Orange trees are subtropical plants probably originating from China, although you will no longer find them growing in the wild. There are several varieties that growers might categorise as an orange, and generally, their care is similar. By systematically going through the growing requirements of an orange tree and then checking what your specific variety requires, you should be able to determine why your tree has no blossoms.
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Orange trees grow in subtropical areas, not tropical. They grow in temperatures that range from 10 to 37.8 degrees Celsius but need a dormant period of three months when the temperatures range from 35 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you allow your tree the period of dormancy, especially if you are growing it in a container.
Oranges need moisture at the rate of 5 to 20 inches of rain per year. Areas that receive more rain tend to produce oranges with sour juice. The orange tree will not tolerate soggy roots, and you must plant citrus in well-draining soil. While the tree goes through winter dormancy, reduce the watering of the orange tree to just once a week to allow it to go through a dry spell.
Citrus trees are heavy nitrogen feeders and need to be fertilised at least once a month, generally with just an addition of nitrogen during their growing season, up until October. Follow the manufacturer's directions for the amount to use. Apply it around the base of the tree, about 12 inches out from the trunk and within the drip line of the tree.
Orange trees require a well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 8.0. Amend the soil with sulphur to lower the alkalinity or with lime to raise the alkalinity. Since the pH of soil takes several months to change, especially from topical treatments, try to plant the trees in soil that is already at the required pH and then maintain it. Heavy irrigation tends to flush nutrients from the soil, leaving it more acid as time progresses.
Make sure your orange tree is growing in an area where it will get full sun for at least six hours a day. Container-grown plants in northern areas need to be brought outdoors in the summer to get enough light for growing fruit.
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- Purdue University; Orange; Morton; 1987
- Texas A&M; Agrilife Extension; Home Fruit Production - Citrus; Julian W. Sauls
- University of Florida IFAS; Winter Drought Stress Can Delay Flowering and Avoid Immature Fruit Loss During Late-season Mechanical Harvesting of 'Valencia' Oranges; Juan Carlos Melgar; 2010