Indoor kumquat stems turing brown

Asked February 14, 2019, 3:00 PM EST

Hi, Just this past week, my indoor kumquat started turning brown in some of the stems and leaves. Please see images below. It lives in a large (10gal?) container in the living room/north facing window right now with my lemon and calamondin, which are doing well. It bloomed well during the summer and fruited well. You can still see some fruit in the pics. What might be the cause of this sudden die back and what should I do to save the tree? I feel like cutting off the browning stems and leave, but should I do anything else to it? I haven't changed the watering regime of about a quart once a week. (I keep it on the dry side during the winter like the other two citrus trees). Thank you very much!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

This is a tough time of year to grow citrus houseplants in Maryland. Like other plants (notably Gardenias and other citrus) that we must overwinter, our indoor, dry, forced heat conditions are stressful for them. Often they look pretty ragged by the time we can get them outside and actively growing again.
We don't see signs of insect pests on your plant, but we suggest removing all of the fruit and dead leaves, and pruning back the dead branches. Make your pruning cut on the diagonal so that water will roll off once it is outdoors.
If you have a window with brighter light (four hours of direct sun a day is what they prefer) your citrus would like that. They also like as much humidity as you can give them, so if you've not already, consider placing the plants on a saucer of wet pebbles or mist spray them sometimes.
Keep an eye out for spider mites or scale insects on the underside of leaves especially if humidity is low.