How often do orange trees bear fruit

When Do Orange Trees Get Oranges? | Home Guides

By Michelle Miley Updated November 04, 2019

Orange trees (Citrus sinensis) thrive in subtropical climates generally found in USDA zones 9 through 11, or you can grow them indoors, where you can protect them from freezing. Oranges can require a lot of care, but because you can buy them all year at the grocery store, it's easy to forget how long growing your own food can take. Although the fruit will be well worth the wait, you won’t be able to pluck an orange off the tree in your backyard and enjoy it until the tree has had enough time to establish itself and mature -- a process that can take several years. Even when mature, a tree will only bear fruit at certain times of the year and when proper growing conditions are met.

Tree Age

Orange trees do not fruit until they have been established in the same spot for three to four years. If a tree produces oranges before that, you should remove them so the young tree can direct its energy into growing rather than attempting to support a premature crop. The exact number of oranges will vary from tree to tree and from one variety to another. Navel oranges generally produce 10 to 15 pounds of fruit during their third year but can produce up to 150 pounds when they reach full maturity at 10 years. Early and mid-season varieties can produce up to 250 pounds of fruit at maturity.

Time of Year

Orange trees are evergreen but, unlike many limes and lemons, do not produce fruit continually throughout the year. Each tree produces one crop of fruit per year, with the fruiting cycle taking up to 10 months for some varieties. Oranges have traditionally been harvested in winter, but new variety creation and cultivation techniques now allow for harvest almost all year. Generally, early-season varieties are ready for harvest between October and January, mid-season between December and February and late-season between March and June.

Orange Tree Fertilizer

Orange trees fruit best when they receive the right amount of fertilizer. Producing fruit takes a lot of energy from the tree and only healthy trees are able to respond to this demand. But too much fertilizer decreases cold hardiness and delays fruit maturity. Beginning in their second year, orange trees should receive 1 pound of fertilizer per year of age. Apply a balanced, granular fertilizer such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 in the middle of March each year. The trees should never receive more than 12 pounds of fertilizer, regardless of their age. Spread the fertilizer from the trunk to out beyond the tree’s drip line, rather than applying it in one area.

Pollination and Alternate Bearing

Two factors that sometimes affect orange tree fruit production are a lack of cross-pollination and alternate bearing fruit varieties. Orange trees are self-pollinating and do not need to be planted with other varieties to bear fruit. But there are some known exceptions to this rule, including the "Tangor" and "Tangelo" varieties. Orange trees that simply refuse to fruit may perform better if another variety is planted nearby. Alternate bearing can also be an issue in orange trees. Although no one is sure why, citrus and other fruit trees tend to bear heavily one year and lightly the next. The best way to combat this problem is to thin the fruit to a manageable load each year and harvest the fruit as soon as it is ready.


  • Pearson Ranch LLC: Ask Farmer Tony
  • Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service: Louisiana Home Citrus Production
  • Purdue University: Orange
  • How To Choose The Perfect Citrus Tree For Your Location

Writer Bio

Writing professionally since 2008, Michelle Miley specializes in home and garden topics but frequently pens career, style and marketing pieces. Her essays have been used on college entrance exams and she has more than 4,000 publishing credits. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting, having graduated summa cum laude.

When Does an Orange Tree Bear Fruit? | Home Guides

By Cathryn Chaney Updated December 10, 2018

The delights of growing orange trees (Citrus sinensis) are many. The glossy-leaved evergreen trees bear fragrant, white waxy flowers in spring, followed by tasty decorative orange fruits. Orange trees grow outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11, and in zone 9 with winter protection. Below USDA zone 8, grow citrus in containers and bring them indoors during cold weather. The trees bear oranges after five to six years, and fruit takes seven to more than 12 months to ripen.

Seedling Trees

Orange trees grown from seed take from five to six years to produce fruit for the first time. A horticulturist in Great Britain in 1840 growing oranges in containers in an orange-house, or orangerie, noted his seedlings bore fruit after six years. He equated first fruits with when new branches were without spines. An article in "Popular Science News" in 1901 observed that young California orange trees don't bear fruit before five years in the ground. Martin Page, author of "Growing Citrus," characterizes seed-grown citrus as being 10 years old before fruit quality can be determined.

Grafted Trees

Various disease- and pest-resistant citrus species serve as rootstocks for orange trees. Trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata) helps to dwarf budstock for easier harvest and to fit orange trees for smaller spaces. Rough lemon (Citrus jambhiri) rootstock promotes faster fruit-bearing. The grafted orange takes a year to become established after transplanting and three to four years to reach useful fruit-bearing size. Remove any fruits that form during this time to help the tree grow larger. Grafted oranges grow faster and more uniformly and bear earlier than seedlings.

