From Root to Fruit: How to Care for a Valencia Orange Tree
"Immigrating" to the United States in 1870, Valencia oranges have become one of the most popular citrus fruits. Here's how to care for a Valencia orange tree.
The Valencia orange tree is the most planted orange tree worldwide.
Experts think orange trees originated from China. Growing an orange tree means having access to quality vitamin C. A single orange provides enough vitamin C for an entire day!
Here's how to care for an orange tree of the Valencia variety:
Valencia Orange Tree Climate
Climate is one of the most important aspects of Valencia tree care.
Valencia orange trees grow best in hardiness zones 9 through 11. These special orange trees prefer temperatures ranging from 55 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. As for winter temperatures, Valencia orange trees prefer 35 through 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make sure you don't plant a Valencia oranges tree where it's too cold. Orange trees can only survive 10 hours below 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cold temperatures destroy the fruits. The oranges also won't have as much vitamin C or health benefits.
If the temperature gets on the cold side, wrap the tree in a blanket. This helps the tree retain warmth.
Sunlight and Soil
Another important aspect of orange tree care and properly growing a Valencia orange tree is choosing a sunny spot. Valencia orange trees usually need full sun exposure. Make sure this spot gets 6 to 8 hours of full sun each day.
Orange trees can still grow in partial or filtered sunlight, but they produce the biggest oranges in full sun conditions.
The soil in this location should be fertile and well-drained. It should also be deep enough for full root growth.
Don't plant Valencia orange trees in wet or heavy clay soil. Both of those soil conditions limit root growth.
A Valencia orange tree needs regular irrigation to keep its soil moist, but not wet.
Use slower-watering methods for your Valencia orange tree. For instance, you can use a soaker, bubbler hose, or drip.
Water your tree often enough to keep the soil consistently moist.
During the first 2 weeks after planting, water Valencia orange trees every few days. During periods of cool weather (like winter), reduce your watering to once every 2 to 3 weeks.
Watering your orange tree too much will cause root rot.
Mulch and Weeds
Mulch helps Valencia orange trees retain moisture. The layer of mulch should be 3 inches deep and 3 to 6 feet wide. The mulch should also be 4 to 6 inches from the tree trunk.
Mulching prevents weeds from growing around your tree. Weeds rob the soil of nutrients and moisture. Be consistent in eliminating weeds from the surrounding area.
Valencia orange trees need to be fertilized 3 times a year. You should only use specialized fertilizer for citrus trees. For the best results, follow the instructions on the package to the letter.
There are 3 times you should fertilize a Valencia orange tree: spring, summer, and fall. Be sure to apply the fertilizer early on in these seasons.
Prune your Valencia orange tree during the early spring. This benefits your tree's health and appearance.
Remove branches that are discolored, weak, damaged, diseased, weak, or dead.
When pruning, only use sharp and sterilized pruning shears. This helps prevent stress to your tree and the spreading of plant diseases.
Grow the pot Orange Tree of Your Dreams
Valencia orange trees produce 50% of Florida's orange crop. Caring for a Valencia orange tree is a rewarding and delicious experience.
The oranges from Valencia orange trees are considered sweet oranges. This means these oranges are perfect for making juices, tarts, or salads. They're even better for eating fresh.
Growing Trees is fun, and every tree we send comes with a 20-page care guide.