The Care of Orange Trees


Orange trees, part of the citrus family, grow best in warm climates that provide mild winters with temperatures that stay above freezing. An orange tree reaches heights over 25 feet when fully mature. Its branches fill up with dark green leaves and produce beautiful blossoms, which give off sweet aromas and eventually turn into juicy fruits. Proper care of a planted orange tree is vital to its growth and development. Choose a variety suited for your location for best growing results.

Step 1

Use a shovel and the leftover dirt from the planting hole to create a watering basin (ring) around the base of the newly planted orange tree. Make the ring at least 24 inches in diameter.

Step 2

Create mounds of dirt 3 to 6 inches wide and high. Fill the ring full of water and allow it to slowly drain.

Step 3

Add more dirt to the mound or around the base of the newly planted orange tree, if needed. Do this if any of the water leaked out of the ring or the soil around the trunk of the tree settled too low, after watering.

Step 4

Fill the watering basin every other day for two weeks after planting the orange tree. Continue to supply water weekly, until the watering ring slowly fades away in a few months. Supply water after that to the orange tree, only when the top 2 inches of soil dries.

Step 5

Cover a 36-inch diameter area around the orange tree with 3 to 6 inches of mulch. Keep the mulch at least 12 inches away from the trunk of the tree.

Step 6

Extend the mulch out as the orange trees canopy grows and spreads out. Covering the area below the canopy with mulch prevents weeds from emerging and retains moisture in the soil, which are both beneficial to the development of the orange tree.

Step 7

Cut or pinch off any growth seen on the bottom of the orange tree. Remove any fruits produced for the first two growing seasons. This benefits the overall growth of the orange tree.

Step 8

Inspect the growing orange tree often for signs of problems, such as pests or diseases. Look for changes in the color, texture or shape of all parts of the tree.

Step 9

Speak to your local nursery, garden center or areas extension office to identify any problems found and ask how to take care of it. Control and treatment will differ, depending on your exact problem.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not apply any fertilizer to the newly planted orange tree, until the following spring. Use only special formulated citrus fertilizers and apply as directed.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Water
  • Pruning shears


  • University of Florida: Your Florida Dooryard Citrus Guide
  • Citrus Tree Care: Post Planting Care
  • Texas A&M University Extension: Home Fruit Production - Oranges

Who Can Help

  • Tree Help: Orange Citrus Trees
  • Purdue University: Orange
  • USDA Cooperative Extension Offices
Keywords: newly planted orange tree, planting orange tree, growing orange tree

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.