How to Grow Oranges – A Beginner’s Guide

oranges plant growing in garden
Oranges, which are known botanically as Citrus sinensis, are a type of fruit that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing oranges as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Oranges

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the orange seeds in late fall or early spring, using container-grown trees. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when oranges are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Oranges the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing oranges in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your oranges grow. Generally, your soil should be well-drained and fertile. Soil PH levels should be around 6.0 to 7.0.

15-20 feet apart in rows 15-20 feet apart, depending on the rootstock. 12-25 feet apart in rows 15-20 feet apart, depending on the rootstock. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about 24-36″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your orange seedlings 12-25 feet apart when trees are 1-2 years old, depending on the rootstock.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Oranges

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your oranges. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.

Ideally, your oranges should be getting full sun, which means as much sunlight as you can possibly give it, or at least 6 hours or more.

How Much to Water Oranges

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your oranges do, and the amount of water is no different.

Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your oranges begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Oranges to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your oranges grow.

It takes approximately trees do not need to germinate to germinate, and a total of 3-6 years for fruit production from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Oranges

The best time to harvest your oranges is when oranges are fully colored, sweet, and separate easily from the tree.

Oranges can grow up to about varies by variety, typically 2.5-4″ diameter fruit.

What Can Oranges Be Used For?

Food Use: great for snacking, juicing, and cooking.

Flavor Profile: varies by variety, from sweet to tangy and juicy to firm.

Can Oranges Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, you can plant dwarf varieties in 18-24″ containers. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control.

It also gives you the flexibility to move your oranges around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Oranges Safe for Bees?

Yes, oranges are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing oranges is bee-friendly.

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