How to Grow Orange Trees From Branch Cuttings

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)

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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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