How to Propagate Orange Trees

Overview

Orange trees are fruit-producing semi-tropical trees. These tender evergreen trees are cultivated mainly for their sweet fruit but they are also favored for their ornamental value. Orange trees produce small 1/2- to 1-inch wide cream to white colored highly fragrant flowers that are known for being bee magnets. Propagating orange trees can be done via freshly obtained seeds.

Step 1

Cut open a ripe orange to remove its seeds. Look for plump, thick seeds.

Step 2

Wash off the orange tree seeds. You can set them into a wire basket or colander to do this. Run cool water over the seeds to remove any pulp or leftover residue.

Step 3

Place the orange seeds into a bowl of water. Keep only the seeds that float; discard any of the seeds that float. The floating seeds are less likely to germinate.

Step 4

Spread a soilless seed starting mix evenly into an oven-proof metal tray. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the mix for 30 minutes then let it cool until it's warm to the touch before using.

Step 5

Pour 2 gallons of water into a 5-gallon bucket. Add 2 cups of household bleach to the bucket. Set the plastic pots into the bucket and let them soak in the solution for 30 minutes; avoid using clay pots since they will not provide adequate drainage. Rinse each pot off under cool water and let them dry before using.

Step 6

Scoop the seed starting mix into the 4-inch or 6-inch wide sterilized pots. Pack it down firmly in each of the pots using a spoon or any clean object that has a smooth surface until the mix is about 3/4 of an inch from the top.

Step 7

Plant two orange tree seeds per individual pot. Place the seeds so they are about 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart. Push the orange seeds down firmly into the soil using a chopstick or a pencil.

Step 8

Cover up all the orange tree seeds with approximately 1/2 inch of seed starting mix.

Step 9

Place the pots where it will remain warm and provide plenty of filtered light daily. A good temperature for germinating orange tree seeds is between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Mist the pots with water as needed to maintain moisture but do not provide water so often the mix becomes water-logged. Germination of orange tree seeds can take as little as two to three weeks or longer, such as three to six months, according to Tradewinds Fruit.

Step 10

Transplant the orange tree saplings into 1-gallon or larger pots once they are well established and about 3 to 4 inches tall.

Things You'll Need

  • Orange
  • Knife
  • Wire basket
  • Bowl
  • Seed starting mix
  • Tray
  • 4- or 6-inch wide plastic pots
  • Spoon
  • Pencil or chopstick
  • Bleach
  • Spray bottle

References

  • Tradewinds Fruit: Germination of Seeds
  • North Carolina State University: Planting Seeds
  • Purdue University: Growing Orange Trees
Keywords: planting orange seeds, propagating orange trees, orange tree seeds

About this Author

Katelyn Lynn has been writing health and wellness articles since 2007. Her work appears on various websites, including GardenGuides.com. Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health sciences from TUI University.