Valencia Orange Tree

katiedidcottage(z7 TN / Chattanooga)March 21, 2012

I purchased a leftover Valencia Orange tree from one of the big hardware stores at the end of season in about 2004 or 2005. For years, it did not bloom except a couple of blooms from which nothing developed.

Since moving to northwest Georgia near Chattanooga, it seems to have finally started thriving and really growing. I keep it on the screened-in deck as long as the weather is good, so it gets diffused sunlight on the southside through the screening. Then in late fall, I bring it in and place it by the west facing front window where it gets diffused sunlight through sunscreen placed on the window. I have used Miracle Gro fertilizer a couple of times of year.

This year the tree bloomed profusely in about December. There were bunches of little green oranges all over it. Then they all started dropping off.

Suddenly about 2 weeks ago (in March), it started profusely blooming again. The tree is still inside by the west window. All seemed to be going well. There are lots of little green oranges on the tree and blooms keep coming up. Today I just heard one of the little hard green oranges fall. It makes me very sad because I know that the others will probably begin to fall as well.

What, if anything, can I do to stop this progression of falling green oranges so I might be able to enjoy the oranges of this long barren tree which is finally trying to bear fruit?



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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Well first off Hello. I dont think Ive seen you post here so Hi again.

Anyways Citrus will naturally shed fruit it cannot support so the only way we can stop it is to make sure the tree is at its full potential. One thing I question is why you keep in diffused light. It needs to be in full sun as long as the temperatures are warm enough.
I just checked the 10 day forecast for Chattanooga and you should be able to keep it out just fine. I would acclimate it to full sun since it seems like it may not have seen it in a long time. A week or 2 in diffused sun then straight out in it.

What is the soil composed of? does it drain fast. During the growing season most of us fertilize every time we water at about 1/4-1/2 strength. Yours may be hungry. Citrus are generally heavy feeders.

Also if you can post pictures we may be able to spot problems you arent aware of.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 8:57AM
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From the description I would say it is short of food. I am not at all a fan of MG products; look for a good balanced citrus food with micronutrients. In containers you should be fertilizing the tree at least 4 times per year; or as Mike and others prefer, "weakly, weekly". Light is important to maximize production; but most citrus varieties will produce fruit with less light.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 11:32AM
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katiedidcottage(z7 TN / Chattanooga)

Okay, thanks a bunch! I don't believe I've ever posted here before, or if I have, it has been a long, long time. Thanks for your quick answers to my questions.

I'll work on the fertilizer problem by visiting a nursery and seeing if they have the citrus fertilizer and then doing the fertilizer weakly weekly or 4 times a year. I read somewhere on here that it shouldn't be fertilized while it is setting fruit.

But the full sun issue will be a problem. We now live in a house that is very high off the ground - about 17 steps total. I'm not sure my hubby and I are up to moving this heavy tree up and down those stairs either. We can try to get it out where it may get a little more sun. But if we move it downstairs, I'm not sure we'll ever get it back upstairs and there is absolutely NO sun whatsoever in our basement where we would have to bring it back in next winter. Plus we have to have the plastic UV sheets on our window where the tree is in the winter because the room was probably 20 - 30 degrees hotter without it and was impossible to cool.

Maybe I should just give this tree away, but I hate to since I've carried this baby around since 2004 and nursed it through years of growing.

I'll probably do the best I can with the sun, and I thank you bunches for your great advice.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 9:27PM
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fruiting is how it reproduces. nothing wrong with keeping a citrus tree just for its blooms. just pinch off the tiny fruit after the flowers drop off to save the tree some energy.

light and fertilizer = energy for plants

you can try artificial lighting if you really want fruit from it. some pvc pipes, a timer switch, either 4' shop light with fluorescent tubes or a few large clamp on lamps with large wattage CFL's (spiral fluorescent bulbs).

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 1:04AM
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