How to Plant Orange Trees in Containers


Plant orange trees in containers to enhance your garden, patio or deck. Orange trees are sensitive to cold temperatures, but if they are in containers, you can move them indoors if needed. As long as the container has enough space for root growth, good drainage and nutrient-rich soil, the tree will do fine. Plant orange trees early in the year for best results.

Step 1

Choose a container large enough for the orange tree. It should be at least 20 gallons. Make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom. If not, use a drill to make some.

Step 2

Lay down at least 3 inches of pebbles at the base of the plant pot to help with drainage. If you plan to move the orange tree around, use pieces of Styrofoam instead.

Step 3

Create a soil moisture. Mix together three parts of lightweight potting soil with one part peat moss. The goal is to make a well-draining, dense mixture.

Step 4

Add food to the mixture. Mix a slow-release fertilizer with the soil and peat moss. Use the manufacturer's instructions to determine the measurements.

Step 5

Shovel the soil mixture into the planting container. Fill it about 2/3 of the way full. Place the orange tree on top of the soil in the pot. Spread out the roots by hand.

Step 6

Hold the tree so it's sitting straight up and down. Fill the rest of the plant pot with the soil mixture. Make sure the base of the orange tree, just above the roots, is even with the surrounding ground.

Step 7

Water the orange tree until water comes out of the drainage holes on the bottom of the container. If the soil settles a lot, add more soil to the top of the container.

Step 8

Fertilize orange trees during their first growing season. Add 1 tbsp. of slow-release fertilizer to the soil in midsummer. The nutrients will enter the soil every time you water the tree.

Step 9

Prune the orange tree during the first year. Trim off the tips of the longest branches with sharp pruning shears. This will encourage more branching.

Step 10

Transplant orange trees to new containers every three to four years as they outgrow their current pot. You'll know it is time when you notice leaves falling off. If you don't want to move it to a new container, take the tree out, trim the roots and re-pot the orange tree with new potting mix.

Things You'll Need

  • Orange tree
  • Plant pot
  • Drill
  • Pebbles
  • Styrofoam
  • Soil
  • Peat moss
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • Texas A&M Extension: Growing Citrus in Patio Containers
  • FourWindsGrowers: Growing Citrus in Containers
Keywords: plant orange tree, plant orange tree in containers, orange tree

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.