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Orange Trees

Though these days you can find oranges at your local supermarket pretty much any time of the year, did you know that some orange varieties are actually a winter fruit? But what’s more, orange trees don’t even like the cold all that much! 

For having such funky seasonal habits, oranges are some of the most beloved citruses out there. Not only is orange juice a staple in American refrigerators, but orange trees are a beloved fruit tree for beginner and veteran gardeners alike. 

And are we surprised? Not only are they delicious and perfect for juicing, but orange trees are also a beauty to behold, and produce the most beautiful and aromatic white flowers. There’s a whole lot to know about this iconic orange fruit. 


Orange Tree Basics

Orange trees.

Chances are that if a tree is heavy with beautiful orange fruit, it’s likely to be an orange tree. But what if it’s not the right season yet? Then it gets a bit tricky. Plus, there are many different types of oranges!

There’s no need to be ashamed! That’s why this guide is here.

How to Identify an Orange Tree

With this guide, you’ll be able to tell if that tree in the backyard of your new home is an orange tree after all, and what type of orange tree it is!

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Planting Orange Trees

Not all of us are lucky enough to magically find an orange tree in our backyards. But don’t despair, there are plenty of options out there, and the following guides teach you exactly what you need to plant it for yourself. 

How to Plant an Orange Tree

No matter what skill-level gardener you are, planting an orange tree isn’t too difficult with the directions of this guide above. Just plan ahead according to whether you’ll be planting it in the ground, or in a container. (Hint: it has to do with your local weather!). 

The Best Soil for Orange Trees

One of the best things you can do to keep your orange trees healthy is to make sure they’re growing in the right kind of nutrient-rich soil! Here are some of my favorites:

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Orange Trees Care: Growing, Pruning, Pollinating, and Pest/Disease Care

The hard part of owning orange trees might be over, but there’s still work to do! Just like any other fruit trees, orange trees require care, attention, and love.

How to Grow an Orange Tree

In addition to reviewing important information about planting orange trees, this post will take you through a high-level view of the main categories of care in the post-planting life of your orange tree. 

How to Prune an Orange Tree

As you might imagine, this guide outlines everything you need to know about pruning an orange tree, which is essential to the fruit tree’s health. 

The Complete Guide to Orange Tree Pollination

For beginners, orange tree pollination might be one of the trickiest subject matter to wrap your head around. This guide is a good place to start: make sure to consult it before you buy your fruit tree sampling, so you know what commitment you’re getting yourself into!

7 Orange Tree Diseases: How to Identify and Treat Them

The truth of the matter is that orange trees are prone to pests and diseases, which could cause disastrous damage not just to your orange juice plans, but to your orange trees, as well. Learn all about it here, and remember that the best cure is prevention!

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Harvesting Oranges

Harvesting oranges is perhaps the best part about growing orange trees to begin with! You finally get to reap the rewards of your hard work (though perhaps the orange tree’s beautiful flowers was a good start). 

When To Pick Oranges: The Best Time for Harvesting

The truth is that the best time to harvest oranges really depends on the variety of orange trees you have decided to grow. This guide, however, will give you some tips for determining the right time with your five senses!

Oranges.

Orange Tree Varieties

There are more orange tree varieties than just the commercially grown ones that replenish the stock at your local grocery store! Take a look at these unique orange tree varieties:

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Orange Varieties: Tangerines and Mandarins

Did you know that mandarins and tangerines are actually types of oranges? In fact, tangerines are mandarin oranges! Confused? Don’t worry, I was too. Take a look at the posts below to learn more about these popular citruses.

Tangerines

A beautiful name for a beautiful fruit! Just like orange trees, Dancy Tangerine trees love the sun and warmth. 

Dancy Tangerine

Mandarins

Did you know that there are so many different types of your favorite fruity snack? Mandarins are loved for their child-friendly, easy-to-eat slices of flesh, but they’re more varied and interesting than they let on!

Mandarins

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Orange Groves

The 11 Best Orange Groves in Florida

Most of us know about apple picking, but in this post, you’ll find some Florida orange grove options that offer pick-your-own oranges!


Oranges in the Kitchen

We all love orange juice, but how about this Fresh Homemade Cherry Jam With Orange Zest and Chia Seeds? Talk about unique!


Orange FAQ

Take a look at what other people are curious about.

What orange trees have thorns?

All citrus trees have thorns, a trait that evolved out of a need to protect itself. Navel, mandarin, and blood orange trees all have thorns. Through deliberate cultivation, we’ve been able to create varieties where the thorns have been reduced to small, sharp points at the base of their leaves.

How long can an orange tree live?

An orange tree can live up to 150 years, but the average lifespan of a healthy orange tree is 50 years. Age depends on how well it weathers diseases, fungal infections, predators, and the climate, all of which are factors that can shorten its lifespan.

How do blood oranges get red?

The distinctive red color of a blood orange comes from the pigment anthocyanin, which is an antioxidant activated by exposure to cool nighttime temperatures. Anthocyanin is also what gives raspberries and blackberries their color!

Why do orange trees grow so abundantly in Florida?

The orange crop is extremely sensitive to the cold, so it can’t survive in areas where the temperature drops into freezing territory. It needs ample sunshine and rainfall to grow. And finally, the orange root thrives in sandy soil. All of these elements make Florida the ideal environment for oranges.

What time of year does an orange tree bear fruit?

Oranges can ripen six to twelve months after their trees first bloom. Navel oranges are harvested from October through June, with the height of the season being November through February. Valencias can be harvested from March through October.

How long does it take an orange tree to bear fruit?

An orange tree can start producing fruit in three to five years.

Can you grow an orange tree from the seeds in an orange?

Theoretically, yes. You can take the seeds you spit out from eating an orange, plant them in the ground, and produce a tree. But it isn’t always smooth sailing. You’ll need to provide ample sunshine and water, avoid cold temperatures, and ward off pests and diseases.

How is it possible to produce seedless oranges?

Seedless fruit is propagated asexually by a process called grafting, where farmers fuse parts from two different plants so they grow as one. Scientists have created fruit varieties that can develop without fertilization. They’ve modified a gene within the orange that makes it self-incompatible, which means it’s unable to produce seeds. The Jaffa orange, for example, is a seedless variety!

Are any orange varieties poisonous to humans or pets?

Oranges are not poisonous to humans. We can even eat the orange peel. In fact, orange peels are often used as zest for a dish.

They are toxic to cats, however, so keep your kitty away. Fortunately, cats can’t taste sweet, so they shouldn’t be tempted.

On the other hand, oranges are safe for dogs to eat, although you should only feed them small pieces sparingly since they’re high in sugar.

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The Star of the Citrus Family

Now that you have a starting point for becoming an expert on oranges, how about exploring other members of the citrus family: