How to Plant Orange Trees in Florida

Overview

Orange trees are grown in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. In Florida, they are commercially produced in zone 9B. The evergreen trees grow between 20 and 30 feet high with a rounded crown. White orange blossoms bloom in spring in clusters of one to six. The blossoms are replaced by the fruit in fall or winter. Oranges used to grow through Central Florida until horrible freezes in the 1980s. Now, groves are present mostly in South Florida. There are several varieties of oranges grown in Florida including Valencia oranges which are harvested March through July, 'Pineapple' oranges, which is picked December through February, and Parson Brown, which fruits in October through December.

Step 1

Choose a planting location that is in the full sun. If you live in the sections of Florida that get occasional freezes or frost, plant the orange tree in the west or south sides of your yard. The south is the warmest, followed by the western section.

Step 2

Allow enough space if you're planting more than one orange tree. Allow 10 to 15 feet in between each tree.

Step 3

Remove weeds, debris and old roots before planting orange trees in Florida. This cuts down on the risk of fungal disease. Rake the area smooth.

Step 4

Dig a hole large enough for the tree's root system. Place the tree in the hole and gently spread out the roots by hand.

Step 5

Fill the hole halfway up with the removed soil. Press down to eliminate air pockets. Water until moist. Let the soil settle and continue shoveling in the soil until the hole is full. Water again until thoroughly wet.

Step 6

Apply fertilizer to the orange trees beginning two to three weeks after planting. Lightly apply it, as per the manufacturer's instructions, every six weeks.Do not apply fertilizer between October and February in the first couple of years, especially if you live north of Polk County. That's because there is a possibility of severe cold damage.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not apply heavy amounts of soluble fertilizer or you will burn the orange tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Orange tree
  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Fertilizer

References

  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Your Florida Dooryard Citrus Guide - Site Selection
  • University of Florida: IFAS Extension: Your Florida Dooryward Citrus Guide-Young Tree Care
  • Floridata: Citrus Sinensis
Keywords: plant orange trees, grow orange trees, Florida orange trees

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.