Flying Dragon Trifoliate Planting Instructions


If you are looking for something a bit different to plant in the home landscape consider the Flying Dragon, a cultivar of hardy orange (Poncirus trifoliata "Flying Dragon"). Flying Dragon offers year-round interest with white, fragrant flowers in late spring and early summer and small, bitter oranges in the fall and into winter. With the fruit remaining on the tree long after the leaves have fallen, and the giant thorns that are an identifying feature of the tree, it will definitely be a point of interest in the garden.

Step 1

Choose a planting location for the Flying Dragon. The tree requires full sun and well-drained soil. Consider, as well, that the Flying Dragon in the winter months will be defoliated and thorny so you may want to site it somewhere away from where the kids play.

Step 2

Prepare the soil in the planting area by removing all weeds, rocks and other debris. Dig into the soil to a depth of 12 inches. A gardening fork works well for this task. Dig up the soil and crush any large clumps.

Step 3

Add a 3-inch layer of compost to the existing soil and use the gardening fork to mix it in to a depth of 6 inches. Level the bed with a rake.

Step 4

Dig a hole that the same depth as the pot in which the Flying Dragon is growing and three times the width. Use the gardening fork to scrape the sides and bottom of the hole. This will allow for easier root penetration as the tree becomes established.

Step 5

Remove the Flying Dragon tree from the pot and place the roots into the hole. Fill the hole halfway with soil. Pat the soil around the roots of the tree to remove air pockets.

Step 6

Fill the hole with water. When it drains, finish filling the hole with soil. Tamp around the base of the tree with your feet.

Step 7

Water the tree until the water puddles. When it drains, spread a 3-inch layer of mulch, extending 3 feet in diameter, around the base of the tree. Don't allow the mulch to touch the bark of the tree, a 2-inch distance from the trunk is recommended. ‭ ‭

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening fork
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Heavy gardening gloves


  • Missouri Botanical Garden: Poncirus trifoliata ‭
  • ‭Alabama Cooperative Extension: Citrus for Southern and Coastal Alabama
  • ‭"‬Landscape Management:‭ ‬Planting and Maintenance of Trees,‭ ‬Shrubs and Turfgrass‭"; ‬James R.‭ ‬Feucht and Jack D.‭ ‬Butler‭; ‬1988
Keywords: plant Flying Dragon, plant bitter orange, plant Poncirius trifoliate

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.