How to Grow a Blood Orange Tree

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The blood orange tree is a unique tree that produces dark purple fruit. The blood orange tree can grow almost anywhere, but does best in hardiness zones 9-11. The blood orange does not like harsh winters or summers. The ideal location will have mild winters and somewhat cool summers. The blood orange tree should be fertilized frequently, because it is a heavy feeder. Aside from those small requirements, a blood orange tree is low maintenance.

Things You'll Need

  • Blood orange tree
  • Loam
  • Sand
  • Potting soil
  • Large pots
  • Shovel
  • Fruit fertilizer
  • Pine needles
  • Pruning shears
  • Hand saw
  • Blood orange seeds
  • Prepare a place to plant your blood orange tree. While it is possible to grow blood oranges from seeds, the easiest way to grow the tree is to purchase it as a seedling from a nursery or online catalog. Mix about 5 cups of sand and 5 cups of loam into a 3-foot-square plot of ground. Make sure it sits in full sun, and is not within 12 feet of any buildings. Also do not plant the trees near power lines. If you live in an area with frequent freezes, then it is best to grow the orange tree in a pot that can be taken indoors during frosts. The sand and loam can be mixed into potting soil in a large pot.

  • Place the tree into the pot or ground. Make sure the roots are fully covered with dirt. Water the tree and pack dirt tightly around the tree base. Water frequently, about 1-2 times a week.

  • Fertilize the plant about 3-4 times a year with a fruit fertilizer. Some fertilizers are specifically made for citrus trees, which will provide the best results. Liquid fertilizers penetrate the soil better than powdered or granulated fertilizers. Place some pine needles around the base of the tree to make the soil a little more acidic.

  • Prune the tree during the early spring. Cut away any dead or dying branches. Shape the tree into an oval shape. There should be one central branch that grows vertically, all other branches should grow out more. Cut any competing branches in 1/2. Do not prune the tree when blooms or fruit are on the tree.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to plant orange seeds rather than purchasing a seedling tree, plant the seeds in the fall and the tree should sprout the following spring. Make sure to follow the same soil and drainage directions.
  • Blood orange trees can grow in almost any soil as long as it is well-drained.

References

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