How to Take Care of an Orange Tree


Orange trees are great for gardens, as they provide shade, beauty and a citrusy smell while flowering. It is best to plant orange trees around midsummer so they can establish roots before any sort of frost. After they mature, they require a small amount of care and simple pruning.

Step 1

Plant your orange tree in a place with excellent drainage, either on a slope or in a planter pot. It should be located in equal parts shade and sun.

Step 2

Water the orange tree generously once a week if you live in a subtropical environment, and twice a week if you live in a very dry climate. The roots need to stay hydrated, and this is especially crucial for very young orange tree saplings. Once the tree is matured after a year, water it about once every week and a half.

Step 3

Fertilize the orange tree in cool weather, spreading out 1 1/2 lb. of rich nitrogen fertilizer throughout the cool months of the year. Use gloves and spread it evenly around the base of the trunk so nutrients can be distributed evenly to the roots.

Step 4

Prune the orange tree early each spring to help promote growth and proper orange production. Harvest oranges when they are a dark, rich color and are at least the size of an adult fist.

Step 5

Make sure that the orange tree is never in temperatures that drop below 50 degrees F. Cold temperatures kill orange trees. It is ideal to grow the tree in a planter if you live anywhere besides a subtropical to tropical region. When bringing the tree inside, place it in a sunny window and decrease the amount of water you provide to it accordingly. It will only need to be watered occasionally since it will not be in direct heat.

Things You'll Need

  • Work gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Fertilizer


  • Citrus Tree Care
Keywords: caring for orange trees, growing citrus, harvesting oranges

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.