The orange is the most commonly grown fruit in the world. It grows best in full sun and warmer climates. However, if you don't live in a warm area, you can grow one in a container. Orange trees are relatively low-maintenance plants, but location, water, fertilizer and pruning are all important if you want to encourage a bigger crop of fruit.
Make sure orange trees are planted in loamy soil with good drainage. The trees will grow poorly in heavy clay or other types of soil that do not drain well.
Plant orange trees on the south or southeast side of a building to ensure that they are protected from the cold. Full sun will also encourage the trees to grow bigger. Make sure they're at least 12 feet from driveways, buildings or walkways to give the trees room as they grow.
Water orange trees slowly and thoroughly every four to five days until new leaves and buds appear. After that, decrease watering to once a week. Give the water plenty of time to penetrate the tree's root ball. Use your finger to determine when the soil is moist enough a couple of inches down.
Fertilize orange trees with a food containing nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium right after harvesting. High nitrogen blends encourage bigger, more productive orange trees. Feed the trees in February, May and September for a total of 1 lb. of nitrogen annually per tree. Follow manufacturer's instructions for citrus tree dosage. Water the trees after fertilizing to get the food down to the roots quicker.
Keep grass 12 inches from the base of an orange tree. Pull weeds as soon as they appear, especially for trees that are less than four years old.
Remove water sprouts that grow from the bottom of the tree trunk. They are useless outgrowths that take nutrients from the rest of the tree. Cut them off where they touch the tree. Orange trees do not need pruning to grow bigger, but you should remove dead or damaged limbs when you see them.