Yellow Leaves on Orange Tree – How to Fix

If you have yellow leaves on orange tree do not worry, this problem has a solution, but first, we must know why our orange tree has yellow leaves, in this article we will explain everything about the yellow leaves on orange tree.

The sweet orange tree (Citrus sinensis) ranks first among the citrus fruits consumed worldwide. It is native to China and northern Burma and has also been well known throughout the Mediterranean for about 3000 years.

Why are My Orange Tree Leaves Turning Yellow?

There can be several causes of yellow leaves on orange tree, for example, the tree could be suffering from excess watering or lack of nutrients, we will explain all the possible causes and how to solve them, don’t worry!

Yellow Leaves on Orange Tree Due to Excess Water

The most frequent cause of this problem is incorrect watering of the plant, which can be either excessive or lack of water. These trees tend to prefer soils with an optimal drainage system, so very abundant irrigation or a generous rainy season usually affects the plant if the water stagnates in the soil.

Β On the other hand, water shortage causes dryness in its taproots, the stress in the plant, and consequently the loss of its leaves. For your orange tree to remain healthy it should be watered once a week during the summer and the winter only when the soil is quite dry, which can be every 3 weeks.

yellow leaves on orange tree excess water

Diseases and Pests of the Orange Tree

Some orange tree diseases and pests are the cause of yellow leaves. We will now explain the main ones that affect the orange tree.

Phytophthora gummosis

This disease is caused by different species of Phytophthora. This fungus is found in the soil and infects the collar, trunk, main branches, and roots.

High soil moisture, pH between 4 and 6, favor this fungus. Also, grafting below 12β€³ (30 cm) and an excess of nitrogen fertilization. Phytophthora spp. can remain in the soil for long periods. Humidity favors the reproduction and dissemination of the pathogen and, for this reason, its incidence increases during the rainy season or in poorly drained soils.

To prevent this fungus it is recommended to graft the plants above 12β€³ (30 cm) in height. Maintain adequate drainage to avoid water accumulation at the base. Control nitrogen fertilization doses.


It is favored by high humidity and rainfall conditions. The disease is caused by fungi of the genus Colletotrichum. Affected plants show necrotic lesions on flower buds, fruits, and leaves.

In the case of orange leaves, the spots are irregular and vary in size.Β  If the infection is severe, intense defoliation occurs. It is usually associated with leaf spots caused by fungi of the genus Alternaria.

Collect and destroy diseased fruit to eliminate sources of infection. Prune affected branches and leaves and remove them from the lot, making sure to eliminate them so that they are not a source of inoculum. Apply cupric fungicides and benzimidazole fungicides preventively.

Iron Chlorosis or Iron Deficiency

If you have yellow leaves on orange tree, it may be due to a lack of iron. To treat chlorosis, you should choose to provide the affected plant with iron chelate to restore the necessary levels to the plant and promote the creation of chlorophyll and the normal activity of the plant to recover its original greenness. By providing iron, the PH of the soil is lowered and the acidity of the soil is restored.

iron chlorosis orange tree plant

Tips to Avoid Yellow Leaves on Orange Trees

I always recommend disinfecting the tools with which we prune our plants, in this case, our orange tree. It is advisable to use sharp tools that have been disinfected with alcohol to avoid the appearance of diseases such as viruses and fungi.

We must also avoid excessive watering as already mentioned, otherwise yellow leaves will appear on the orange tree and this could end up rotting the roots of our plant.

Learn more about How to Plant Orange Seeds.

orange plant tree
About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgan family, Henry, and Morgan, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.