No longer do we have to live in Florida or California and have acres of orchard to enjoy growing our own citrus fruit. With miniature and dwarf varieties of everyone's favorite fruit trees, we can grow fresh fruit on decks, patios and even right in our living rooms. Caring for the dwarf orange tree is much the same as caring for the standard-sized tree. The beauty of growing the dwarf, though, is that you don't need a ladder to pick the fruit.
Caring for your tree year round
Grow your dwarf orange tree in a sunny area. If you are growing it indoors, make sure it gets at least a half day of full sunlight. Like most citrus trees, dwarf orange tree likes warm temperatures-between 70 and 80 degrees F-is ideal, but lower temperatures are tolerated. If planting your tree outdoors, find a spot that gets as much sun as possible, preferably all day.
Amend the soil that your tree will be growing in. Use compost if your soil is either too heavy or too sandy. Then, water consistently and deeply every three to four days. Check the soil to decide if you are watering enough. If planted outdoors, water when the the top 5 inches of soil is dry. Indoors, only let the top 2 inches of soil dry out.
Apply a fertilizer high in acid, such as MaxSea, once a month while the tree is in bloom. Stop fertilizing the dwarf citrus tree from fall to mid-winter.
Prune your dwarf orange tree to remove dead or dying branches, branches that are crossed and any suckers that are growing from the roots.
Attack aphids, scale or spider mites that may infest the tree as soon as possible. The best remedy for these pests is insecticidal soap.