How to grow an orange tree from a seed. Orange trees can take years to bear fruit. When left on the tree until fully ripe, the fruit produces a copious amount of seeds that can be planted to create new orange trees.
The seeds grow readily without pretreatment and will quickly produce evergreen foliage. Orange tree seeds usually sprout quickly and grow vigorously. The trees mature slowly, taking seven to eight years to bear fruit.
How to grow an orange tree from a seed
To start an Orange tree from seed, one starts it first indoors and plants it in the garden once it is big enough.
First, remove the seeds from the fruit and immerse them in water overnight to begin germination.
Start by planting the seeds ½ inch deep in moist potting soil into a large container with drainage holes that’s been placed inside of a sunny location to allow for easy monitoring as it grows over time.
Getting ready to Plant the Seeds
Before you begin, you should get all the necessary materials ready. Gather at least four orange seeds and remember that they have to come from orange with no hint of green.
These orange seeds need to be fully grown and plump as well so take them out only after orange is fully ripened. Check for any signs of mold or rot as those would be a sign that the seeds are not viable anymore.
Finally, rinse these orange seeds in cool water and spread them on a paper towel in order to completely dry them off before proceeding with planting them in pots.
The Best Tips for Sowing
To seed success, an orange’s ideal moisture balance and sowing depth are vital.
Use a 3- or 4-inch pot with at least two drainage holes in the bottom and a sterile, lighter mixture of small-grain perlite.
Fill the pot to within ½ inch of the top surface, then layer it with the soil mixture to within 1/2 inch from the surface.
Sow two seeds near the center of your media bed, spacing them roughly ½ inch apart.
The Germination Process
There are various ways that the seeds can sprout depending on the method you are using to germinate them. A temperature of 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for germination.
Choose a room that has good sunlight during the day, as this increases your chances for healthy growth. The soil should be very moist but not saturated.
This will also decrease germination time and increase growth speeds. You may have seen new seeds sprouting within 7-10 days but some may take longer than others to develop after they have been planted in soil; however, most viable orange seedlings tend to grow very quickly.
Usually, it is recommended to have the seeds within 10 feet of one another so they don’t get disturbed by neighborhood pets or children who might wander too close and startle them with sudden movements.
Choosing the seedlings
Orange trees produce two different types of seedling sprouts. Some are genetically identical to their orange tree mother and will produce great quality fruit.
While others have genetic variance as a result of cross-pollination, and may not carry the same quality fruit that the mother tree does.
Each orange tree produces three seedlings: one genetically identical, and two vegetative, which is vigorous and bigger than the other weaker genetic sprout.
When planting your seedlings, remove the genetically dissimilar one at the base before it grows any taller; this way you can avoid competition from it for nutrients.
Transplantation and postoperative care
The sterile medium used for growing orange seeds lacks the necessary nutrients for healthy seedling development, so the seedlings must be transplanted into new pots once they produce several sets of leaves.
After they have 3-4 leaves in each pot, move them to 4-6 inch pots filled with citrus formula potting soil. This time make sure to add drainage holes as well.
At this point, water them when the soil dries out on the surface, adding water until it trickles from the bottom of the pot and again fertilize twice monthly with 10-10-10 during the growing period adding fertilizer diluted in 1 gallon of water.
Stop fertilizing during autumn and winter because those periods are cool or cold which is best helped by occasional rainfall.
Orange trees respond very well to being grown in containers but will perform better if planted outdoors in their preferred climate range or microclimate.
How to grow an orange tree from a seed