Fruit Production

Oranges begin to develop flower buds in early winter. They develop slowly through the late winter into spring, usually blooming in April, and so many flowers are produced that up to 99 percent of them fall off without setting fruit. Flowers set fruit in mid-April to May, with many more young fruit than a tree can support. Many of the small fruits fall off during the "June drop" period in late May and June. The remaining oranges continue to grow, maturing seven to 15 months after fruit set, depending on the variety and growing conditions. Fruit color doesn't always indicate ripeness. Some oranges develop some green on the skin, called re-greening, due to cooler winter temperatures, but they are ready to harvest.


Seasonality of fruit-bearing depends on the cultivar. Early-season varieties ripen in the fall. "Hamlin" produces small to medium oranges in late September, as does "Marrs." Navel oranges are the premier type for eating out of hand. Seedless fruits ripen in late September, from seven to 12 months after fruit set. Mid-season oranges mature from November into early January. "Pineapple" has medium large fruits, 15 to 25 seeds and good juice and ripens before Thanksgiving. "Jaffa," of Israeli origin, has small to medium yellow fruit with smooth flesh and nectarlike juice. Harvest is around Christmas. Late-season fruits are ready in February and March. "Valencia," the world's most-planted orange variety grown for both juice and eating, is ready in February.


  • University of Arizona Cooperative Extension: Protecting a Citrus Tree From Cold
  • Texas A&M University Extension: Home Fruit Production -- Oranges
  • University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources: Oranges: Safe Methods to Store, Preserve, and Enjoy
  • The Floricultural Cabinet, and Florists' Magazine: On the Management of Orange Trees
  • Popular Science: Plant Life: California Oranges
  • Growing Citrus: The Essential Gardener's Guide; Martin Page
  • Purdue University: Orange
  • Traditional Tree Initiative: Citrus (Citrus) and Fortunella (Kumquat)
  • Sunkist Citrus & Products: Citrus 101: How Citrus Trees Are Grown

Writer Bio

Cathryn Chaney has worked as a gardening writer since 2002. Her horticultural experience working in the nursery industry informs her garden articles, especially those dealing with arid landscaping and drought-tolerant gardening. Chaney also writes poetry, which has appears in "Woman's World" magazine and elsewhere. Chaney graduated from the University of Arizona in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

Description, crossing, cultivation and further care


  • Main information
  • Description of the plant
  • characteristics of species and varieties
  • Crowning
  • Features to the taste of connoisseurs of the exotic. An evergreen plant can be grown in your own apartment not just as a decorative flower, but also as a source of tasty and healthy fruits. True, in growing a tree it is somewhat capricious, but if you wish, you can learn to satisfy its whims and get a good harvest even in a city apartment. Fruits will certainly appeal to all family members.

    Basic information

    Many of us have repeatedly wondered how oranges grow in nature? No less interesting is the following: is an orange a fruit or a berry? The natural habitat of oranges is the subtropics. In Turkey, or even in Egypt, whole gardens grow in which orange fruits ripen in abundance. In the wild, an orange is extremely rare, as it is a hybrid and requires some care. But people have adapted to grow it not only in hot countries in the open field, but also in cold climates at room conditions.

    Few people know, but orange fruits acquire their characteristic orange flesh color only in temperate climates. This happens for the simple reason that chlorophyll is destroyed due to air cooling. In countries with a hot climate, where oranges grow in the open field, they are eaten green and only those specimens for export are dyed. The yield of one tree in such conditions is about 5 thousand fruits per year. The description of the plant suggests that the orange fruit consists of a huge number of nests, and the stone is surrounded by juicy pulp.

    It was decided to call the plant and its fruits an orange following an example from the German language, where in literal translation this word means “Chinese apple”. Prior to that, in Russia it could be called completely differently: naranzh, orantzior, orange. Orange seems to come from China, where for the first time, about 2.5 thousand years BC, it was possible to cross tangerine and pomelo. The plant came to Europe only in the 15th century, thanks to the Portuguese. In Russia, these trees began to be cultivated only in the 18th century. Even then, the miraculous properties of fruits in the fight against epidemics of many diseases, including plague, became known.

    Orange tree

    Domestic orange trees are characterized by intense green leaves forming a dense crown. The bark is colored light green. In height, the tree sometimes reaches 2.5 meters. The homemade orange flower is pale white. Fruiting occurs 8 years after planting a young plant. The taste of homemade fruits is indistinguishable from those sold in supermarkets.

