How to Grow Orange Trees in Barbados

Overview

The easternmost Caribbean island of Barbados is in a relatively isolated area between Puerto Rico, St. Vincent and Guyana. The weather is warm and tropical year-round and the soil is rich in lime and phosphates, making it an ideal growing environment for oranges and other citrus trees. At higher elevations, the soil measures the richest on the island, according to Britannica Online. Because the temperature never drops to freezing, orange trees can be grown outdoors successfully all year round.

Step 1

Test your soil to determine whether it is acidic, alkaline or neutral. Orange trees need slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.5 or a little lower. If your soil is alkaline, with a pH of 7.0 or higher, dig organic sulfur into it at the rate of 4 oz sulfur for every square yard of soil. If your soil tests very acidic, dig in about 12 oz of hydrated lime for every square yard of soil. If your soil is neutral, with a pH between 6.3 and 6.8, add sulfur in the same way you would if your soil were too alkaline.

Step 2

Dig a planting hole twice the size of the tree's root system. Move the soil into a wheelbarrow and mix one part organic compost to every four parts of soil. Refill your planting hole about half full with your soil and compost mixture.

Step 3

Remove your orange tree from its nursery pot and set it into the planting hole, distributing the roots evenly around the tree's base. Fill the hole with the remaining soil/compost from your wheelbarrow and then tamp it down lightly with your foot.

Step 4

Water your orange tree thoroughly by running a hose at a slow drip at the root zone for about 20 minutes. If rainfall is scant, water your orange tree in this same manner when the soil becomes dry.

Step 5

Fertilize your orange tree with a plant food designed for citrus beginning one year after you plant it. Three to four feedings are generally recommended on fertilizer labels: begin your application in early spring and continue at evenly spaced intervals until fall.

Step 6

Control fruit flies and other flying insects by hanging yellow sticky traps on the outer branches of your tree when fruit is almost ripe.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test kit
  • Sulfur (optional)
  • Hydrated lime (optional)
  • Sand (optional)
  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Grafted orange tree
  • Fertilizer
  • Sticky insect traps

References

  • Purdue University: Orange
  • Texas A&M Cooperative Extension: Home Fruit Production-Oranges

Who Can Help

  • Travel Maps of World: Geography of Barbados
  • Britannica Online: Barbados
Keywords: Barbados Caribbean, gardening citrus trees, oranges growing tropical

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.