How to Grow Orange Trees in Texas

Overview

Eating fresh picked oranges right off your own tree is hard to beat. Orange trees will provide you with a bountiful harvest of tasty fruits to enjoy each year when mature. Texas is located in the Sun (Citrus) Belt region of the country with its warm climates. Citrus trees require temperatures above freezing most of the time, making Texas a suitable growing region. Select the best site to plant orange trees as well as the right variety.

Step 1

Select a location with well-draining soil, plenty of sun and at least 15 feet of space from other trees, structures, pathways or driveways.

Step 2

Remove any grass or plants in a circle area 3 to 5 feet in diameter. Dig a hole in the center of the area double the size of the orange tree's root ball (or container) but at the same depth.

Step 3

Run a rake along the bottom and sides of the hole to loosen the soil. Remove the tree from the container.

Step 4

Remove any artificial growing medium around the roots, if any. Some orange trees are grown in materials other than soil. Rinse the top few inches of this away to expose the roots.

Step 5

Inspect the roots and get rid of any damaged or broken ones. Place the orange tree in the hole and spread out the roots naturally.

Step 6

Check the height of the tree and adjust as needed. A planted orange tree needs to be somewhat higher than it was planted in the nursery to allow for settling.

Step 7

Add more dirt to the bottom of the hole or dig it deeper, if needed. Use the same dirt removed to fill the hole half full.

Step 8

Fill the hole with several gallons of water to remove the air pockets and compress the soil around the orange tree. Let the water soak in.

Step 9

Fill the hole with dirt. Use the remaining soil to create a water basin around the orange tree for easier watering.

Step 10

Build dirt walls 5 to 6 inches high and wide around the basin 1 to 2 feet from the base of the orange tree. This will help the basin retain water.

Step 11

Add enough water to the water basin to fill it. Continue to fill the basin every other day for two weeks, then fill weekly for the next few months or until the basin gradually disappears into the ground.

Step 12

Add 3 to 4 inches of mulch around the tree to retard weeds and maintain moisture in the soil. Keep this mulch at least 12 inches away from the trunk.

Step 13

Add fertilizer to the orange tree once new growth appears. Spread it out around the tree 12 inches away from the base. Water the tree thoroughly.

Step 14

Remove any fruit on the tree for the first two seasons after planting. Allow the oranges to grow during the third growing season.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Water supply
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer

References

  • Texas Cooperative Extension in Bexar County Texas: Growing Your Own Citrus
  • Texas Cooperative Extension: Home Fruit Production: Oranges
  • National Gardening Association: Plant Care Guide - Citrus

Who Can Help

  • USDA Extension Offices: Texas County Offices
  • Central Texas Gardening: Orange Trees for the Central Texas Areas
  • Google Shopping: Orange Trees
Keywords: plant orange tree, growing citrus tree, Texas citrus tree

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published in Southwest, Intel, TravelChannel, AmericanAirlines, Poker4Amateurs, AOL, CityGuides, Yahoo, GardenGuides and more. Dilov-Schultheis is an electronics media specialist and has a degree in Accounting.