How to grow Bitter orange

Bitter orange tree grow and care – tree of the genus citrus also known as Sour orange plant, seville orange or Citrus aurantium, Bitter orange tree perennial evergreen plant, grow for edible fruits, can be used also as ornamental plant and can grow as dwarf tree or bonsai, can grow in tropical, subtropical or mediterranean climate and growing in hardiness zone 9+.

Leaves color green in elliptic shape, the tree has thorns, flowers are white with purple with yellow stamen.

Bitter orange tree fruit

Fruit rind color orange, the rind is edible little bitter also used as flavor and fragrant. The fruit taste is bitter with sour and color is mostly orange, but can yellow. The inner fruit divided by segments, the segment cover with soft thin layer, it containing the pulp (little cones covered with a thinner layer) fruit size ~5-8 cm.

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How to grow Bitter orange tree growing conditions and care information:

Well-drained soil, better loamy soil, moist soil in the fruits season and better to put mulch

How to care:
Design for easy to pick the fruits (when there are thorns it’s important but not all cultivars have thorns), add to the soil, organic matter, humus and fertilizer, in location with hot summer sun that the main trunk is expose to the sun better to better to whitewash (lime paint)

What is the best way to start growing:
Plant / Seed / Cutting / Air layering

Propagate by cutting:
Propagating require: sterilize knife, sterilize soil (put the soil in microwave), soil that will keep moist like: peat soil, coconut coir or peat moss, better to do it in in temperature of 25-28C (77-82F) possible higher, high humidity, moist soil (don’t let it dry), use root growth hormone and when growing from cutting it’s important, to give humidity that will be like fog

Is it necessary to graft or cutting?
Yes, necessary to ensure the existent of the fruits and quality of the fruits and there are different parameters: size, taste (sweet, sour or something in between), juicy or dry, amount of seeds or seedless, season of the fruits (different cultivars have different dates for the fruits), better to graft more than one cultivar or more than on citrus.

Cutting need to use for the base of the tree for: disease-free, base that fit for different soils, resistance for drought, base that won’t resist for grafting or specific cultivar for the fruits.

Difficulties or problems with growing Citrus aurantium:
When the tree young very sensitive to citrus leaf miner, thorns

Planting season:
Spring to summer in cold hardy zone 10a, spring or autumn hardiness zone 10b-11a, possible also in summer and winter the main problem it’s hot and cold days that might cause future problem and even kill the plant, hardiness zone 11b+ planted all year

How to plant:
Dig a hole as deep as the current root ball plus extra 20-40%, put in the hole organic matter, hummus and dried leaves and mix it with some soil, put the tree and loos little bit the root ball above the hole, plant the tree and cover it and don’t push the soil too much strong but not too much lightly because it won’t be stable, after planting put mulch to keep moist on soil, put water, for the next two weeks put every day (better in the morning) , better to take that the tree will be stable, and if not support it with bamboo or a stick that it won’t fall.

Pests and diseases:
Citrus leaf miner, aphids, citrus foot rot, ant, citrus gummosis

Pruning season:
End of the winter to spring, better after the fruits

How to prune a Citrus aurantium:
Dead branch, cross branch, too much density

Size of the plant?
4-10 m, 12-30 feet

Growth speed in optimal condition:
Medium growing

Water requirement:
Small amount of water / Medium amount of water / Big amount water, strong plant that not effect easily by the amount of water, few years until establish

Light conditions in optimal condition for growing:
Full Sun possible half shade but will bear less fruits

Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant?
No

Growing also possible in pots, planter, flowerpot, containers:
Yes, when grow in container need to choose the desirable container if it’s small plant it directly if it’s a big container bigger than 30%-50% than the root ball, every time that the tree arrive to full capacity need to switch to bigger until arrives to desirable size, better to switch the soil once in few years soil lose the viability over time and it’s efficient of care for the tree, when it’s not possible to switch all the soil just part of the soil in the side of the roots (don’t afraid from root cutting), it will bear fruits also in 5-10gallon (40 liter) container (but bigger is better), drainage it’s important and need to make holes and to use peat soil and maybe some lava grit in the bottom or something like that, put a bottom for the container and when water the plant let it fill the bottom but also need to dry in the same day, better to grow as dwarf tree or to grow it as bonsai.

Blooming information

Bloom season?
Summer / Autumn

General information about the flower:
Flowers are white with yellow stamen

Thinning the bloom:
The first year should thinning the flowers

Pollination is done by:
Bees

Edible Fruits

When does yield:
Autumn / Winter

Pests or diseases in fruit:
Citrus stubborn disease, citrus black spot, alternaria

What can be done with big quantities of Bitter orange tree fruits?
Eat, juice, the rind used fragrant, fruit leather, sugary rind

Work requirements on the fruit:
pick up (sometimes cut brunches that grow into the fruit)

How long does it take for to bear fruits?
1.5-3 years

Ripening of fruit:
Possible to pick up the fruit before and let them ripening them in the house

How to grow Bitter orange tree from seeds

Sowing requirement:
Moist soil, well-drained soil, 20-27C temperature and better in sunny location

Saving and care seeds until sowing:
Dry, dark location in room temperature

Sowing season:
Spring to early summer (possible also summer to autumn)

How to plant:
Planting in soil that keep moist, cover the seed lightly

Planting spacing:
Better in separate pots, direct on the place 3*4m (10*13 feet), for transplant 5*5 cm (2*2 inches)

Depth of Sowing:
2cm (1inches)

Conditions for seeds germinate:
Keep the soil and don’t let it dry, rich soil and sunny location

Watering requires for Seeds:
Average amount of water

Germination time:
2-4 weeks, but can take longer

Condition of seedling:
If there is Citrus leaf miner in one of the trees in the area, better to put it in greenhouse or indoor to protect the tree, young tree very sensitive to citrus leaf miners, better to cover the soil with mulch.

Scientific name:

Citrus aurantium

Alternatives names: Seville orange, Sour orange, Bigarade orange, or Marmalade orange

How to grow Bitter orange

Bitter orange fruit

Bitter orange tree care

Bitter orange tree

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