Orange Tree Leaves Turning Yellow: Relax, It’s Treatable!

An orange tree can be a real source of happiness. Not so much when you see the beautiful tree leaves turning yellow. 

Well, we’ve gathered all that you need to know about your orange tree leaves.

So why are your orange tree leaves turning yellow?

There are multiple reasons your orange tree might have yellow leaves. And the primary reason is overwatering. Other reasons include nitrogen deficiency, diseases, and infections that also cause root rot.

In a nutshell, these are all the reasons responsible for yellowing your orange tree leaves.

If you want to know more details about the steps of saving your orange tree leaves, read along.

Photo of Orange Trees
Photo by Inna Blanco

How To Stop Orange Tree Leaves Turning Yellow?

Orange trees are the easiest citrus to grow. The best part about citrus trees is you don’t have to worry about bacterial or fungal infections. Since they’re less prone to getting infected. 

However, like any other tree, orange trees need a lot of attention. Any wrong step can make your entire orange season go fruitless. One of the missteps includes the yellowing of oranges tree leaves.

Generally, yellowing leaves should not be a grave concern. Trees usually tend to shed old leaves anyway. Hence you might notice some faded and yellow leaves at the bottom. This is how they make way for new leaves.

Now it can be that the new leaves of your orange tree are turning yellow. First, identify which of these reasons comply with the yellow leaves situation. 

For that, we’ve discussed the major causes of the yellowing and the required solutions. So put your gardening gloves on and get to work-


Almost all the indoor plants face the yellowing of leaves because of overwatering. We don’t blame you! Homeowners think that indoor plants don’t have access to water as much as outdoor plants.

But what they don’t know is that too much water causes stress in plants. The same goes for orange trees. It can cause massive root rot too.

Moreover, too much water in the soil blocks the nutrition absorption of the soil. As a result, the leaves start stressing and eventually fade.


What can you do when you overwater your orange tree?

There are two instant solutions. You can either re-pot the whole orange tree and replace the soil. Or if the first step isn’t possible, you can chop off some of the mushy roots. This will help you turn some yellow leaves green again.

If you want a long-term solution, we suggest you schedule your watering strictly. A matured orange tree will require ‘deep watering’ once every 10-14 days. This is because the orange tree dries out between two consecutive watering sessions.

Nitrogen Deficiency

Another major cause of orange tree leaves turning yellow is nitrogen deficiency in the soil. 

Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the only nutrition your orange tree soil requires. Any imbalance in these three will turn the green leaves yellow. Nitrogen especially ensures the correct amount of nutrition to the roots and leaves.

Interesting fact: Citrus tree soil requires a higher pH than normal tree soil. Citrus trees grow best in acidic soil, preferably at a range of pH 6.0 to 7.0.


The best way to tackle this problem is to test the nitrogen level in your soil using a soil home test kit. If the levels are low, they will suggest the kinds of nutrients your orange tree needs.

Not all home test kits will give you the required result. Here’s a list of products that will help you test your soil with accurate results-

Product 1Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit
Product 2Garden Tutor Soil pH Test Strips Kit
Product 3Luster Leaf 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit for pH

Now you’ll have to choose fertilizers.  You’ll have to consider that not all fertilizers can help an orange tree. It’s better if you avoid using synthetic fertilizers when you are treating orange trees and go for the organic ones. Using organic fertilizers show you results within two weeks of application.

Some organic fertilizers work best for citrus trees. Here’s a list of the best organic fertilizers on the market-

Product 1Jobe’s Organics 09524 Purpose Granular Fertilizer
Product 2Dr. Earth GL61100518430 Fertilizer & Soil 707P Organic 8 Bud & Bloom Fertilizer

Diseases Or Infections

There are many diseases that may cause orange tree leaves to turn yellow. One of the mentionable diseases is Phytophthora gummosis. This disease develops due to improper irrigation and watering systems in the orange tree.

How will you identify the disease?

Diseases in the orange trees have certain visible symptoms. Such as cracks in the bark, possible root rot, any oozing sap from the cracks, or gummy inner barks. 

Sometimes bacterial and fungal infections cause the root to rot and the leaves to become yellow. So, you’ll have to look for fungal and bacterial attacks on the tree trunk. Don’t worry, you can still save your orange tree.


If you do notice some forms of disease symptoms in your orange tree, don’t panic. All you have to do is cut off the bark with the disease or the rotten rot. And try to keep the tree trunk dry. 

For that, keep the sprinkler or water away from the tree trunk. After the treatment, the yellow leaves will start healing again.

In case of an infection, a bacterial and fungal spray can save your orange tree from further contamination. Some of our recommended bacterial and fungal sprays are given below-

Bacterial SprayFungal Spray
Product 1 Garen Safe BrandFungicide3 Concentrate
Product 2 Spectracide 100507462 Immunox Multi-Purpose Fungicide Spray Concentrate
Product 3 Bonide (BND862) – Fungal Disease Control, Mancozeb Flowable with Zinc Fungicide Concentrate


Question: How much water does an orange tree need?

Answer: Watering the orange tree twice a week is ideal, especially when it’s still growing. But once they mature, you need to deeply water them every 10-14 days or so. This helps the citrus trees from drying out.

Question: Do orange trees like coffee grounds?

Answer: Yes! Of course! Coffee grounds add nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium, nitrogen, copper, and potassium. These nutrients improve the soil structure of orange trees.

Question: What is the best fertilizer for orange trees?

Answer: Orange trees require a lot of nitrogen-rich fertilizer. They also grow well with NPK balanced fertilizers that have some other nutrients like iron, copper, zinc, boron, etc. You might want to avoid using synthetic fertilizer.

Signing Off

By now we hope you found out why your orange tree leaves turning yellow. It’s simple to treat them and requires a bit of your observation along the way. 

Slowly but surely your orange tree leaves will be back to being green and happy again.

Let us know which of the solutions has helped you out in the comments section.

Until then, happy orange plucking!

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Celina Nance

It’s been a life-long wish of Celina Nance to have a lawn full of colorful flower beds. But living in Arizona city, that seems kind of impossible. But Celina Nance didn’t stop and created a full-form balcony garden instead. And she often shares stuff that she does/solves/innovates throughout the journey.

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