I'm reaching out because I've noticed some unusual deformities in the leaves of my Washington Navel Orange tree (grafted in September this year), and I'm a bit puzzled about the cause. I've attached a picture for reference.

I'm located in Eastern Europe, so I'm keeping the tree indoors under a full spectrum grow light (SANSI). It's been growing and healing really well, I'm only concerned about the deformed leaves. There seem to be no pest causing the problem.

I would greatly appreciate any advice, tips, or suggestions on how to address this issue and promote the health of my tree.

enter image description here

UPDATE: Since my last post, the graft has been showing a lot of new growth, the leaves of the new shoots continue to display the same deformation. Maybe it also has something to do with lightning or humidity, but I assume that when I transition the tree outside in the spring, it will return to its usual leaf pattern. enter image description here

  • How is the tree looking?
    – MackM
    Dec 11, 2023 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


Citrus trees grow in spurts when the conditions are good, that is warm and moist at the roots with good light. Leaves remain statically and quietly bunched up in buds until the plant triggers the bursting of the bud so that the leaves can get out and expand. Normal citrus leaves are flat and light green when young, getting a darker green as they get older.

Your plant seems to have a different idea of how to grow. These are young leaves that are a deep green and misshapen, not flat. This indicates that while the buds were still sealed against the dormant season they received a chemical signal for the cells to start dividing and taking up more space as they would when the bud had already broken open.

Try to think back whether there was a significant change in the weather that might trigger sudden growth, and whether there the plant was richly fertilized while still in a dormant stage.

While there is nothing to be done to correct these leaves, hold back on any further feeding to let the plant settle back to a more normal routine.

  • I haven't fertilized the plant since I grafted the scion back in September and it hasn't been in a dormancy, because I took it inside at the end of summer when the temperature outside was still around 20 degrees Celsius. The temperature inside the house is around 21 degrees.
    – Mike
    Dec 16, 2023 at 23:56
  • If you initially had a moderately large seedling pumping sap into a large top growth, if this is suddenly cut back and a much smaller graft inserted then top and bottom are no longer balanced. Often when grafting we leave a nurse section on the tree to keep the sap flowing, so the balance is largely maintained. Dec 17, 2023 at 23:05

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