Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Care for a Valencia Orange Tree

Valencia is a variety of orange (Citrus sinensis) and is one of the most popular grown today. It is a smallish orange with no to very few seeds. Its sweet, juicy flavor makes it a wonderful orange to eat or juice. Growing and caring for a Valencia orange tree is the same as caring for any species of citrus tree. They all have the same requirements. With proper attention and care, your Valencia orange tree should give you an abundance of fruit for years to come.

Grow your Valencia orange tree outdoors in USDA Plant Hardiness zones 9 and 10, as it prefers a warm environment. Plant your tree into a container if you live in zones 8 or lower because the tree cannot tolerate freezing temperatures.

Plant and grow the Valencia orange tree in soil that is sandy. Do not amend the soil with organic matter because the tree does not require or prefer it. Make sure the soil drains very well and is not prone to sogginess or flooding. Amend the soil with lime, if your soil is alkaline.

Grow the Valencia in an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Do not grow the tree in the shade because it will die. Container plants should be situated in the full sun.

Water a newly planted Valencia orange tree two to three times per week for the first several weeks. Once the tree is established, water it once per week. Cut back to every three weeks in the fall and winter.

Apply a layer or manure on top of the soil underneath the tree’s canopy early in the spring. Apply a high-quality citrus fertilizer three times per year. Apply an application in early spring, summer and fall.

Prune the Valencia orange tree only to remove dead wood, freeze-damaged wood, poorly directed branches, or those interfering with a structure. Prune any dead wood, freeze-damaged wood, or poorly directed branches in the spring. This will give the new growth time to establish itself before cold weather. Prune branches interfering with structures as soon as you notice the problem.

Protect the orange tree from frosts or freezes. Cover the tree with blankets and place a 60-watt, outdoor light under the covers, or hang Christmas lights on it. Bring container-grown trees indoors.

Treat the orange tree with a pesticide designed specifically for orange trees and the pest that is causing the problem. Pests are usually not a problem with orange trees.


Valencia orange trees will produce their fruits late summer through early fall.

Consider the tree's size when planting. It can reach a height of 20 feet and needs that much room for width.

Severe pruning will cause the tree to have less foliage and produce fewer blossoms and fruits. Orange trees will grow best if left unpruned.

Garden Guides