    Famous writer Nikolai Leikin could not ignore the exotic fruit and wrote a book with an intriguing title "Where Oranges Ripe". The potential reader is drawn to look into the epilogue of this work.

    Characteristics of the plant

    Many people think that an orange is a large bush, but this judgment is erroneous. According to a number of characteristic features and other comparative characteristics, scientists firmly stated: an orange is a tree. Its maximum height depends entirely on belonging to a particular variety. The plant is evergreen, powerful. Thorns quite often grow on the branches, up to 10 cm long. The leaf reaches a length of up to 15 cm and a width of up to 10 cm, has an oval shape, a dense texture and a rich dark green color. Close to the surface of the orange leaf are glands that produce aromatic oils. The life span of a leaf is up to 2 years. Both old and young specimens grow simultaneously on the plant, the functions of which are different. With the help of young foliage, the tree carries out the processes of photosynthesis, and the old one contributes to the accumulation of nutrients. Most of the old green mass falls in February or March, the rest - throughout the year.

    Mandarin tree

    Orange has no root hairs, which absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil. This is what distinguishes it from other trees. Citrus feeds on the location of colonies of specific soil fungi on its roots, which receive carbohydrates and amino acids from it, and in return give minerals and moisture. The mycelium of such fungi reacts painfully to drought, a decrease in temperature, or exposure of the root system. That is why an important condition for growing oranges is the inadmissibility of the drying of the soil. It is worth replanting indoor shrubs only with a clod of earth, otherwise it will get very sick and may even die.

    Orange flowers are bisexual, up to 5 cm in diameter, white or pinkish. Inflorescences include 6 buds, in some species each flower is located separately. Flower buds are laid in early spring. The tree begins to bloom at a temperature of 16 ° C. The flowering period lasts only a few days.

    The citrus fruit has a similar structure for the whole family. Distinctive features are the oval or rounded shape of the orange. It is formed from the upper ovary and has the name hisperidium, so the orange is a fruit and a berry. The pulp is represented by small slices, each of which is covered with a thin film. There are juice bags in the slice. The taste of the pulp is sweet, bitter or sweet and sour. Some oranges do not contain seeds at all, but in most cases, multi-seed grains are in one slice on top of each other.

    Orange peel not more than 5 mm thick. The composition of the top layer and zest includes many glands with a high content of essential oils. From the inside, the peel is covered with a layer of albedo. It is thanks to this that the pulp has the ability to easily separate from the skin. In the total mass of an orange, the skin makes up 17-42%. The color of the peel can be either greenish or almost red.

    Orange tree - fruits

    Orange is a remontant tree. Together with buds and flowers, it can contain fruits in varying degrees of ripeness. Because of this, it is difficult to say exactly when oranges ripen. In general, this process takes up to 9months. Ripe oranges remain on the tree for a long time without losing their commercial qualities. In the spring, they tend to turn green again, and in the fall they acquire the usual orange color for us. For 2 seasons, seeds ripen much better in fruits, but the taste of the pulp deteriorates significantly. For eating, it is better to use a fruit that has ripened in one season of ripening oranges.

    Characteristics of species and varieties

    Sea buckthorn tree

    Orange is a tree that can grow and bear fruit not only in the wild, but also in an apartment. There are about 600 varieties of this amazing plant, but not all of them are suitable for growing at home.

    The most popular were:

    • Gamlin;
    • Pavlovsky;
    • Washington Navel.

    Gamlin is a medium-sized variety, the height of an adult plant reaches 1.5 meters. Ripe oranges have an excellent sweet and sour taste, ripening in late autumn. Pavlovsky is the shortest species. An adult orange tree grows up to only 1 meter. Fruiting is plentiful, but the ripening period of the crop is long - about 9months. The most popular among connoisseurs is the tall Washington variety. It has an interesting property: during the flowering period, an amazing sweetish aroma spreads around the orange tree. The fruits are formed quite large, the mass of one of them sometimes reaches 300 grams. As a result of the mutation of the variety, a new pink orange of the Kara variety appeared. The unusual appearance and original taste of the fruit are in demand among both consumers and gardeners.

    Washington Navel

    Navelin orange is no less worthy representative of the species than Washington. Differs in earlier terms of maturing, the correct form and beautiful color of fruits. Taste is also top notch. The Fragol variety looks no less worthy against the background of competitors. Its specific fruity aroma is recognizable from a thousand, and it is impossible to confuse it. The taste of oranges is also great. In translation, the name of this variety means Strawberry. The crop grows medium or large in size, with excellent commercial qualities.

