Growing and caring for your own orange tree can bring a massive change to your yard. Imagine growing your own sweet oranges for juicing or eating. It’s not as difficult as you think if you live in a moderate climate. Regarded for the beauty and color they bring to a landscape as much as for the fruit they bear, orange trees will thrive in the USDA zones 9A-11 as they are typically grown in subtropical temperatures. Prior to planting your tree, you should find out what orange trees are adaptable in your area and decide whether you are going to use the fruit of the tree for juicing or eating.
Before purchasing your tree examine it carefully. Choose a tree that has a large trunk, shows new growth and has dark green leaves. Also carefully examine the bottom of the pot for root rot or roots that at mushy.
When planting outdoors you should look for a sunny area in your yard that does not retain water. The soil should not be alkaline as alkaline soil has high amounts of calcium, sodium and magnesium and lacks essential nutrients that your orange tree requires for growth.
Dig a hole that is three times the diameter of the roots when spread out and so that it is an inch taller than it was when sitting in the pot. Before placing the tree in the ground soak the roots in a bucket of water while digging the hole.
Place the roots into the hole and fill in the soil around the tree until the hole is half full and pat the soil around the tree to remove any air pockets. With a hose, fill the hole with water and let it settle. Fill in the hole with the remaining soil—almost to the top—and pat again. Build a basin to hold water around the tree trunk that can hold seven to ten gallons of water. Fill the basin with water.
Water your tree three to four times a week for about a month after being planted. After this initial period and the tree is established it will only need water once a week. You should fertilize your tree with a fertilizer designed for citrus trees once a quarter.
If temperatures drop below 50 degrees cover the bottom of your tree to protect and keep the roots warm. Orange trees do not require pruning.