How to Care for a Valencia Orange Tree

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Grown your own delicious Valencia oranges at home.
Grown your own delicious Valencia oranges at home. (Image: small orange tree image by Ergün Özsoy from Fotolia.com)

Valencia orange trees, known botanically as Citrus sinensis, were introduced to the United States in 1870. Valencia orange trees have become one of the most popular varieties of citrus grown in the United States. Preferring warm climates, Valencia orange trees grow best in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 and 10. Valencia orange trees produce their characteristic sweet, juicy and thin-skinned oranges from early February to well into the summer months.

Things You'll Need

  • Valencia orange tree
  • Shovel
  • Spade
  • Drip, soaker or bubbler hose
  • Mulch
  • Citrus fertilizer
  • Pruning shears

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Plant your Valencia orange tree in a full-sun location that receives six to eight hours of direct sun each day for maximum fruit production. Choose a planting location that also offers your Valencia orange tree fertile, well-drained soil. Plant the tree at the same level it was planted in its nursery container.

Provide your Valencia orange tree with frequent irrigation to keep its soil consistently moist, but never wet. Use a slow-watering method like a drip, soaker or bubbler hose when watering your Valencia orange tree. Reduce your watering to just once every two to three weeks during the cooler winter months.

Maintain a 3-inch layer of mulch in a 3-to 6-foot diameter around your Valencia orange tree to help your tree conserve moisture. Mulching around your tree also helps retard the growth of nutrient- and moisture-leeching weeds. Keep the mulch 4 to 6 inches from the trunk of your Valencia orange tree.

Fertilize your Valencia orange tree with a specially formulated citrus fertilizer three times a year. Apply the first fertilizer application in early spring, the second in early summer and the third application at the beginning of the fall. Use the citrus fertilizer according to package directions to ensure you are providing the appropriate amount of nutrients.

Prune your Valencia orange tree in the early spring to maintain your tree's health and appearance. Remove any discolored, diseased, damaged, weak or dead branches. Use only sharpened and sterilized pruning shears when pruning your Valencia orange tree to prevent the spread of plant diseases and minimize the pruning stress to your tree.

Tips & Warnings

  • Amend poor or slow-draining soils before planting your Valencia orange tree, if necessary. Till equal parts aged manure, peat moss and coarse builder's sand into the top 12 to 15 inches of soil to boost nutrients and improve drainage.
  • Valencia orange trees are susceptible to infestation by pests like citrus rust mites, citrus red mites, Texas citrus mites and scale. Monitor your tree for signs of increased insect activity and treat with an insecticide product, if necessary.

References

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