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How to Grow Orange Trees in Pots

By Diane Dilov-Schultheis ; Updated September 21, 2017

Orange trees produce sweet, juicy fruits a few years after planting. Orange trees grow best in the southern area of the country known as the “citrus belt” where the winter temperatures mostly stay above freezing. Growing orange trees in containers or pots allows you to enjoy them in colder climes. Place these potted orange trees on the patio or outside during the warmer months and move the plants inside when it gets cold.

Use a pot or container at least 15 to 20 gallons for growing orange trees. Place the container on coasters if the potted orange tree will require moving.

Make holes in the bottom of the pot (with a knife or drill) if it does not have any. This allows proper drainage.

Select a location for the orange tree that provides several hours of sun daily. Place the container in this location before you fill it with soil.

Cover the bottom of the container with screen mesh to hold the soil in. Add 1 to 2 inches of gravel on the bottom for drainage.

Fill the pot with several inches of soil. Remove the orange tree from its old container.

Check the root system and trim off or untangle any roots as needed. Place the orange tree in the pot, spreading the roots out.

Check the height of the orange tree in the container. Add or remove dirt under the tree until it is at the same height is was before.

Fill the pot with soil to within a few inches of the top of the container. Add a layer of mulch or stones around the orange tree, but not touching the trunk of the tree.

Supply water to the orange tree, filling the pot. Check the soil often and water again when the top inch of soil is dry.

Apply a fertilizer formulated for citrus trees to the potted orange tree as directed. Follow the instructions on the label for amounts and schedule.

Prune any tall and spindly branches on the orange tree. Cut back other areas of the tree as needed to maintain its size and shape.


Things You Will Need

  • Container or Pot
  • Heavy-duty coasters (optional)
  • Drill or knife (optional)
  • Screen mesh
  • Gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Mulch or stones
  • Water
  • Pruning shears

About the 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 online at the Travel Channel and Intel.