Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Care for Navel Orange Trees

By Lauren Wise ; Updated September 21, 2017

Navel oranges are distinguishable by the growth of a second orange at the base of the original fruit. The second fruit resembles the navel of a person, hence the name. Navel orange trees are ideal for gardens because of their beauty, shade and citrus scent while flowering. Plant them in early summer so they can establish roots, whether you are planting them in pots or outside.

Decide if you are going to plant your navel orange tree outside in the ground or in a planter pot that you can transport inside. This all depends on your temperatures in the region you live. Ideally, navel orange trees thrive in 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Outside, plant your orange tree in a place with excellent drainage. It should be located in equal parts shade and sun. In hotter temperatures and higher humidity levels, you will need to make sure to surround the base of the trees with damp pebbles or moist peat moss to keep them cool, and mist with water occasionally. If the temperature where you live falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need to plant the trees in pots to bring inside. Orange navel trees can begin to flower in 5- to 6-inch pots.

Water the tree in a subtropical environment about once a week, and twice a week in a very dry climate. For young trees this is especially important to keep the roots wet.

Fertilize the navel orange tree in the year's warmest months with about a pound of high-potash fertilizer, every two weeks until it cools down.

Prune the navel orange trees each early spring. This helps encourage new growth, maintain shape and also get rid of any dead branches.

Re-pot the trees as they mature from the original smaller pots. They will need at least 10-inch pots to achieve full fruition. Keep an annual topsoil change for the potted trees.


Things You Will Need

  • Work gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Fertilizer
  • Navel orange trees
  • Planter pots
  • Water