Sweet orange: Citrus sinensis

Like all subtropical citrus plants sweet oranges belong to the Rutaceae family. They may flower all year round although their main flowering season is in spring. Both the white flowers and foliage are highly aromatic.

These evergreen plants need a sunny, warm position. Only irrigate with lime-free water and only when the soil has dried out. Do not repot too frequently but instead work organic fertilizer into the top soil. Give weekly applications of special citrus fertilizer until the end of the summer and monthly applications of iron-based fertilizer. In winter the plant should be placed in a bright, airy room at a temperature of 10-15° C (50-59° F) and watered only sparingly.

Before taking the plant out, trim it to shape and remove all dead wood. It can be propagated in summer through grafting using the same methods as for roses. Propagation from cuttings is not as successful. Sweet orange is prone to scale insect and mealy bug infestation.

16. June 2014 by Dave Pinkney
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