Orange trees grow well as a ornamental trees. At approximately 3 years old the trees begin fruit production. They thrive in regions that offer a tropical and subtropical climate. Orange trees do require a regular fertilizing schedule to maintain their overall appearance, keep their disease resistance elevated and aid them in producing fruit.
First Fertilizer Application
Approximately three weeks after planting a young orange tree, the tree's buds will begin to swell. At this time the tree will require its first application of fertilizer. Citrus trees benefit from a general-purpose 8-8-8 fertilizer. The fertilizer should also contain small amounts of boron, magnesium, copper and manganese.
Applications Per Year
Orange trees require fertilizing at six weeks intervals beginning in February and extending into October during their first year after planting. The trees will benefit from an application of 1/2 pound of fertilizer at each feeding. During the trees' second year of life fertilize five times per year, during their third year of life fertilize four times per year and when orange trees are 4 years old fertilize them only three times per year, suggests the University of Florida.
At 4 years and up, orange trees benefit from fertilizer applications in February, May and November. For trees under 10 years old, apply 1 pound of fertilizer for every year of the tree's life at each application. Orange trees that are 10 years or older only require 10 pounds of fertilizer three times per year.
Orange trees benefit from having the fertilizer sprinkled out from their trunks to the dripline of their canopies. By spreading the fertilizer out across the soil's surface it will sink into the soil and adequately be absorbed by the tree's root system. The fertilizer will require ample water to dissolve into the soil.
Orange trees grown in alkaline soil conditions will require a foliar feeding of manganese and zinc sprayed on their leaves. The trees will also need chelated iron added to their soil yearly. Follow individual instructions for application of each product.