    There is also a black (bloody) orange, which has an unusual color of the pulp due to the presence of a large number of coloring pigments. This species is not widely used, especially for growing indoors. Although its taste and commodity indicators are on top.

    Growing an orange tree

    Tomato tree

    What is an orange and how to grow it at home? Firstly, this exotic handsome man needs good lighting. It can get along with other indoor flowers only from the south or southeast side. To prevent orange leaves from getting sunburned, it is recommended to create a slight shade, but the amount of light received should in no case be reduced.

    Before planting a homemade orange, it is worth considering that it bears fruit only at ambient temperatures in summer from +21 to +25°C. If the specified norms are exceeded, the tree will grow, but it will not form fruits. In winter, the optimum temperature ranges from +10 to +15°C. It is necessary to exclude any possible draft that can cause irreparable harm to the plant.

    Growing an orange tree requires effort

    The orange is a capricious plant that is quite difficult to grow from a seed. However, nothing is impossible if you put some effort and work. For planting it is worth choosing fresh dense seeds. The sprout of the future orange must be reliably protected by a hard peel, which, moreover, will not allow it to germinate prematurely. Dried grains are difficult to make hatch. Before planting, the seed is washed with warm water, soaked overnight, and then planted in peat or loose nutrient mixture to a depth of one centimeter and covered with cellophane.

    An orange seed germinates only after a month, so until that time the pot should be in a warm but shady place. Regularly the greenhouse should be ventilated, if necessary, moisten the soil. Only after you manage to germinate the grains, you can remove the shelter.

    As soon as two true leaves appear on a young plant, it must be dived. It should be remembered that the seedling tolerates such manipulations well, therefore all work is carried out as accurately as possible. A young orange tree is transferred to a new place of growth along with a clod of soil. The root collar zone should never be underground. It is preferable to carry out work in the spring so that the full range of activities is completed before the shoots begin to grow.

    A step-by-step tutorial on growing an orange tree at home says that you can’t do without a plant transplant. This procedure must be treated very responsibly. It is carried out approximately once a year, as the rhizomes grow. An adult tree can be transplanted every 2-3 years.

    It is important to know which pot to choose for growing oranges at home. If the seedling has 6 true leaves, then the diameter of the container is 10 cm. In order for the tree to have a source of nutrients, a mixture is prepared from soddy soil, humus from the leaves, river sand and peat. In subsequent orange tree transplants, a small amount of clay is added. A drainage layer is preliminarily laid on the bottom to prevent moisture stagnation and rotting of the root system during irrigation.

    Care instructions

    In order to get a healthy harvest of orange fruits, it is necessary to create a climate similar to the Mediterranean at home. In the summer season, the plant can be taken out to fresh air, but at the same time protected from the scorching rays of the sun. During the formation of buds and the formation of ovaries, a temperature regime of + 15-18 ° C should be ensured. In winter, it is worth reducing the number of waterings of the orange tree, and maintaining the room temperature above + 12 ° C. This provides additional illumination with phytolamps.

    Care is important

    The main mistake of beginner florists is a sharp change in climatic conditions when growing oranges: turning the pot, moving the plant from one room to another. As a result, it begins to hurt, drop leaves and wither. Caring for a room orange involves applying a complex mineral fertilizer once every 1-2 weeks. Also, fertilizing with iron sulfate is carried out every season. You can also bring a weak solution of potassium permanganate and water the plant with it.

    With proper care, the orange seedling develops quickly and grows well. However, an orange tree grown from a stone will not always please you with a rich harvest. If it bears fruit, then the coloring of the fruit is by no means presentable, and the taste is poor. This is due to the fact that the orange does not carry the signs of the parent plant and is a wild tree. It can be recognized at the age of one year by the presence of hard green spikes on the trunk.

    In order for a house plant to ripen full and tasty oranges, it needs to be grafted. The seedling plays the role of a rootstock for a varietal cutting, which can be obtained from a fruit-bearing adult plant. In the process of growth, the tree will need crown formation and pinching of the main shoot. Only in this case, after 6-10 years, you can get the first harvest of your own oranges.

    Major Diseases and Pests


    In indoor conditions, the orange tree is not safe from potential pests and pathogens. Most often, the plant is attacked by various types of scale insects, which tend to settle on the leaves. The spider mite is no less dangerous.

    Less commonly, orange trees are attacked by insects such as:

    • thrips;
    • aphids;
    • various pincers.

    Control them by treating the orange with a broad spectrum insecticide. The scale is removed manually, using a brush dipped in alcohol.

