Need Advice On Growing Orange Tree In Ohio

popdoMarch 2, 2013

Hello! About 1 or 3 years ago I got the idea to grow an orange tree from seed. After eating an orange, I saved the seeds and then proceeded to germinate them. After that, I planted them in a small amount of potting soil and hoped for the best.

Only one seedling survived. Remarkably, this seedling was also able to survive several repottings, 5 cats and several forgotten waterings.

Last year the seedling became around 3-4 feet tall and is still growing. As of now, the tree is in my room. How should I care for it? It is covered in approximately 2 inch thorns, is starting to lean backwards, and has never been fertilized. What should I do to care for this citrus?


Entire Tree:

Close-Up of Main Branch ( Leaves are a few shades darker than pictured because camera flash makes them appear brighter. ):

Close-Up of Upper Leaves ( Wayyy too bright and they are in no way that glossy. ):

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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

Best way to describe is to show my Photobucket pictures. I have a Meiwa kumquat tree. click on the picture to open my Photobucket collection to see others. The Photobucket picture are described in full if you click on the "more" button in the right hand lower corner of the picture.

down below is the equipment I used. Click on picture.

here are the most currant picture of my one year old Meiwa tree along with other citrus. All are from seeds I got from fruit.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 9:06PM
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I'm looking for advice on how to get my orange tree into a more proper state, not just pictures of citrus already health.

Not to be rude, but your post was rather unhelpful.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 12:20AM
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If you can provide what I am about to list, then you should be off to a good start.

Provide a very good 'porous mix'

Provide as much sunlight as possible.

Provide a fertilizer that gives all the important nutrients.

Provide a pot that drains well

Now the do's and don'ts........................

Do keep a close eye for pests, in particular spider mites.

Do not over water

Do not under water

Do pick up some vinegar if you tap water pH is too high

Do give it lot's of sun from spring to winter so teh roots can develop nice and strong before you have to bring it back in for next winter

And most importantly, stick with advice where everyone is on the same page and you know have great success with northern growing in containers.
Be willing to admit your mistakes and humble enough to accept advice since I noticed a few here run when you tell them the work needed to be successful.

Have a great day:-)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 6:33AM
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Mike and others give good advice.

You may not know that trees from seeds may not grow true to the type of fruit it was and it will take anywhere from 5-15 years to get fruit production from seed.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:43AM
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Thank you for the tips. What would be a good N-P-K to use on an orange tree, and what should I do about the tree leaning backwards?


Thank you for the information, but I already know this. Do you have any advice on pruning / staking?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 1:59PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

I am dyslexic and writing is very hard. I use picture whith description to give descriptive ideas. potted citrus can root rot. my picture show tools to help get oxygen/warmth to roots. Pic shows small but numerous drain holes and side vent holes, to keep bottom of pot/soil dryer. This is where the rot problem starts Citrus like tall pots. DO NOT PRUNE. citrus start flowering after the top has set a programmed number of leaves. If you top the tree, a new leader will start counting from the number at that point at where it started and the tree may never fruit.

Personally, I thought your tree looked great and quite
health. Each of the three pictures above represent a different topic. The first picture shows the history of the tree. The second shows the equipment use,and how and why it was used, the third picture are of the Meiwa tree's 1 year birthday party.

I have learned a lot more about citrus just looking at other's entries and pictures. Example,; your tree to me looks great. If their is a problem, I don't see it and if any one else dose please point it out. I will learn to.

Last, Be ready for anything you can think of. When, 'not if', it happens, being ready is often the difference between success and death. of the tree.

Insects and pests, hand killing is the best organic control for any tree less than 8 feet tall. I know .I do it.

If this is an option on the south side of your house you can build a geen house. All I have is the foot to what will be a 6 ft wide, 35 foot long, by 16 foot tall lean-to structure. Be creative and work with your assets. See picture.

Good luck with your tree and keep reading for fun.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 2:30PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

Use a clothing hanger wire straitened out or the wire from a politicians plastic "vote for me" sign as the tree support. Or just let the tree lean. the picture bellow shows how to use a wire for support.

The tree will automatically fill out as it grows. just let it do its thing and don't try to force it

Trees from seed have more thorns because their genetic code is to protect the new low-to-the-ground plant with extra thorn protection that the grafted trees lack.

I fertilize with an acid plant fertilizer with micro nutrients including, zinc, iron and, manganeese

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 8:00PM
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Thank you! I did have an issue with mites at one time, but a quick use of some spray did them away.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 8:01PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

hI popdo

I Forgot to ask, what part of Ohio are in. I am 4 miles up the mill creek from the Ohio river.

I also wanted to state that my tree double there groth rate when I started blowing air in their root base. one 5-10 second burst with the blow dryer per day is all you need.

for my 55 gallon drum plant I use a PVC tube will whorls of air hole to blow the air down. I used about 5 minutes of air here. In the picture bellow circled in red you can see the tube and the blow dryer funnel. This has dramatically improved the growth of the fig trees

The thorns can be clipped off at no risk to the tree. don't damage the tree trunck.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:05PM
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As far as pruning, l would let it go as much as possible without pruning. You can use stiff wire to shape or a stake to help shape it.

