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Orange tree
Plant Care Instructions By Steve Brigham

Gardeners in Southrern California enjoy one of the finest climates in North America for growing subtropical plants, including most varieties of citrus trees. With the right choice of varieties, you can pick such favorites as lemons, limes, and oranges nearly year \'round in this mild climate.

Is Indoor Plant?

No

These month by month plant care tasks are for plants in the following zones :
Sunset Zones : 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
USDA Zones :
Web Link - For more information
Scroll down or click on any month for plant care instructions
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  • January
    • Water

        Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

    • Protect

        Protect from heavy frost should it occur.

    • Harvest

        If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won't ripen off the tree, so don't pick fruit until fully ripe.

  • February
    • Water

        Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

    • Protect

        Protect from heavy frost should it occur.

    • Harvest

        If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won't ripen off the tree, so don't pick fruit until fully ripe.

  • March
    • Buy

        Buy plants in containers. Choose healthy plants with lots of new growth.

    • Plant

        Plant in well-drained soil in full sun, using a generous amount of soil amendment. Never plant where drainage is poor.

    • Fertilize

        Feed with a fertilizer specially formulated for citrus.

    • Water

        Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

    • Mulch

        Maintain a generous layer of mulch to conserve water use and keep roots evenly moist.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

    • Harvest

        If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won't ripen off the tree, so don't pick fruit until fully ripe.

  • April
    • Buy

        Buy plants in containers. Choose healthy plants with lots of new growth.

    • Plant

        Plant in well-drained soil in full sun, using a generous amount of soil amendment. Never plant where drainage is poor.

    • Water

        Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

    • Harvest

        If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won't ripen off the tree, so don't pick fruit until fully ripe.

  • May
    • Buy

        Buy plants in containers. Choose healthy plants with lots of new growth.

    • Plant

        Plant in well-drained soil in full sun, using a generous amount of soil amendment. Never plant where drainage is poor.

    • Water

        Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

    • Prune

        Prune to shape only.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

    • Harvest

        If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won't ripen off the tree, so don't pick fruit until fully ripe.

  • June
    • Buy

        Buy plants in containers. Choose healthy plants with lots of new growth.

    • Plant

        Plant in well-drained soil in full sun, using a generous amount of soil amendment. Never plant where drainage is poor.

    • Fertilize

        Feed with a fertilizer specially formulated for citrus.

    • Water

        Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

    • Mulch

        Maintain a generous layer of mulch to conserve water use and keep roots evenly moist.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

    • Harvest

        If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won't ripen off the tree, so don't pick fruit until fully ripe.

  • July
    • Buy

        Buy plants in containers. Choose healthy plants with lots of new growth.

    • Plant

        Plant in well-drained soil in full sun, using a generous amount of soil amendment. Never plant where drainage is poor.

    • Water

        Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

    • Harvest

        If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won't ripen off the tree, so don't pick fruit until fully ripe.

  • August
    • Buy

        Buy plants in containers. Choose healthy plants with lots of new growth.

    • Plant

        Plant in well-drained soil in full sun, using a generous amount of soil amendment. Never plant where drainage is poor.

    • Water

        Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

    • Harvest

        If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won't ripen off the tree, so don't pick fruit until fully ripe.

  • September
    • Buy

        Buy plants in containers. Choose healthy plants with lots of new growth.

    • Plant

        Plant in well-drained soil in full sun, using a generous amount of soil amendment. Never plant where drainage is poor.

    • Fertilize

        Feed with a fertilizer specially formulated for citrus.

    • Water

        Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

    • Prune

        Prune to shape only.

    • Mulch

        Maintain a generous layer of mulch to conserve water use and keep roots evenly moist.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

    • Harvest

        If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won't ripen off the tree, so don't pick fruit until fully ripe.

  • October
    • Water

        Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

    • Harvest

        If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won't ripen off the tree, so don't pick fruit until fully ripe.

  • November
    • Water

        Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

    • Protect

        Protect from heavy frost should it occur.

    • Harvest

        If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won't ripen off the tree, so don't pick fruit until fully ripe.

  • December
    • Water

        Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

    • Protect

        Protect from heavy frost should it occur.

    • Harvest

        If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won't ripen off the tree, so don't pick fruit until fully ripe.

  • Winter
    • Spring
      • Summer
        • Fall
          • Buy

            When's the best time to buy this plant? When can you buy these from seed (if you can)? When is it usually available? What are things to look for when you're buying it? Or anything other tidbit of information you can share!

            •  Jan
            •  Feb
            •  Mar
            •  Apr
            •  May
            •  Jun
            •  Jul
            •  Aug
            •  Sep
            •  Oct
            •  Nov
            •  Dec
            • March

              Buy plants in containers. Choose healthy plants with lots of new growth.

            • April

              Buy plants in containers. Choose healthy plants with lots of new growth.

            • May

              Buy plants in containers. Choose healthy plants with lots of new growth.

            • June

              Buy plants in containers. Choose healthy plants with lots of new growth.

            • July

              Buy plants in containers. Choose healthy plants with lots of new growth.

            • August

              Buy plants in containers. Choose healthy plants with lots of new growth.

            • September

              Buy plants in containers. Choose healthy plants with lots of new growth.

          • Plant

            When's a good time to plant this plant or bulb? Any special planting instructions?

            •  Jan
            •  Feb
            •  Mar
            •  Apr
            •  May
            •  Jun
            •  Jul
            •  Aug
            •  Sep
            •  Oct
            •  Nov
            •  Dec
            • March

              Plant in well-drained soil in full sun, using a generous amount of soil amendment. Never plant where drainage is poor.

            • April

              Plant in well-drained soil in full sun, using a generous amount of soil amendment. Never plant where drainage is poor.

