Some people are so confused about the orange tree identification that they often mistake it for other citrus fruit varieties.
This article will help solve this problem by offering a satisfying answer to the matter: How to identify an orange tree?
In addition, I also provide deeper insights into its growing methods and care requirements so even amateur gardeners can undertake these steps. Keep scrolling down for further information!
About The Orange Tree
Orange belongs to the Rutaceae family, a combination of mandarin and pomelo. It is an evergreen tree (don’t mistake it for tropical evergreen species) with a productive lifespan of between 50 and 60 years.
This plant can live up to 100 years in some regions with perfect conditions. An orange plant’s mature height can reach 15 meters, and it is grown mostly for fruits, flower blooms and is usually regarded as an ornamental.
Its delicious fruits have many health functions, from protecting your cells from damage, increasing collagen, boosting your immune system, and improving the defense against germs.
One fun fact is that Brazil takes the lead in producing oranges worldwide, followed by the United States, China, India, and Mexico.
How To Identify An Orange Tree?
An orange tree stands out with a glamorous orange color derived from its fruits, combined with oval-shaped green leaves and tiny white flowers.
You can also rely on other criteria, like size and shape, buds or bark, etc., to make a recognition.
Size And Shape
Like other plants, it is easiest for a person to identify a specimen when it reaches the maturity stage. And the most distinct clue is via its size and shape.
A typical orange tree has an average height of between 25 and 50 feet. Yet, a sweet orange tree is only 15 feet tall and cannot grow bigger in the future.
What does orange tree look like? It is similar to a rounded crown made of twisted branches and slender trunks. They are dotted with minute oil glands, which release a wonderful citrus scent.
Before the flowers transform into fruits, they are called buds, standing out with a smooth white color. They usually appear in early spring or late winter when the temperatures are heightened and the frost has gone.
Regarding a bud’s size, it looks like a pea. But a load of buds appears in bulk, and there are various groups like that on the tree’s main branches.
You should know that buds can be prone to death if the temperatures are lower than 27 degrees Celsius, and 55 degrees Celsius are perfect for their development.
Flowers And Leaves
Like identifying fruit trees by leaves, the identification orange tree leaves is also easy. It is evergreen, which means its foliage remains green and functional through more than one growing season.
Looking into details, the leaves bear a resemblance to an oval shape with a length of 6 inches.
In the blooming season, you also catch sight of its beautiful flowers, famous for their pure white. They are about 2 inches wide and grow in groups ranging from 2 to 6 blossoms.
I really love its smell. This scent is described as “baby-like,” very pure and soothing. Many are even addicted to inhaling an orange’s fragrance as an effective respite from stress.
Calyces And Stamens
A calyx is a green area surrounding the flower buds, responsible for holding them in place. The five petals of a blossom correspond to five calyx points, and each is added with 2 dozen stamens in the right center.
Stamens play an important role in producing pollen, a powdery substance used in the plant’s pollination. At its peak, you may find an anther whose color is yellowish. It is a rare sign that few plantations have besides orange trees.
It is common knowledge that orange plants are self-pollinating. If you are unclear about this term, you just need to know that oranges do not need others to perform their pollination.
With the help of insects or puffs of wind, they can take that pollen themselves and lead to orange fruit production. Moreover, although they create numerous blossoms, only 1% of them could survive and bear fruits.
The bark is filled with many grayish-brown tints; the same is true for an orange tree’s trunk. But you should not mistake them for cracks.
Cracks are a common sign of diseases, like psoriasis or gummosis, that normally stem from the invasion of fungi and viruses.
Its bark is also strong enough to protect its inner parts. However, avoid lying your back against it because lots of insects favor the bark’s smell, and they can hurt you.
A load of small oranges is called mandarin. There are great differences between the mandarins of many orange tree varieties.
For example, some fruits develop with an erect stance, yet others form a drooping growth pattern.
As I present above, its fruits are notable for their fresh orange color. And when you squeeze it, the liquid is also orange-colored with numerous health benefits, such as vitamin C, A, fiber, and sodium.
Orange fruits are more rounded than tangerine ones.
When the plant is still young, you will notice its angled, twisted arms rather than straight branches or round spread.
Right at the petiole of the leaves, where they sprout from the branch, lies a blunt, thin spike.
How To Grow An Orange Tree From Seed?
Below is all-inclusive guidance on planting an orange tree that you should take close notice of.
Step 1: Understand Problems With Growing A Seed
Planting a beautiful tree from seed is more susceptible to infestations and diseases, and its fruits do not taste as good as the fruit the seed came from.
Besides, you have to wait between four and fifteen years for an orange tree to bear its first fruit. This is really a long time that requires much effort and perseverance.
Step 2: Select Seeds Carefully
There are two methods of getting orange seeds. You can purchase them from a reliable gardening store.
Or take them from an edible fruit by carefully cutting it with the help of a sharp knife and get the seeds that are not broken.
Remember to pick some without any discolorations and dents. Seeds that seem dry and withered will stand a lower chance of growing well.
Don’t forget that some orange varieties are seedless, so you should choose the right tree.