For the strongest trunk, don't use a stake.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 10:31AM
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you should try grafting other varieties on that tree, or you could get trifollate root stock and graft on that and you'll get fruit alot sooner. you could check out home depot they have a large selection of dwarf citrus trees with fruit in early summer.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 4:07PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

if you can find some one with a fruiting citrus try grafting a twig from that tree to yours. That twig may send a signal to the rest of your tree telling it is of bearing age an fool your orange tree in to setting flowers. I have no idea if this will work. If you try this and it works, pl,ease let us know. There are a lot of people that would like to try this on things like pomelo and grapefruit trees.

Success be with you

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 5:32PM
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maybe you should do some research on the subject before you
put your two cents in. i have 12 citrus trees in zone 5,also have grafted on seedings that have fruited

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 6:19PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

Here is a better picture of using a coat hanger wire to hold my Meiwa kumquat tree in line. She was leaning to much to fit in my bucket light system.

this is the bucket system it has to fit in.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 6:21PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH


Have the seedlings that you have grafted to fruited or did the scions produce fruit. What I am asking is did you graft a mature scion to trick the seedling to fruiting sooner or did the seedling only serve as root-stock for your scion. There is a big difference. I believe that popdo would like his orange tree to fruit. I have done a lot of research on the idea of grafting a mature twig to get the rooted plant to think it can produce sooner. I have found nothing on this subject. Do you know and would you share your knowledge. I would be greatly appreciative, and it would save Popdo a lot of work if you know it does not work. If you found it does work, then you have Popdo answer to early fruiting. If any one else knows that this does work, please let us know, I would like to grow a grapefruit tree from seed and get fruit in five years with a simple graft from my friend's fruiting Meyer lemon. Hears a picture of how to make a citrus tree grow much faster wile growing starts for your vegetable garden.

Citrus hanging though the top in the center of a ring of 8 CFL's shining over broccoli, next peppers & eggplant, then tomatoes for the garden. Last year I was pick red pepper 5 week before USDA last frost date with this setup.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 12:10PM
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Just a little update:
1. It was discovered the orange tree had spider mites. Most of the leaves on the main branch of the tree sadly crumbled and died. However, the tree appears to be making a recovery after several sprayings of 'Safer'.

2. The orange tree was moved outside for the first time this year yesterday. Hopefully the humidity outside will kill the rest of the spider mites.

3. Due to the mites, I'd rather not try any grafting on the tree in it's current weak state.

4. While I may try it, the grafting idea has some flaws. Try taking a small cutting off a tomato plant. The cutting instantly reverts from it's blooming state and becomes similar to a seedling again. I think blooming is triggered when the plant believes it has the amount of nutrients required, rather than by simply reaching maturity. However, I may be wrong.

5. While fruit would be nice, I really just wish I could turn the tree into some sort of over-sized bonsai. Considering the fact that my tree was grown from a random sunkist orange, I'm not really expecting any fruit. Even fruit from a graft would probably be just a silly idea, since I know little to nothing of the tree's durability, but seeing as it was able to survive the winter indoors and even grow a few branches, I'd say it's a rather strong plant.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 2:21PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

You are wrong. It depends on where you take your cutting. The main trunk will have flower cluster every 5 leaves. The sucker just under a flower cluster usually needs 2 additional leave between cluster. the next sucker down usually needs 4 additional leaves. The exact amount of leaves is genetically code to particular cultivars

To keep this forum citrus I'll have to post some pics of my fortunella crassifola.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 10:53PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH


hows your tree doing. I would like to hear and see pictures.

My tree went through a very rough time and i lost 4 sweet lee tangerine trees. My meiwa kumquat went from looking great, Too looking like a WWII german concentration camp survivor with 90% of its leaves missing.





Then catastrophe strikes. I drop meiwa 3 times, catch the tree top and snap whip it 2 times, and finally forget to put the bucket spacer in and burn the trunk. I lost 4 inches

Pictures will show the rest Fears Tears and more Tears

Potted meiwa in the buff

Top of my potted meiwa tree from seed budding out

The next 6th of meiwa kumquat tree from seed

upper middle, some small swells

This is the lower middle section of the potted meiwa tree

One section above the root base and trunk. potted meiwa is struggling

The three buds you see here have been remove since there are already to limbs there. A whorl of limbs tends to choke out the main trunk. I wish for maximum growth of the main trunk to reach my node count to fruiting. I will then encourage the tree to bush out more like a bushy single trunked tree. Click link below to see where the tree will reside. Click on any thumbnail then use mouse wheel to magnify

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 9:53PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

From one ohioan to another, could you post pics of your current orange tree. I would like to see how the other seed grown tree is doing

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 3:45PM
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Don't bite on this and give Pocirusguy another reason to post his silly photos that we have all seen 100 times.

If you still need help, start a new thread with a new subject.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 2:28AM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

I have no plans on posting more pictures. I have never gotten any growth in summer on my kumquat tree. Just click on a picture above if you want to see, but I really enjoy looking at other's picture. Your tree was very nice looking and I was excited to see the pics of another seed grown tree. If I offended you I apologize. I have posted only one picture in about a month.

Long live your Citrus

The pictures I posted were connected to methods and equipment to show other ways to increase growth at a very low costs. I was posting to people who were new and often had problems. I know you and they other regulars are very knowledgeable on citrus. These pictures where not meant for your benefit. John this tread and my writing here was meant for popdo. I would like to see how his tree is doing. If he asks for pics I'll post some. The excitement on my knew citrus has dwindled since I found that citrus is so hard to grow up north.. I have also found that people who take up hobbies such as citrus or other detailed hobbies are much more interesting in life.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 8:08AM
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