Growing Orange Trees in Florida

Overview

Orange trees, like other citrus trees, are cold-sensitive and grow best in areas of Florida without winter freezes. If your location in Florida receives occasional freezes, you can grow some early season cultivars that will tolerate these colder temperatures. Transplanted orange trees grow to mature heights of 22 to 30 feet with spreads from 15 to 25 feet. Florida orange trees produce sweet-smelling blossoms that eventually mature into sweet-tasting fruits. Select orange varieties suited for your region of Florida.

Step 1

Plan to transplant the orange tree in the spring, after the last chance of frost passes. Pick an area providing full sun and soil that drains well. Clear a 3-foot diameter spot of all rocks, branches, roots and plants.

Step 2

Remove the orange tree from the container and loosen the roots. Cut off any damaged roots or make a number of vertical cuts, if roots are pot bound. Place the orange tree in a bucket full of water to wet the roots.

Step 3

Dig a hole the same depth and twice the width of the container holding the orange tree. Loosen the soil on the sides and bottom of the hole with a rake.

Step 4

Place the orange tree in the center of the hole carefully spreading out the roots. Add or remove soil from the hole to keep the bud union above ground. The soil around the orange tree will settle, so plant it slightly higher to allow for this.

Step 5

Fill the hole halfway with the removed soil and pat down the soil. Fill the hole with water and allow draining. This will remove any air pockets and compact the soil around the orange trees roots. Finish filling the hole in and pat down again.

Step 6

Create a watering basin around the planting hole of the orange tree using the remaining soil. Make the walls of ring 6 inches high. Fill the basin with water and allow it to soak in. Add more dirt, if any of the root ball is exposed or the water rings walls leak after watering. Fill the ring with water every other day for the first week and then once or twice weekly until the basin disappears into the soil. Water the orange tree whenever the first 2 inches of soil is dry after that.

Step 7

Cover a 3-foot area around the base of the transplanted orange tree with 3 to 6 inches of mulch. Keep the mulch 1 to 2 feet away from the tree trunk. This will prevent weeds from emerging and help retain moisture in the soil. Lightly cultivate the area, if mulch is not used.

Step 8

Apply citrus fertilizer around the orange tree as directed, two weeks after planting. Reapply fertilizer each six weeks until October. Thoroughly water the orange tree after applying the fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Pruning shears
  • Knife
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Mulch

References

  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Your Florida Dooryard Citrus Guide: Site Selection
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Your Florida Dooryard Citrus Guide: Young Tree Care
  • Citrus Tree Care: Planting a Citrus Tree
  • Citrus Tree Care: Post-Planting Care

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Your Florida Dooryard Citrus Guide
  • Citrus Tree Care: Orange Trees
  • Agroforestry: Citrus
Keywords: citrus tree, Florida orange trees, transplanted 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.