Newbie Needs help

foolishpleasureNovember 14, 2012

I have a naval orange tree planted in ten gallons pot with soil mix of compost, perlite and cow manured soil. I kept on the porch and I fertilized it with miracle grow. The tree is 5 feet tall with branches and looks very healthy. My first question I got no flowers and no orange yet. Why?

My second question is I have to take the tree inside the house now. I have two places the garage where I winterize my fig trees and keep the temp between 35 and 40. Then I have the utility room where the heater, the washer and the dryer are. The temp is 65. Which room is the best for the orange. Should I put a heating mat beneath the pot. Does the orange tree go in dormancy? Is she going to drop all its leaves? Also what is the best soil pH for orange I can add soil amendment. I am newbie about orange and need help.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I'm not a container grower like some of the folks around the forum. However, I'll take a stab at answering some of your questions:

1) Why is my tree not flowering / fruiting?

Citrus can take a little while to bear fruit. If it's a grafted tree it may take a year or two from when you bought it. They are heavy feeders and like nitrogen in particular. You should try and fertilize with a fertilizer designed specifically for citrus. Foliage Pro would be a good choice because it has the right amounts of NPK and micronutrients.

Citrus also like the sun so make sure your tree is getting plenty of it. This will help with fruiting and overall growth.

2) Does the orange tree go into dormancy? Should I place a heat mat beneath the pot? Should I put the tree in the garage or utility room?

Nope, citrus grow year round. They are a subtropical plant. When it gets colder their growth will slow down though. As long as it doesn't get below freezing your trees should be just fine. I'm a little more familiar with in ground tree's here but I don't think 35-40 should be an issue.

Sounds like both locations are warm enough so I would prefer the spot that gets the most sun exposure. Citrus still need light in the winter!

3) Will my tree drop all it's leaves?

Whenever I plant new citrus they always seem to throw a temper tantrum. In my experience citrus really don't like changing conditions; especially abruptly, and they will tend to drop leaves when this happens. Try to slowly acclimate your trees to their new homes. This will help with some of the shock from the change in light, temperature and humidity conditions.

4) What is the best soil pH for citrus?

It slightly depends on your rootstock but a good rule of thumb is 6.0-6.5; and 5.5 - 7.0 being acceptable. My soil is quite alkaline (8+) and they still do OK. I just have to supplement Iron, Zinc, and a few other micronutrients. Foliage Pro has these nutrients already.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 2:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Thank you and happy Thanksgiving

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 12:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

do you have grow lights?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 4:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have no heat fluorescent lambs three or four and very bright. Should I turned off at night.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 5:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

yes, turn them off at night. the cool temps in the garage won't hurt the trees, as long as they get a minimum of 6 hours of light. preferably more if you're trying to get them to bloom and fruit.

you could keep them in the garage with 8hrs of light till Jan. then in Feb move them to the utility room and up the light to 12-14 hours. that would give your trees a head start in the spring to bloom. then move them outside around Apr, whenever you're area is clear of frost.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 7:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Plants do need a dark cycle to aid photosynthesis, ita been a few years since I had biology but I think it takes some extreme levels of light for 24hrs a days to see noticable effects but it does happen.
Try to reproduce real world conditions, citrus didn't evolve to grow in climates that have 24hrs of sun.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 1:05AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Has Anyone Tried "Atomic Grow"? Does It Work As Claimed?
I was browsing through some YouTube videos on "citrus",...
Fertilising in Gritty mix
Hello everyone, OK, this may be a really basic question,...
KinnowLS, XieShan, Dekopan in CA.
Anyone know where these can be purchased or ship to...
Cuban Shaddock, a dwarfing rootstock? I doubt it
It is difficult to find information about this rootstock...
axier - Z10, Basque Country (Spain)
Sour orange cutting
The second of four cuttings I tried is showing new...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™