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Everyone knows that growing an orange tree takes a lot of time, especially if you’re starting with seeds.
While it is challenging and it may take up to ten years to grow fruits if you don’t take care of it in the right way, it’s not impossible to learn how to grow indoor orange tree successfully.
If you don’t have the patience or you’re afraid that you’re not experienced enough to start with seeds, you can always purchase a young tree or a seedling and plant it in your home.
It’s faster and less risky, so the decision is all yours.
Things You’ll Need For Planting Oranges Indoors
Even though the process of growing orange tree indoors may be difficult, you don’t actually need to purchase a lot of things before planting them. These are the necessary things if you’re wondering how to grow indoor orange tree:
- Organic oranges – If you want to plant the seed and completely enjoy the growth of your orange tree, you’ll need the seeds that are inside the fruit. Those seeds should be organic if you want to be sure that your tree will give healthy, toxic-free fruits.
- Soil mixture – Even though an orange tree does thrive in slightly acidic soil, it’s quite forgiving, which means that you can use a regular mixture if you’re unable to find the acidic one. However, keep in mind that the results will be better with the soil that has a pH level under 7.
- Baby planters – These are very important for the germination. Make sure that you get the planters with good drainage holes because this is crucial since oranges don’t like to sit in a puddle of water.
- Bigger pot – Once your tree starts growing and develops roots, you’ll need to replant it into a bigger container where the tree will have more space to fully develop.
- Fertilizers – Even though this is optional, it’s recommended to use fertilizers on your seed and baby plant every second week. Make sure that you choose the balanced one that will give all the necessary nutrients to the seed.
- Grow tent – If you live in a cold area that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, you should invest in a grow tent if you don’t own it already. This is important for mimicking the natural conditions that will improve the growth of the orange tree because oranges love warmth. Check out some of the best grow tents!
Sunlight, Seeds Quality, And Watering
Planting a seed or a little orange tree won’t be the hardest thing to do, it’s the easiest actually. The real challenge comes once your tree starts growing.
Before you begin this journey, you should keep in mind some things if you want to know exactly how to grow indoor orange tree, and most importantly how to take care of it once it starts growing and giving fruits.
Lots of sunlight
As you can imagine, oranges adore sunlight, and they thrive when exposed to it up to 12 hours.
That’s why you should keep your nursery planter and later the bigger pot next to a sunny window that will provide a lot of sun during the day.
Another alternative is to invest in grow lights and use them as an artificial source of light, which will also be helpful, especially in cold areas or during the winter.
Make sure you do the research and learn how far to keep the grow lights from your orange tree according to the type of grow lights you use.
Mind the quality of seeds
When cutting open an orange to take out the seeds, you should be careful not to damage all of them. Damaged seeds that are dry and full of dents or discoloration will not grow a strong orange tree.
That’s why you should only use seeds that have a regular shape and color and that don’t look dried out, which means that your seeds should be outside the orange for too long.
Take them out just before planting for the best results.
Since you will have to wash the seeds in order to clean them from the pulp, you need to do it very carefully to avoid damaging them.
Oranges thrive in a soil that’s moist. That’s why you shouldn’t forget to water your orange sprout regularly and keep the soil damp. Be careful not to exaggerate because even though the orange tree loves moisture and humidity, the sprout hates being overwatered.
The previously mentioned drainage holes on the pots are important because of that. They will drain the excess of water and leave enough for the orange tree to thrive.
Keep an eye on pests
What could happen is that, once your tree has grown and has leaves, those could become full of aphids that will be stuck on the leaves and feed on them. You can easily remove them with soapy water but be careful not to damage the plant.
Control the pH level of the soil
Even though the orange tree can grow even if the soil has a neutral pH, you should use a soil meter to control both pH and moisture level. The perfect pH level would be around 6 so you should make sure that the soil doesn’t become too alkaline for your plant.
How To Plant Orange Seed
Now that you know the most important things about how to grow indoor orange tree and problems that may happen, it’s time to talk about how to plant a seed if you don’t want to miss out on the entire process.
1. Spray the nursery planter with water
This should be the first step because if you want your seeds to germinate quickly, the soil needs to be constantly moist in order to make it possible. You can also put the seeds that are damp in a plastic bag and keep them in your refrigerator for a month before planting.
2. Pour the soil mixture into the nursery planter and insert the seeds
The mixture needs to be damp always to provide those perfect conditions that your orange tree needs to grow its best. Then you can place the seed inside the soil 1.2cm below the surface.
Since the soil will be watered frequently, make sure to place a plate under the planter with the drainage holes because it will collect the excess of water.
3. Keep the seeds somewhere warm
If possible, keep the planter with the seeds next to a sunny window that allows the seeds to feel the warmth and consume the energy they need to grow. The orange tree prefers the temperature around 27 degrees Celsius so keep that in mind when choosing the window.
If the area you live in is cold, you can use grow lights and adjust them according to the type of lights as well as the orange tree.
4. Get rid of the week sprouts
As your seed starts growing the seedling, you’ll notice that some of them look weak and in a worse condition than the rest. You should carefully remove those in order to let the healthy plant consume more energy that would be otherwise wasted on the weaker sprout.
5. Replant as soon as the sprout becomes too big
When you notice that the baby plant has become too large for the nursery pot, it’s time to replant it in a bigger container where your tree will grow. The roots need to have enough space to develop and consume energy.
Choose a pot that’s 25% bigger than the plant. Be careful with the roots and cut the dried ones with a sterilized knife before planting the tree into a new pot.
How often should I water the tree once I replant it into a bigger pot?
When your orange tree is larger and stronger, it won’t require constant watering. It will actually be better to water it when the soil becomes dry but use a large quantity of water. That’s the most important trick when figuring out how to grow indoor orange tree (as well as outdoor).
Should I fertilize the tree even when it’s older?
If you choose the right fertilizer, it will only help the orange tree, and it will grow stronger and give better fruits. Fertilizers that are rich with nitrogen are the best option. According to the instructions and type of the fertilizer, you can add some of it into the soil every once in a while.