Every home gardener will benefit from learning how to grow orange trees, especially once the trees start bearing fruits. Orange tree maintenance is quite simple. When caring for an orange tree, following a few simple instructions will keep the tree healthy and may even improve fruit production.
This growing oranges guide will assist you in flourishingly growing oranges and also harvesting them. Learning how to plant an orange tree may be a joyful experience that can also help you save money and even make money if you enjoy eating those golden orbs of fruity brightness.
It's okay if you are just starting out with gardening. With the help of the following comprehensive guide to growing oranges, it can become a much simpler procedure! You'll soon be off to your garden to gather some fresh oranges.
When to Plant Oranges?
Oranges are a delicate crop that should be planted when the soil and air are continuously warm, at least six weeks after the last date of frost.
Due to the year-round warmth, people who live in the commercial citrus belt, which stretches from Southern California to Florida, can plant orange trees at any time. Before planting, check your area's suitability for year-round citrus plant development on your plant hardiness map.
How to Grow Orange Trees Outdoors?
If you haven't yet planted an orange tree but are considering doing so, you can consider planting one. Some orange cultivars may germinate from seeds, but professional producers often employ grafted trees that have undergone a process known as budding.
As they are open to diseases and root rot, trees planted from seeds frequently have a limited lifespan. If seed-grown trees are successful, they do not begin to bear fruit until they are mature, which could take up to 15 years.
Find a location with lots of sunlight and loamy, well-draining soil. Because orange trees have deep roots, they provide at least a 20-foot clearing around the base of larger trees and a 10-foot clearing around lesser ones.
Create a mound of soil around the young tree's base, and then be sure to provide the roots with about an inch of water per week.
Grow Orange Trees from Seeds
Citrus orange trees need time to develop and bear fruit, as do other trees. Some can often take 15 months to mature. Some people, meanwhile, might only need eight or 12 months.
By "mature," we don't necessarily mean they produce fruit. Typically, an orange tree begins producing fruit between its third and fifth years of life. Orange seeds can be found directly from the fruit and be used to harvest orange trees.
Here are the steps you can follow to grow orange trees from seeds:
- Water the seeds:It will take at least 24 hours for the seeds to soak up water. Any seeds that float to the top should be thrown away after a day or two.
- Get your soil ready:Use conventional potting soil to encourage the germination of orange tree seeds. Plant the seeds in trays filled with soil, about one inch deep. To enrich the soil with nutrients, cover with dirt and sprinkle on any compost or mulch.
- Keep in a warm area: Place your seeds in a warm, moist area with access to indirect sunshine once you’ve planted them. Cover the trays with wet paper towels or plastic bags for a few weeks to keep the soil moist.
You can take off the cover as soon as the seeds start to sprout. Keep in a room with plenty of sunlight and warmth. If there is little natural light, add a grow lamp as a supplement.
Transfer to separate pots: The sprouting and growth of seeds should continue. Keep the seedlings warm and wet until they are ready to be transplanted into separate containers. Don't disrupt the rootball when transplanting.
Plant in a large pot that is enough to accommodate the tree's strong roots in soil that drains properly. Place indoors in a warm area with access to sunlight and excellent airflow. Make certain that the planters contain drainage holes.
Caring for an Orange Tree
Three crucial facets of orange tree care are fertilizing, watering, and pruning. These may be confusing to those who are looking after mature orange trees. Here are the short details of those three crucial facets of orange tree care,
The amount of water required to cultivate orange trees varies depending on the climate and total annual rainfall. But as a general guideline for all, orange tree maintenance includes regular watering in the spring to prevent fading and ceasing irrigation in the fall.
The quantity of water you offer when caring for orange trees depends on how deeply you plant. Typically, growing orange trees require 1 to 1 1/2 inches (2.5–4 cm) of water each week.
Utilizing the fruit affects how fertile orange trees are as they are growing. More oil in the peel is a result of increased nitrogen fertilizer. Fertilizer with potassium reduces peel oil. Each tree has to receive an annual application of 1 to 2 pounds (0.5-1 kg) of nitrogen for optimum yield of edible oranges. Along with a variety of micronutrients, fertilizer should contain potassium, phosphorus, and other elements. Take a soil sample from the region where orange trees are growing to establish the proper fertilizer ratio if your elder orange tree is not producing fruit in large quantities.
The orange tree doesn't need to be pruned for shape. However, any branches that are a foot (31 cm) or less from the ground should be cut off. Additionally, as soon as you see any dead or broken branches, remove them.
Diseases and Pests Affecting Orange Trees
Orange trees, like the majority of citrus trees, are prone to sap-sucking pests like aphids, mites, scale, and the bronze orange bug (stink bugs). The larvae of the citrus leaf-miner are another prevalent pest that eats through the foliage while harming the leaves.
They may result in a deterioration in the health of the tree and poor-quality fruit if left untreated. Use a natural insecticide, such as Nature's Way Citrus & Ornamental Spray, to treat the problem.
A fungus called brown rot causes grey-brown lesions on fruit, which spoils and causes the fruit to drop off before it should. A unique fragrance is also released by the decaying fruit.
Fruit gets infected after being splattered with dirt or water that contains the fungus since the disease prefers moist environments. Spray a copper-based fungicide on the skirt and underneath the tree if prolonged rainy weather is predicted.