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
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.
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!
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.
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!).
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:
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.
In addition to reviewing important information about planting orange trees, these post will take you through the main categories of care in the post-planting life of your orange tree, whether outdoors, indoors, potted, or not!
Did you know that tangerines are a kind of orange? Though citrus care can be similar between types of trees, make sure you have the most appropriate information when you dive into planting and growing your own tangerine 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.
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!
The truth of the matter is that orange trees are prone to pests, diseases, and fungi, 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!
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).
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!
So you’ve got a whole harvest of oranges, more than you can eat. Is it time to despair? Not with this guide! Learn how to store oranges to keep them fresh as long as possible.
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. Start out with our post on 28 Different Types of Oranges, and then take a deeper dive into the specific varieties listed here.
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.
A beautiful name for a beautiful fruit! Just like orange trees, Dancy Tangerine trees love the sun and warmth.
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!
Start out with my general Mandarin Tree and Mandarin Oranges post, and then dive in to the specifics:
Most of us know about apple picking, but in these posts, you’ll find some orange grove options that offer pick-your-own oranges!
Oranges in the Kitchen
Obviously, one of the best things about oranges is being able to eat them, or drink their delicious juice. First, wrap your head around the Health Benefits of Oranges and Vitamins in Oranges so that you can also feel good about yourself as you take a look at my other suggestions.
Crazy about orange juice? So am I! If you’re looking to start squeezing your own fresh orange juice right at home, then start your juice adventure here.
We’ve all heard of banana and strawberry chips, but did you know that you can also dry oranges? It’s a great way to store them long-term, too. Learn how in my post below.
Last but not least, how about this Fresh Homemade Cherry Jam With Orange Zest and Chia Seeds? Talk about unique!
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.
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: