How To Help an Orange Tree Produce Sweet Oranges

Updated February 21, 2017

Sweet oranges, or round oranges, are some of the most popular home orchard fruits in the country. These trees grow from 25 to 50 feet tall to provide dark green foliage, sweet orange blooms and a full fruit harvest over summer for gardeners who care for them. Without the right amount of sun and nutrition, though, orange trees fail to bloom and grow oranges. To encourage your orange tree to produce sweet, juicy oranges, follow some specific care guidelines during planting and growth.

Put the orange tree in the right site, where it will receive full sun for at least eight hours every day. The tree won't bloom or bear fruit if it doesn't get the right amount of sunshine. If you can move your orange tree, do so. If you can't move the tree, prune away any surrounding foliage to open up the area.

Increase the orange tree's nutrition by amending the soil around its trunk with a mix of quick-draining soil and organic compost. Add a dose of fruit fertiliser to the orange tree's soil in early spring to promote growth and blooming.

Water orange trees with 2 to 3 inches of water a week. Increase your watering when the tree begins blooming and bearing fruit, as increased water at that time will encourage bigger, juicier oranges.

Fertilise orange trees with fruit-specific or phosphorous and potassium fertiliser at the start of the fruiting period to encourage better fruiting and ripening. Orange trees require additional resources to bear fruit, and will bear larger, sweeter fruit if the right nutrition is available.


Many orange trees are self-infertile, meaning that the flowers on the tree cannot pollinate other flowers on the tree. If your orange tree isn't bearing any fruit at all, you may need to plant a second orange tree as a pollinator, to fertilise the flowers and produce oranges.

Things You'll Need

  • Quick-draining soil
  • Organic compost
  • Fertiliser
  • Orange tree seedling
  • Pruning shears
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