How to Care for an Orange Tree in the Winter

Written by jessica cook
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How to Care for an Orange Tree in the Winter
If you want your orange tree to produce ripe fruit, you need to learn how to care for it in the winter months. (Orange tree image by Evgeny Berdjansky from

Orange trees are accustomed to a warm climate. During the winter, they may need extra care to prevent frost damage and to ensure a plentiful crop of oranges when the warm weather returns. Whether you have one orange tree or an orchard full of them, learning how to care for orange trees in the winter is the key to ensuring that the tree will thrive year after year.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Orange tree
  • Pruning shears
  • Sprinkler and hose

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  1. 1

    Plant your orange tree in an area that will not receive overly harsh winter weather. Orange trees simply do not thrive in cold climates. If you live in a warm area that only occasionally nears freezing temperatures in the winter, then your orange tree should survive the few cold nights it may experience. According to the University of Purdue, ideal temperatures in the growing period should range from 55 to 100 F, while during winter dormancy the temperature should not drop below 35 F. They add that a mature orange tree may survive a few hours in temperatures below 25 F, but this is only an extreme case and should not be a normal condition for orange trees.

  2. 2

    Prune the dead branches off of your orange tree to encourage new growth. Remove any branches that are lower than one foot off of the ground as well as any water sprouts near the base of the tree. You can also prune any tall branches to keep the tree in line with the size you want for your landscaping plans.

  3. 3

    Water your orange tree overnight on any night that the temperature will drop to the freezing level. This will prevent your tree from getting any frost damage. Run your sprinkler throughout the night on these evenings so that the tree is constantly watered.

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