            • May

              Plant in well-drained soil in full sun, using a generous amount of soil amendment. Never plant where drainage is poor.

            • June

              Plant in well-drained soil in full sun, using a generous amount of soil amendment. Never plant where drainage is poor.

            • July

              Plant in well-drained soil in full sun, using a generous amount of soil amendment. Never plant where drainage is poor.

            • August

              Plant in well-drained soil in full sun, using a generous amount of soil amendment. Never plant where drainage is poor.

            • September

              Plant in well-drained soil in full sun, using a generous amount of soil amendment. Never plant where drainage is poor.

          • Sow Seeds

            When can you plant these seeds? When's the best time? Can you start them indoors and move them out? Do they have any special requirements?

            •  Jan
            •  Feb
            •  Mar
            •  Apr
            •  May
            •  Jun
            •  Jul
            •  Aug
            •  Sep
            •  Oct
            •  Nov
            •  Dec
            • Fertilize

              When should you fertilize this plant? Which kind of fertilizer do you recommend? Should you use different fertilizers at different times of year?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • March

                Feed with a fertilizer specially formulated for citrus.

              • June

                Feed with a fertilizer specially formulated for citrus.

              • September

                Feed with a fertilizer specially formulated for citrus.

            • Water

              Is there a time to reduce or increase watering? Any special requirements? Things to avoid during certain times of the year?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • January

                Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

              • February

                Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

              • March

                Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

              • April

                Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

              • May

                Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

              • June

                Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

              • July

                Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

              • August

                Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

              • September

                Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

              • October

                Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

              • November

                Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

              • December

                Water larger trees regularly but deeply during dry periods, soaking the soil out past the drip-line. Young plants should be kept evenly moist at all times. Be consistent with watering for best fruiting.

            • Prune

              When's a good time to prune this plant? How about deadheading, pinching back, trimming or any other grooming? Any special requirements?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • May

                Prune to shape only.

              • September

                Prune to shape only.

            • Mulch

              Does this plant need to be mulched? Are there specific types of Mulch which are better for this plant? How much?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • March

                Maintain a generous layer of mulch to conserve water use and keep roots evenly moist.

              • June

                Maintain a generous layer of mulch to conserve water use and keep roots evenly moist.

              • September

                Maintain a generous layer of mulch to conserve water use and keep roots evenly moist.

            • Protect

              When and how should you protect this plant from birds, deer, rabbits? Does this plant need be covered, or wrapped or painted or moved?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • January

                Protect from heavy frost should it occur.

              • February

                Protect from heavy frost should it occur.

              • November

                Protect from heavy frost should it occur.

              • December

                Protect from heavy frost should it occur.

            • Pest/Disease Inspection

              What are the common problems this plant will face and when should you look for them to appear?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • March

                Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

              • April

                Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

              • May

                Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

              • June

                Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

              • July

                Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

              • August

                Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

              • September

                Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

              • October

                Inspect leaves and branches for pests such as aphids, mealybug, and scale. Check for snails.

            • Treat for Pest/Disease

              How do you treat the common problems for this plant? What products or concoctions or natural means do you use? Any special requirements?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • March

                Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

              • April

                Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

              • May

                Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

              • June

                Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

              • July

                Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

              • August

                Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

              • September

                Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

              • October

                Discourage pests with a strong spray of water directed at the foliage. Control snails.

            • Transplant

              When's the best time to dig up and transplant this from one spot to another? (This is different than planting). Any special requirements?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • Propagate

                When's a good time to divide, take cuttings, layer or propagate this plant. Any special requirements?

                •  Jan
                •  Feb
                •  Mar
                •  Apr
                •  May
                •  Jun
                •  Jul
                •  Aug
                •  Sep
                •  Oct
                •  Nov
                •  Dec
                • Harvest

                  When's a good time to harvest this plant? What's the best way to harvest? Are there special requirements or features?

                  •  Jan
                  •  Feb
                  •  Mar
                  •  Apr
                  •  May
                  •  Jun
                  •  Jul
                  •  Aug
                  •  Sep
                  •  Oct
                  •  Nov
                  •  Dec
                  • January

                    If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won\'t ripen off the tree, so don\'t pick fruit until fully ripe.

                  • February

                    If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won\'t ripen off the tree, so don\'t pick fruit until fully ripe.

                  • March

                    If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won\'t ripen off the tree, so don\'t pick fruit until fully ripe.

                  • April

                    If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won\'t ripen off the tree, so don\'t pick fruit until fully ripe.

                  • May

                    If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won\'t ripen off the tree, so don\'t pick fruit until fully ripe.

                  • June

                    If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won\'t ripen off the tree, so don\'t pick fruit until fully ripe.

                  • July

                    If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won\'t ripen off the tree, so don\'t pick fruit until fully ripe.

                  • August

                    If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won\'t ripen off the tree, so don\'t pick fruit until fully ripe.

                  • September

                    If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won\'t ripen off the tree, so don\'t pick fruit until fully ripe.

                  • October

                    If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won\'t ripen off the tree, so don\'t pick fruit until fully ripe.

                  • November

                    If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won\'t ripen off the tree, so don\'t pick fruit until fully ripe.

                  • December

                    If you plant both navel and valencia types, you can harvest sweet oranges from mature trees most of the year. Remember that the fruit won\'t ripen off the tree, so don\'t pick fruit until fully ripe.

                • Special requirements

                  Any other requirement for this plant? Is there anything that doesn't fit into the other care categories?

                  •  Jan
                  •  Feb
                  •  Mar
                  •  Apr
                  •  May
                  •  Jun
                  •  Jul
                  •  Aug
                  •  Sep
                  •  Oct
                  •  Nov
                  •  Dec

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