My DIL, Lorna, gave me an orange tree for mother's day this year. It's especially nice because she did it – not my son, Chris. It's rare that it is a married son who is in charge of this sort of thing – wives are more often in charge of gifting. I know my husband is not the one of us who shops. So I am thankful to have two wonderful DILs who cover for my sons.
Anyway… the orange tree survived the summer out by the pool in a concrete pot. The grasshoppers ate a lot of the leaves in late summer before I figured out what was going on so the tree's short some leaves. I am not good with inside plants but I didn't want to just let the tree die in the first freeze so Steve helped me get it inside last week. It has/had several green oranges on it and I cut a few off this morning. They are little and very tart – not really edible at this stage.
I decided that the tree might not be loving the concrete pot it was in so I repotted it in a ceramic pot. I had to take the root ball down by about 1/3. I know that that is probably not the best thing I could have done, but I did it anyway (this could be why I'm not good with inside plants).
I have questions for those of you who might know how I can keep this tree alive until next summer:
It's in my studio with the day-light florescent bulbs and it's near a window but it isn't going to get direct light in my house. How often should I water it?
Should it get that blue water soluable fertilizer through the winter? How often?
There are still 4 green oranges on it – should I cut them off now? It seems like the plant ought to quit focusing on making fruit at this point and focus on being alive.
It's dropped a few leaves. Some are curling a little but so far it's not looking near death. If you look closely at the upper right quadrant you can tell where the grasshoppers ate the most leaves.
I appreciate in advance any advice.
Here's one last image… I liked this detail shot of green oranges!