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From Root to Fruit: How to Care for a Navel Orange Tree

How to Care for a Navel Orange Tree

Navel oranges, the sweeter and more durable of the citrus fruits. If you want to grow your own, check out the info below to learn how to care for a navel orange tree.

Citrus fruits provide some of the best natural health benefits of any fruit. Plus, oranges and citrus foods are delicious.

One excellent way to get more citrus in your diet is to grow your own fruit.

If you love oranges, the navel orange is one of the sweeter varieties. Here's how to care for a navel orange tree to grow the best oranges. 

There Are No Seeds

Navel oranges are seedless. To start growing your own navel orange tree, you can't plant a seed and watch your tree grow. 

How do you grow something without seeds?

You can start with a tree from your local nursery. Or, if you have a little more of a green thumb, try grafting a new tree from a blossom.

Grafting starts by taking a blossoming bud from an established navel orange tree. You'll unite it with the trunk or root of a different compatible fruit tree.

Navel orange trees work well with lemons, limes, and grapefruits trees. Choose any of these fruit trees to start your navel orange graft. 

Cutting Instead of Grafting

If grafting is more of a challenge than you'd like, you can also try rooting a cutting. 

Choose a young branch from an existing navel orange tree. You need soft wood for the best chance that roots will catch in the soil from the cutting. 

Shape the end of the branch into a point. Use rooting hormone powder on the pointy end and bury it in a pot full of damp sand. Keep the sand watered and wrapped in plastic to stay moist. 

In a few weeks, you should see roots in the pot. Once you see roots, transplant the new tree into a pot with potting soil. 

Growing Your Tree

Your tree will soon outgrow the pot. Once it's large enough to survive in the ground, find a good place in your yard or garden for your tree. 

The best time of year to plant your tree is in the fall. This gives your new tree plenty of time to establish roots before the heat of the summer.

Give your tree plenty of space. A navel orange tree can grow up to 30 feet tall and live for decades. 

When transplanting the tree from the pot, dig a hole twice as big as the root ball. Make sure the tree can get sunlight for at least six hours a day. 

Water your new tree well. Make sure your mulch stays at about six inches away from the trunk of the tree. 

The Navel Orange Is a Seedless Wonder

Without seeds, growing navel oranges can be a challenge.

But once you've grown your first navel orange tree, you'll have the experience to grow as many oranges as you like. With more oranges in your diet, you'll also experience the many health benefits of citrus. 

Be sure to select the best pot for your cuttings or graft. Check out our article on growing citrus trees in pots to improve your citrus tree growing knowledge!