Orange trees love sunny locations to grow properly and produce a good harvest. Just like other citrus trees, oranges also have their needs for the colder months. At what temperature can the orange tree overwinter and do you have to put together a wintering quarters for it as well as other practical professional tricks on how to overwinter the orange tree successfully, you will find out in the following article.
As soon as night frost sets in or the temperatures are well below 7 degrees, you should prepare the orange trees for winter
How do you overwinter an orange tree?
Orange trees actually come from China, but today they are cultivated in Italy, Spain and Turkey. Plenty of sunlight, warmth and regular watering are the key points that ensure complete tree growth. If you have a garden with oranges or just keep a few pots on the balcony, you should prepare them in time for the colder months.
It is best to bring the tree into its winter quarters or into your apartment
#Select location for winter
Citrus trees love light and warmth, so it is important to provide them with enough light and the right temperature even in winter. A cool location with sufficient light is ideal for them. To avoid cold damage and frost, the temperature should ideally remain between 5 and 10 degrees. At higher temperatures – over 15 degrees – there is a risk that winter dormancy will be disturbed, which will later have a negative impact on fruit production.
Choose a sunny location that is not too warm
If you have a potted plant, you should definitely not let it overwinter in the living room. It is better to place the pot on the stairwell or in the corridor next to a window. If you don’t have a staircase, you can place the pot in the basement with a plant lamp. To best control the temperature, place a thermometer nearby.
#Orange tree loses leaves in winter
Have you noticed that the orange tree is losing its leaves? That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. This is particularly possible here at the beginning of the wintering season. The temperatures drop, the amount of daylight available also decreases and the plant slowly falls asleep.
Are the leaves curling up or falling out? Then check that the plant is receiving enough light and is not freezing or rotting
However, if the tree loses its leaves quickly or all at once, it may indicate a problem. Be sure to check the room temperature and humidity. Insufficient sunlight and pests often lead to leaf loss. Then try changing locations and adjusting the temperature.
In winter, the orange tree doesn’t need as much water and you shouldn’t fertilize it either.
#Watering the orange tree in winter
Like most citrus trees, orange trees need a lot of water to grow and bloom properly. In winter, however, you should significantly reduce watering. The soil only needs to remain slightly moist. During overwintering, the roots rest and cannot cope well with large amounts of water, which can lead to waterlogging and root rot. Longtime gardening specialists share the following trick: wait until the top soil dries out or the leaves begin to roll down. However, when watering in winter, the rule “less is more” applies. However, if the orange tree overwinters in a warmer room, you should also water the plant more often. But it shouldn’t be more frequent than every 3-4 weeks.
Before you bring the orange tree indoors, check the leaves for pests
#Check for pests and diseases
Before you bring the tree into winter quarters or wrap it up for the winter, you should check it for pests such as mealybugs or spider mites. They feel comfortable inside and there is a risk that they will multiply. To prevent this, treat the tree with insecticidal soap and remove any pests you may have missed. Also check the room temperature carefully. The pests can multiply at temperatures above 5-7 degrees.
Orange trees prefer higher humidity even in winter
Overwintering an orange tree: How much cold can an orange tree tolerate?
Orange trees grow best under strong sunlight and they cannot tolerate cold for long periods of time. During wintering, the temperature in the room or winter quarters should not permanently fall below 5 degrees. Otherwise there is a risk of frost damage. If it is a tree in the garden, you should wrap it with jute felt at the end of autumn. You can also use a translucent jute hood for this.
The cold tolerance of orange trees is -2 degrees
How to overwinter an orange tree in the garden?
If you have planted an orange tree in the garden, you should definitely wrap the plant up for the winter. In Germany, frost and long periods with temperatures below 10 degrees are not uncommon, which the citrus trees cannot survive. Therefore, you need to wrap the entire tree with a thick layer of fleece or jute. You should definitely cover the ground around the trunk with a coconut mat or Styrofoam plate. Then in spring, make sure the temperatures rise above 15 degrees before unwrapping the tree.
You can wrap larger orange trees in the garden with a layer of jute fleece in winter