Are you wondering how an orange tree grows? When you start growing an orange tree from a seed and you consistently observe it regularly, you will see how this tree grows.
There are stages in which in each stage there is something happening about the growth of an orange tree. The tree is developing from a single seed up to a mature tree.
Most orange trees are grown through grafting and budding. Some people buy trees from nurseries and garden centers. If you want to know the orange tree growth stages from the start you must start growing it from a seed.
Orange Tree Growth Stages
Stage 1. Seed
The first orange tree growth stage is the seed stage. During this phase, nothing happens to the seed. The orange seed is a little bit tangy, slippery, small, white to brownish in color, and has a little bit of a round head with a pointed bottom.
The journey of an orange tree hasn’t started yet. The plant is still sleeping inside the seed but outside factors like water can cause seeds to germinate. As soon as the roots come out from the seed then the orange tree’s life cycle has begun.
Stage 2. Germination
The next one is the orange seed growing stages. When you start sowing the orange seeds in the soil, with the help of moisture, warmth, and oxygen the seeds will germinate. The water will help the seeds sprout and indirect sunlight will make them germinate faster.
Use well-draining soil and it will be better to use a soil mix that has peat, perlite, or vermiculite. Unlike other plant seeds that germinate in 5 to 10 days, orange seeds take a few weeks long to germinate.
It will take around three weeks to see small orange seedlings. The roots will come out from the seeds and the two tiny leaves will appear above the soil. With good weather conditions, the seed will germinate fast.
Stage 3. Vegetative Growth
When the seedlings are at least six inches tall, you can now transfer them to individual containers. The orange seedlings are still developing and continue to grow.
If the orange seeds you planted are dwarf varieties you can grow them in containers indoors or place the containers outdoors.
If those seeds are standard varieties that are growing more than 20 feet tall, then they must be planted in the soil. Transplanting young standard orange trees in the soil will prevent transplant shock.
Commonly transplant shock is prone to those a little bit mature trees so by transferring young orange seedlings you can assure that they will be safer.
During the vegetative phase, the orange tree becomes bigger. It grows more leaves, the roots are becoming more established, it grows more long branches, and the main stem of the tree becomes bigger and harder.
The orange tree will grow much during this stage and they need more sunlight, water, and nutrients. At least 6 hours of sunlight per day is enough for the tree to make its food.
Water is also important and you can water the orange tree once or twice a week especially when the weather is hot. You must not overwater your orange tree to prevent root rot.
Also, improve the soil nutrients by applying fertilizer. The orange tree needs more nitrogen to keep its leaves healthy and stays green. Nitrogen deficiency will be prevented when the soil is rich in nitrogen.
Another thing is an orange tree grown from seeds is prone to pests and diseases and you must protect them by applying pesticides and fungicides. By keeping the tree healthy, it will thrive and grow well.
The orange tree grown from seed will become more mature and sooner it will produce flowers and fruits.
Stage 4. Flowering
When the orange tree becomes mature it will start producing flowers. The flowering stage of an orange tree will happen in about five to 10 years. Sometimes it can take much longer to happen.
The white flowers will grow on the branches of the orange tree. The flowers are fragrant, with small 5 petals, and white in color.
As the time the orange tree matures, there are plenty of flowers that will grow on the tree. Sooner once these flowers are developed they will turn into oranges.
Stage 5. Pollination
The orange tree is self-fruitful and it can produce fruits without the help of other trees. Outdoor orange trees are benefited by the air and pollinators like bees.
When the pollen is transferred to the stigma, oranges will form. But not all flowers will mature and become fruit. Most of the time many flowers don’t become fruits and they just fall to the ground.
It is normal to see many flowers fall and not even make it to fruits. If you want to increase the number of orange fruits on your tree, you can do hand pollination.
Get a small brush and start brushing each flower to move the pollen to the flower’s stigma. You can also pick an orange flower and brush it to other flowers to make them pollinated.
By doing hand pollination you can increase the production of oranges on your orange tree.
Stage 6. Fruiting
Once the orange tree is already mature, it produces flowers, and many flowers are already pollinated then orange fruits will grow the next. They are small during the early stage and grow bigger after a few weeks.
When the orange tree gets enough water, sunlight, and nutrients the fruits will grow great. Soon those unripe orange fruits will be ripe and you can start harvesting them.
The length of the flowering and the fruiting stage of the orange tree are quite similar. It is just the flowers will grow first and the fruits the next.
Once the orange fruits mature the seeds will also mature which can also be used to grow another tree again.
If you really want to grow an orange tree from seed you must look for true-to-type varieties to make sure your tree will definitely produce fruits.
Growing an orange tree from a seed is best if you will find true-to-type varieties. Orange fruits bought from groceries are commonly hybrids and when you grow them they will not give you the same fruit as the parent tree.
If you want to see the orange tree’s life cycle then it is good to grow them from seed. But if you want fruits from your tree it is better to buy some orange trees from nurseries or garden centers.
The orange tree lifespan is much longer for grafted trees than for grown from seeds.
The Life Cycle Of An Orange Tree
The orange tree growth stages start from a seed, become a seedling, grow bigger, produce flowers, grow fruits, and then come back as seed again. That is how an orange tree grows.