Orange growing at home enables gardeners to enjoy all the health and healing benefits of oranges. Orange trees are fairly simple to grow.
Fruit lovers do not need an orchard or acres of land to grow delicious oranges. Successfully growing orange trees requires gardeners to learn the basic factors that these trees need to survive and yield fruit.
Not only do orange trees provide fruit, but they also offer a beautiful landscaping focal point and provide yard shade. Trees can reach heights of 25 to 50 feet when fully mature.
Gardeners might initially think orange trees require hot weather to thrive and yield fruit. This is not the case. The ideal temperature range for oranges is 55 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which recommends the University of Georgia.
Orange fruit production diminishes when trees are exposed to frigid temperatures. Trees go dormant during the winter months. The best temperature range for the dormancy period is 35 to 50 F, suggests the University of Georgia.
Too little water results in bitter and sour fruit. Each orange tree requires 5 to 20 inches of water annually, according to the University of Georgia. Place a rain meter at the tree’s drip line. Provide additional watering during drought or dry periods. Consistent watering increases the yield and quality of fruit.
Provide the most water during the fruit-growth stages and harvesting period. Reduce water after harvesting during the middle to the late fall time period. Avoid over-watering during the early spring or trees may produce less fruit.
Oranges are popular for their fruit and easy maintenance. Home growers do not have to prune healthy orange trees. The trees naturally form the proper shape and size branches needed to sustain fruit production, according to the University of Georgia.
The major exception to pruning orange trees is when damage occurs. Trees that have deadwood, diseases and pests often need these limbs removed. It is important to seal the cut area after pruning, advises the University of Georgia.
The use of organic pesticides or chemical pesticides is often needed with orange trees. According to the University of Georgia, the trees are susceptible to following pests and diseases: citrus rust mites, red scales, mealy bugs, aphids, nematodes and fruit flies.
Home-growers can use pesticides just prior to flowering and after harvesting to prevent these pests and diseases. Some organic pesticides are safe for the orange trees after the trees have been harvested.