If you want to grow a small fruit tree, then a dwarf orange tree is a good choice. Dwarf orange trees are just short and they can be planted in pots. It is easier to move those trees inside or outside and harvesting oranges can be effortless.
Here are a few things to know about dwarf orange trees.
Are There Dwarf Orange Trees?
Yes, there are some dwarf orange trees. Some of these varieties are calamondins, tangerines, clementines, Owari satsuma, etc.
Those orange varieties are good to grow and they will give you delicious fruits. You can find and buy some of these orange trees at nurseries, garden centers, or even online.
Depending on the locations some varieties are not available to buy and some trees are available. It is better to buy already grown dwarf orange trees because they will give you fruits way faster than growing them from seeds.
Look for the best dwarf orange tree varieties that are suitable to grow in your location and depending on your taste and what you really like to grow.
How Big Does A Dwarf Orange Tree Get?
A dwarf orange tree grows 6 to 12 feet (1.8-3.6 m) tall. The tree can also grow shorter or taller than that depending on how the tree is being pruned.
If you are growing this tree in a pot and place them indoors they will not grow so tall but if you are going to grow them outside they may grow much taller than the average.
This tree grows short and pruning is somewhat not needed most of the time. But trimming some of the long branches will keep the tree in good shape.
It will make the tree more good looking and it will improve the overall health of the tree. Since this tree doesn’t grow too tall, you can place them indoors as long as it is getting enough sunlight.
Can You Grow A Dwarf Orange Tree In A Pot?
Yes, you can grow it in a pot. The size of a dwarf orange tree is just small and growing it in a pot will be fine.
The length of the main stem doesn’t grow so tall and also the roots are just a little bit shorter than the standard tree. A pot is enough for a dwarf orange tree to grow.
But when the tree is growing a little bit bigger and the pot seems to be too small then it must be moved to a bigger pot. If the tree needs to be moved, just be careful in moving the tree to another plant so that it will be successful.
Are Dwarf Orange Trees Self Pollinating?
Yes, these trees are self-pollinating just like most of the citruses which are self-fertile. They can produce fruits without cross-pollination.
A dwarf orange tree is capable of growing oranges without growing another orange tree. The flowers of this tree are perfect because it has male and female parts.
But even if this tree is self-pollinating, you can still do hand pollination. You can increase the chances of having many oranges on your tree by manually moving pollen to the flower’s stigma.
When flowers are pollinated, oranges will grow on the tree. There will be more oranges on the tree with hand pollination than without.
How Fast Do Dwarf Orange Trees Grow?
The dwarf orange trees will reach their maturity stage in 10 to 15 years. In that stage, the trees can achieve their maximum size.
Even if these trees don’t reach their maturity years yet, they are already capable of growing orange fruits. Dwarf orange trees can bear fruits as early as 2-3 years.
The speed of growth will depend on how much water, sunlight, and nutrients they are getting. Those elements will help and when they are getting those elements, the trees will grow fast and will improve the overall growth of the tree.
Also, the trees’ height will be shorter when pruning is being done. When the trees are in good shape after a few years of growing they will grow fast and can give you a lot of fruit.
When Do Dwarf Orange Trees Produce Fruit?
Dwarf orange trees will produce fruit after 2-3 years. An already grown tree produces fruit way faster than a tree grown from seed.
There are also times that the trees produce fruits in the fourth year. Depending on how the dwarf orange trees are cared for will be some of the factors that will affect their fruiting.
The blooms appear first; once they are pollinated, they eventually turn into fruits. The oranges will grow bigger as time passes by and the fruits will ripen after a few months.
There are also chances that some flowers and fruits don’t mature and they drop prematurely. It is normal for a tree that some of the flowers and fruits drop. But if too many fruits and flowers drop you need to analyze if there are other things affecting your tree.
How Much Fruit Does A Dwarf Orange Tree Produce?
A dwarf orange tree can produce 150 to 200 oranges per season. This is a little bit lower compared to standard trees which can produce 250 to 300 up to 400 to 600 per season.
Since dwarf orange trees are just small, they cannot handle so much fruit on their branches. When a single orange tree has many oranges on its branches, it can cause damage to the branches.
So fruit thinning is a good thing to do to prevent branches from getting damaged. Many fruits will weigh too heavy for the tree to handle and removing some of those fruits will be much better for the tree.
Do Dwarf Orange Trees Have Thorns?
Some dwarf orange trees have thorns and some varieties are thornless. There are many available varieties that you can grow and there are times that some of these trees only grow some thorns in the early years.
After a few years, some trees stop growing thorns. The thorns on the trees are helpful to protect themselves against animals that might damage them especially when they are planted outdoors.
You can remove those thorns and it will not affect the tree much but if the thorns are just fine growing on the tree then you must not remove them.
Some gardeners only remove those thorns because it makes it difficult for them to harvest oranges.
How Deep Do Dwarf Orange Tree Roots Grow?
The roots of dwarf orange trees go as deep as 12 to 24 inches in the soil. Dwarf trees don’t grow too big and their roots don’t spread much unlike bigger size trees.
The dwarf orange tree roots don’t spread much but they need a good spacing of about six to 10 feet. The spacing will keep them from competing for the water and nutrients found in the soil.
Growing this tree outside gives them freedom and they can spread their roots a little bit compared to when they are grown in a pot. The pot has a little bit of spacing and this prevents the dwarf orange tree roots from spreading.
How Long Do Dwarf Orange Trees Live?
Dwarf orange trees have a shorter lifespan of about 15 to 25 years. Standard orange trees have a longer lifespan of 50 years and some grow up to 150 years.
The life expectancy will depend on how the dwarf orange trees have been cared for. When dwarf orange trees are in good shape for a couple of years they can live much longer. The length of their lifespan will depend on some factors.
Pests and diseases can affect the tree’s lifespan so you must prevent them from attacking your tree. Watering problems can also affect so you must give just the right amount of water to the tree.
When the trees don’t suffer much stress they will grow longer. You will get more oranges if the trees have a longer life expectancy.
How To Care For A Dwarf Orange Tree?
A dwarf orange tree needs water more often than mature trees. Water young trees every after few days to help them become more established, while mature trees can be watered once every week or every two weeks.
Potted dwarf orange trees need more water more often because the soil dries quicker than ground soil. You need to check the soil if you need to water them or not to avoid overwatering.
Dwarf orange trees need at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. So you must bring your potted tree to a spot where sunlight is available.
Also, improve the soil quality to help the tree grow fast, produce flowers, and grow many oranges.
Dwarf Orange Tree Losing Leaves
There are factors that can cause why the leaves on dwarf orange trees to lose leaves like watering problems. When you overwatered the tree it causes stress which is why the leaves drop.
Too much water can cause root rot which makes the tree difficult to get water and nutrients. The roots function is not working well when they are damaged. So try to prevent overwatering your tree as much as possible.
Another reason is transplant shock. When you move your dwarf orange tree to another pot you need to be careful to prevent shock.
Try to check also if there are pests attacking your tree especially when it is planted outdoors.