Orange Seed - Growing an orange tree from seed, first thing to consider is its season. Best season to plant oranges is during the spring, but can also be planted in the autumn to winter seasons. Sandy soil is the most compatible type for the orange tree. Remember to keep the soil moist but not wet. Oranges tend to survive drought but not oversupply of water as it can cause its roots to rot and eventually kill the plant.
In the first year, water your plant at least once or twice a week. Plant the tree in an area with at least 6 hours of full sunlight to allow it to grow healthy. You may also add natural citrus fertilizers if you wish to do so, but keep in mind that these can burn sensitive roots so you may want to avoid placing fertilizers directly in the planting hole.
You can germinate your own orange seed at the comfort of your own home. Probably, the trickiest part of starting from a seed is getting the seed itself from the fruit. Pick an orange and choose seeds that do not have any blemishes. The key to germination of seeds lie in maintaining moisture throughout the process, therefore you should be mindful not to let them dry out. Here are some pointers to follow:
- Rinse the seeds carefully with water and do not leave any pulp or fruit flesh as this can cause rotting. Soak the seeds overnight in a small cup of warm water.
- The next day, take a sharp knife or blade and peel the shell off from the tip of the seed and return it into the water adding half a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide. Keep it there for about five minutes then remove it.
- Get a moist paper towel, put the seeds within it and place it inside a plastic bag (a fold-over sandwich bag works best). The bag will not only keep the seeds moist but also allows room for air exchange. Keep the bag in a warm environment where the temperature stays between 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the seeds regularly and re-moisten if necessary.
- Orange seeds take about 14 days to germinate. They need to be planted in a small pot once you can see a root emerging, burying it in about ½ inches below the soil.
Some people though, have no patience in preparing the seeds on their own. Don’t worry because there are orange seeds being sold in gardening shops as well. It is best to buy seeds during spring season when the risk of severe frost has passed.
You may also opt to grow oranges using a grafted tree. The decision as to where to begin is very subjective as to what you want to achieve. If you start with a seed, it has a fairly long juvenile period. It will take about 7 to 8 years for it to flower and potentially bear fruit. The same is also true for most citrus plants. For most reliable result, buy grafted trees on a hardy rootstock. These variety starts to produce crops after 2 to 3 years.
Whether to grow your orange tree from a seed or a graft depends on your target time of harvest. Either way, as long as your plant is well taken care of, you will end up with a bountiful produce from your orange tree.