How to Plant Seeds for Orange Trees


The glossy leaves of the orange tree make an ornamental addition to any backyard, to say nothing of the juicy fruit that the tree can produce. You can start your own backyard orange grove from saplings purchased from a nursery, but growing trees from seed is much cheaper. Though orange seeds germinate quickly, it can take up to seven years for the plant to mature and produce fruit of its own, according to Texas A&M University.

Step 1

Cut open the mature, ripe fruit of an orange variety that you like. Remove the seeds from inside the fruit.

Step 2

Rinse the orange seeds under running water to rid them of any clinging pieces of fruit flesh. If you can't plant the seeds immediately, the University of Florida recommends placing the orange seeds on paper towel to dry for several days and then storing them in plastic bags in your refrigerator.

Step 3

Fill a gallon-sized pot with potting soil. If you don't have potting soil on hand, don't use pure garden soil as it's too heavy for optimal seed germination. Instead, mix together equal parts of garden soil, peat moss or compost, and sand.

Step 4

Bury three or four orange seeds in the pot, sinking them 1/2 inch deep.

Step 5

Water the pot once a day or as needed to keep the soil surface moist. Alternatively, seal the top of the pot closed with plastic kitchen wrap after the first watering to trap the moisture in the soil, and keep it perpetually moist. The orange seeds will germinate within 14 days, according to the University of Florida. Once the seeds are a couple of inches tall, pull out all of them except the tallest and strongest seedling.

Things You'll Need

  • Orange fruit
  • Knife
  • Plastic bag and refrigerator (optional)
  • Gallon-sized pot
  • Potting soil
  • Water
  • Plastic kitchen wrap (optional)


  • "Growing Citrus: The Essential Gardener's Guide"; Martin Page; 2008
  • Texas A&M University: Orange
  • University of Florida: Citrus Guide
Keywords: plant orange trees, orange tree seeds, sow orange seeds

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.