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How to Grow Orange Trees in Texas

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


Contact your local extension or garden center to learn more about the specific varieties of orange trees grown in your specific area of Texas. Ask about soil testing and what type of fertilizer you need and how often to apply. Find out about diseases or pests common to your region and measures to control them.

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