is not good for the tree.

If you are growing an orange tree in a pot, you can bring them inside or in a shaded area. In that way, the leaves will be protected against too much heat.

The temperature during the afternoon becomes hotter and it is best if you bring them in shade.

Bring the orange tree outside in the morning to get sunlight and bring them in shade during the afternoon.

Old Leaves

Some leaves on the tree get old. If you see just a few leaves turning yellow, they are probably just getting old.

You need to observe your tree and try to figure out if they are really old leaves or if maybe other factors cause them to yellow.

Old leaves are just common for all kinds of plants and trees. The young leaves will grow on the tree and as time goes by they are getting more mature and sooner they turn yellow.

Once they become yellow they will start turning brown and drop.


Many factors may affect the orange tree which can lead to the leaves turning yellow. When the tree has well cared for it will grow to the fullest and you will not see many yellow leaves on the tree.