How to Feed & Mulch Florida Orange Trees

Overview

Florida temperatures stay above freezing most of the year. Citrus trees, such as orange trees, flourish in these conditions. Growing orange trees in Florida provides you with fresh juicy oranges, and these fruits come from sweet-smelling blossoms that cover the entire tree. Basic care for your orange tree will ensure it develops properly. This includes mulching and fertilizing the orange tree to prevent weeds, retain moisture in the soil and to provide the appropriate nutrients needed for growth.

Step 1

Use a shovel to add a 3- to 6-inch layer of mulch encircling the orange tree. Stay 12 inches clear of the base of the orange tree.

Step 2

Go out at least 3 feet from the trunk of the tree or the area considered the root zone (canopy line). Extend this out further as the orange tree matures and the canopy spreads.

Step 3

Add more mulch to keep a layer around the orange tree. The mulch will slowly deteriorate and need replenishing at least annually.

Step 4

Apply fertilizer two weeks after planting the orange tree. Spread between a half-pound and 1 pound of fertilizer around the base of the tree. Keep the fertilizer at least 6 inches away from the trunk, applying it 3 feet around the tree.

Step 5

Thoroughly water the orange tree after applying fertilizer.

Step 6

Reapply fertilizer every one and a half months up to October. Increase the amount of fertilizer used by 1 pound per year to a maximum of 8 pounds (per application).

Tips and Warnings

  • Never apply fertilizer from October to February to orange trees in Florida.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer (8-8-8 or similar)
  • Water

References

  • Florida Cooperative Extension Service: Growing Citrus in the Dooryard
  • University of Florida Extension: Your Florida Dooryard Citrus Guide -- Young Tree Care

Who Can Help

  • USDA Extension Offices: Florida County Offices
  • National Gardening Association: Plant Care Guides - Citrus
Keywords: growing orange trees, fertilizing orange tree, mulch orange 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.