    Of the diseases for the orange tree, gommosis and gum disease are the most dangerous. When damaged, a certain part of the bark and roots dies. The causative agents are pathogenic fungi that parasitize in the zone of the orange root collar. As a control measure, it is necessary to remove the external cause, and then disinfect and treat the wound with garden pitch. In case of severe damage, the tree will have to be burned. In case of orange damage by anthracnose and citrus wart, the plant is treated with a fungicide. As a preventive measure, the tree is treated with a Bordeaux mixture.

    Growing oranges at home is not easy and requires certain skills and good theoretical knowledge. Only in this case, the end result will pleasantly surprise you, and the orange fruits of your own harvest will lie on the festive table. Beginners should also not be afraid of the difficulties in growing an orange tree, but feel free to start experimenting. After all, experience does not come by itself, but requires constant work and self-improvement.

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    Natalya G. Vlasenko

    We grow an orange tree | Pavlovolimon

    Orange tree (lat. Citrus sinensis ) is a member of the Rutaceae family. It began to grow more than two thousand years ago in China. It was brought to European countries by Portuguese navigators in the 15th century. Initially, this fruit was intended for aristocrats and individuals of noble blood. Two centuries later, the orange came to Russia. The nobles considered it a delicacy.

    Orange fruits contain a large amount of vitamin and mineral substances. Freshly squeezed juice of ripe fruit is useful in the treatment of such diseases as:

    • hypovitaminosis;
    • diseases of the vascular system;
    • liver;
    • failures in metabolism.

    Thanks to pectins, intestinal peristalsis improves, the functions of the digestive organs improve.

    Indoor orange is a small evergreen tree. It grows no more than two meters in height. During flowering, fragrant white inflorescences appear on the shoots. Adult plants bear fruit three years after planting. This period is determined by the variety. With proper care, you can get delicious fruits.

    Ripe orange tree

    Table of contents

    Light and temperature

    This is a thermophilic and light-loving plant. Therefore, it is important for him to provide appropriate conditions.

    Light requirements

    This plant is photophilous. It is recommended to place the flowerpot on the southern or eastern windowsill. If the pot with it is placed on the floor, the room should be well lit with natural light. To prevent burns on sensitive leaves, it is recommended to protect them from direct sunlight in summer. You can shade with blinds or use translucent tulle.

    In order to ensure uniform development of the crown, it is recommended to periodically turn the flowerpot with the opposite side to the sun. During fruit ripening, it is important to provide an abundance of sunlight to the plant. Otherwise, the fruits will be more acidic. In the summer, it will be useful to take out a flowerpot with a tree to the balcony, veranda or garden.

    Temperature requirements

    During the flowering period, the optimum temperature is 17-18 degrees above zero. If the temperature is higher, the heat-loving tree will begin to actively grow and develop. And at lower rates, plant growth slows down.

    Indoor tree does not withstand cold temperatures. Therefore, in the room where it is grown, it should not be below 5 degrees Celsius.

    Humidity and watering considerations

    Humidity requirements

    To ensure a comfortable development of a tree, it needs to create tropical conditions. To do this, several times a day, it is recommended to spray its ground parts with a spray gun.

    Important! If the air in the room is too dry, you can hang a wet towel on the battery, install a humidifier. This plant needs high humidity.

    Watering Features

    With the onset of spring, watering becomes plentiful and frequent. Throughout the summer, you also need to frequently and abundantly moisten the soil. It must not be allowed to dry out.

    With the onset of autumn, reduce the frequency of watering - no more than twice a week. In winter, adhere to the same soil moisture schedule.

    Fertilizing and transplanting

    How to feed

    Fertilize with the onset of spring. For this procedure, a ready-made composition intended for citrus fruits is used.

    You can also fertilize yourself. To do this, take rotted bird droppings, dilute it in a bucket of water. Watered under the root.

    How to transplant

    Transplantation is carried out by transferring a clod of earth into a larger flowerpot. Lightly tamp the top, pour the soil. During budding or fruiting, this procedure is not carried out. It is best to do it in March-April.

    Transplantation of an adult plant is performed every two years. Otherwise, its root mass suffers.

    Prepare the soil for transplanting, which consists of:

    • soddy soil - 3 parts;
    • rotted hardwood - 1 part;
    • rotted mullein or bird droppings - 1 part;
    • sand - 1 part.

    Important! When transplanting, a layer of drainage must be laid on the bottom of the flowerpot. With its help, the outflow of excess moisture is ensured, the roots receive a sufficient amount of oxygen.

    Orange tree on window

    The orange tree needs regular pruning of the branches that grow inside the crown. They thicken the crown. Additionally, you need to periodically cut off the shoots, which are strongly drawn out.

    To form a crown, you need to: