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Citrus sinensis

Citrus sinensis

Description: Citrus are relatively easy plants to grow if simple rules are followed. Once followed they reward you with strongly scented flowers and of course – fruit! Orange trees form large shrub / small trees with large dark, shiny leaves. Strongly fragrant white flowers are freely produced from Spring to Summer followed by fruit. The fruit though juicy are likley to be somewhat sour unless it is a long hot summer with plenty of sunshine to develop sweet sugars in the fruit. Plants are self fertile so can produce fruit with just one plant.

Climate / Position: During summer stand Orange trees outside in a sheltered spot, gradually moving the plant into full sun. When the weather cools in the late autumn bring the plants in to an unheated well ventilated conservatory or greenhouse.

Height / Spread: Height 3m. Spread 2m. Height and spread is restricted by the size of container they are grown in.

Soil Requirements:  Will grow in quite heavy soil if well drained.  If grown in a container then refresh soil every 3 years or so.

Pruning: Cut the canopy back by a third each year and remove any damaged or dead stems. Thin fruit out.

Special Requirements: Water thoroughly during the growing season but do not allow to stand in water. Feed throughout the growing season with summer Citrus feed. Fruit can be thinned to improve quality as they can take up to a year to reach maturity.

Additional Interest: Original habitat is obscure, possibly an introgressed hybrid of C. maxima x C. reticulata.  The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Apomictic, insects.