I was given a 2-3 year old citrus tree and it loses leaves each year as soon as it comes inside. It has a strong stem but only a few new green branch shoots that have lost leaves. If I want to get this tree back to life and full should I be uprooting it and re-potting? I hate to see living things die and I would like to bring it back to citrus splendor. Suggestions?
I had the same problem with my citrus plants, up to the point that they simply died when i put them inside.
The solution that eventually worked for me was to take care that the tree would not stand too close to a heater, that is, at least 1 m distance. And if the heater is supposed to get really warm (mine is more like luke warm during a couple of days over the winter) then keep the tree as far away as possible.
Another thing that seemed a little counter intuitive but worked for me: Do not give the tree to much light. Place it at a window, but at a window facing north, without direct sunlight.
Water sparsely, the plant does not get enough sunlight to pull water in and transpirate it at the same rate it would do outside, in summer.
My biggest lemon tree is now 8 years old and had flourished this summer for the first time. :)
It is also depending on the locations you have at hand. If you have an unheated staircase (with enough room for a tree) or a sunny, unheated attic then i would ignore my solution above and give these locations a try.
Tl;dr: * cool, but above zero (if it is just below zero, the tree most likely looses all it's leaves, but will regain them the next year - fresh and maybe even nicer then before. It is a small temperature margin, so it is no problem if it happens accidentially, but i would not dare to aim for it)
if kept in a place hat is supposed to be warm during the winter avoid direct sun light.
if you could store it in a light and cool environment, try this
water sparsely to moderately. I water mine (8 years old, around 2m in height) every 10 to 14 days with 1-2 liters.