Orange trees are the most commonly grown fruit tree in the world. They can reach 25 to 50 feet tall in the right environment, but often grow get 8 to 10 feet tall. They take up to 5 years to mature and produce fruit and you can grow them outdoors or indoors depending on the climate. Follow simple care guidelines in order to produce a healthy, fruit-producing tree.
Orange trees are subtropical plants, which means that during the growing season the temperature should stay between 55 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures that drop below 30 degrees will damage, or even kill the orange tree. If you live in an area with cooler temperatures you must grow the orange tree indoors.
Orange trees need full sun to thrive and produce fruit. Choose an area to plant your tree with deep, well-drained drained soil. Loamy soils are best, but the fruit tree will also do well in sandy soils. Avoid clays with high water-holding capacity. Planting on the south or southeast side of the house will protect the tree from cold. Position the oranges at least 12 feet from any structure or driveway to give it room to expand. Place the trees in a southern facing window if you grow them indoors.
Growing orange trees from seed does not always produce a replica of the parent plant. Young orange trees grown from seed have a high mortality rate as they are more susceptible to disease. Instead, plant seedlings or young trees.
The orange tree needs consistent moisture after planting. Keep the soil moist, but not sopping wet for the first couple of weeks. As the tree begins to grow on its own, you may water only once a week. In the fall, the tree needs to harden off for the winter, so you can cut watering altogether. In spring, resume watering every other week slowly and deeply.
The orange tree does not need any shape pruning. You only need to cut off dead branches from cold or pest damage. Watch for suckers on young plants and prune those as well. These suckers take nutrients from the mother plant.