How to Grow Orange Trees From Branch Cuttings

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Orange trees were brought to America in the 19th century by the French, who first introduced them to Florida. Since then, Arizona, California and Florida have become the top orange-producing states. Oranges can also be grown right in your own backyard if you live in a fairly moderate climate and are willing to invest some time in caring for them. Although not the quickest or easiest way to grow oranges, starting an orange tree from a cutting is an inexpensive way to add this fragrant fruit tree to your landscape.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning sheers
  • Branch cutting
  • Rooting hormone
  • Misting system
  • Plastic bag (optional)
  • Locate and retrieve a cutting from a mature orange tree, one that has been producing fruit and flowers for a number of years. Snip a young cutting from a new flush after it has become stiff or hard. Try to cut just above a bud on the branch and take a cutting that is 6 to 8 inches in length from the end of the branch.

  • Remove all of the leaves except for the uppermost three located at the top of the cutting. Make a vertical cut on the bottom of the branch and remove a portion of the bark.

  • Dip the bottom of the branch into rooting hormone. If you are using a powder form, push the branch into the powder and tap off any excess before planting into the hole. Make a hole approximately 7 inches deep in clean sand and carefully place the clipping within, making sure not to remove the rooting medium in the process. Fill with clean sand.

  • Place in a warm, brightly-lit area under a misting system--a greenhouse is preferred or a cold frame in your backyard. If you do not have a misting system you can place it in a plastic bag, making sure not to allow the sides of the bag to touch the cutting. Do not place the bag directly in sunlight.

  • It will take four to six weeks for your new cutting to set roots. You can transplant it into another medium after this time, if desired. It will take 1 to 2 years for flowering to occur.

Tips & Warnings

  • If going with the plastic bag method over the misting system, make three or four cuttings to help up your success rate.
  • Commercial rooting hormones can be made from hazardous materials. Read all labels to make sure the one you are using is safe for fruit-bearing plants.

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