Step 3: Wash The Seeds
Put seeds in a bowl and hold them under running water. Gently rub them off to get rid of the pulp, dirt, and other materials. It is advisable for you to use little force because they are easily damaged.
After washing them carefully, keep the seeds moist naturally instead of using some drying techniques. Moisture facilitates their sprouting.
Step 4: Get The Seeds To Sprout
Increasing the moisture level is highly recommended if you want to fasten this process. You should keep orange seeds in a plastic bag and place them in the refrigerator for about 30 days before planting.
The soil is also very important. Choose damp soil but ensure that it is not too soggy. Some experts suggest the use of gibberellic acid to speed up the germination.
Step 5: Plant Each Seed In A Small Pot
Find a small pot and pour the soil into it. Plant your seed around 1.2 centimeters or 5 inches beneath the surface.
A perfect pot will help the water drain quickly, which means no extra water pools around the seeds, averting the problem of root rot.
At this step, you should add potting compost, like citrus compost, to the soil so your seed is more capable of retaining nutrients.
Step 6: Keep The Soil In Full Sunlight
You can place the pot indoors or outdoors, but always make sure that it can receive arrays of sunshine.
Sunlight is of paramount importance to a seed’s active growth by warming the soil, thereby creating suitable conditions.
Step 7: Use A Balanced Fertilizer
You should add moderate fertilizer every 10 to 14 days to provide necessary nutrients, such as phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen.
Once the orange seed has grown into a young tree, stop fertilizing and try other alternative approaches.
Step 8: Remove The Weakest Sprouts
You easily notice three sprouts named nu-seller seedlings at the initial stage of a seedling’s growth.
These are the sprouts that grow fastest. And if you want to maintain the consistent quality like its parents, cut them off.
How To Care For An Orange Tree?
Here are detailed guidelines on caring for an orange plant for you to consider.
A common orange tree requires ample sunlight to thrive, about eight hours daily. Sunshine is also an excellent facilitator for the fruits to taste better.
Hence, it would be best to plant it under adequate sunlight, and the window is a perfect location, given some indoor plants.
These citrus trees love well-draining, rich and loamy soil. Soil with an overload of water can cause many problems and somewhat hinder the beautiful tree development.
Consistent watering is good for an orange plant’s growth; roughly one inch of water per week. Note that the frequency of watering depends on the rainfall.
I have onced overwatered my orange tree, and everything turns disastrous because extra water is still retained within the soil, causing the root rot or other common root diseases and its eventual death.
Temperature And Humidity
An orange tree favors the warm climates in subtropical regions, ranging from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
And it starts to go dormant when the natural temperature dips below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
It also loves moderate humidity, and as I present above, an appropriate moisture level is beneficial for the seed’s sprouting.
Balanced citrus tree fertilizers are strongly suggested, as it supplies sufficient nutrients for the plant’s growth.
Avoid over-fertilizing at all costs because some toxic components can wreak havoc on the tree and even consumers’ health.
Pruning usually takes place before the blooming season comes. You should prune tilted, or over-crossing, dead branches, which provides good airflow and light for the flowers to bloom.
It’s best to repot your plants every 2-4 years or whenever the tree outgrows the pot. Tapping on the pot’s side can loosen the root ball.
Then, hold on the trunk near the root system to not break the roots and gently take the tree out. The final step is to transport it to a larger container.
How To Propagate An Orange Tree?
The following instructions will guide an orange plant’s propagation.
- Step 1: Choose a branch tip with a length of around 6 inches with healthy leaves. Cut it under the leaf node at an angle of 45 degrees.
- Step 2: Remove every leaf that is lower than half of a cutting and other dead blossoms.
- Step 3: Use a sharp knife with the purpose of scoring the bark, and this encourages the new root growth.
- Step 4: Try to dip the cut end into rooting hormone and shake the access power away.
- Step 5: Make the soil wet before creating a hole in the center to grow the cutting.
- Step 6: Plant the cutting carefully and ensure that the soil in a surrounding area is firmly pressed.
- Step 7: Cover the cutting with a plastic bag to heighten the humidity levels. Choose a site that receives full sunshine. If not, you can rely on a grow light.
- Step 8: Make holes in the bag and pay close attention to the soil moisture by checking it daily.
- Step 9: Take the bag out after a week, and now the cutting is acquainted with the average humidity.
- Step 10: Given the adequate root development, you should move it outdoors and dig it into the well-draining soil.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Common Plant Diseases And Pests With An Orange Tree?
Like other plants, an orange tree is prone to some pests and insects, including scales, aphids, and spider mites.
Bacterial and fungal diseases in citrus trees, such as citrus melanosis, are also an utter worry that has repercussions for its parts’ development.
How To Get An Orange Tree To Bloom?
You must meet fundamental requirements that include light, water, and soil. It is also essential to give it the right fertilizer type and enough amount.
The reason is that too much nitrogen prevents this type of tree from blooming properly, and harsh frost hinders its chances of flowering.
The Bottom Line
After this post, you will solve the question: How to identify an orange tree? The identification process is not as difficult as you have imagined.
Just look at its ripe fruits with a bright orange color, coupled with fragrant white blossoms, and you will have an answer on your own.