How to Sprout and Grow Orange Trees
When to Plant Oranges
Oranges are a tender crop, and should be planted at least six weeks after the last frost date, when the air and soil temperatures are consistently warm.
Those who live in the commercial citrus belt, extending from Southern California to Florida, can plant orange trees at any time, due to the perennial warmth. Before planting, consult your plant hardiness map to determine if your area is suitable for year-round citrus plant growth.
How to Grow Orange Trees Outdoors
Locate a spot with plentiful sunlight and well-draining soil rich in loam. Since orange trees lay deep roots, measure a clearing of at least a 20-foot circumference from the base of full-sized trees, and 10-foot circumference from smaller varieties.
Mound the soil around the base of the fledgling tree, then make sure to water the roots with about an inch of water per week.
How to Grow Orange Trees From Seeds
You can extract seeded orange seeds straight from the fruit. Soak the seeds in water. The seeds will need to sit in water for at least 24 hours. After a day or two, discard any seeds that float to the top. Prepare your soil. To germinate orange tree seeds, you can use traditional potting mix. Place your soil in trays and plant the seeds in a hole about an inch deep. Cover with soil, and add any compost or mulch to add nutrients to the soil.
Keep in a warm place. Once the seeds have been planted, place your seeds in a warm, moist spot with access to indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist by placing moist paper towels or plastic bags over the trays for a few weeks. Once the seeds begin to sprout, you can remove the covers. Keep in a warm spot with lots of sunlight. Supplement with a grow light if natural light is scarce.
Transfer to individual pots. Seeds should continue sprouting and growing. Keep the seedlings moist and warm until they are ready to transplant into individual containers. When transplanting, keep the rootball undisturbed. Plant in a pot big enough to accommodate the deep roots the tree lays in well-draining soil. Place in a warm spot indoors with access to direct sunlight and good air circulation. Ensure your planters have drainage holes.
How to Harvest Oranges
To harvest oranges, you’ll need a sharp tool, like shears or a small knife, to remove the oranges from their stems. You can also use garden gloves to pick the fruit by hand. Once picked, oranges no longer ripen. Store in a refrigerator or in a cool place. Oranges typically last between two to three weeks.