What kind of sun do Oranges want?

aufsessNovember 20, 2006

I am about to plant a dwarf Moro Orange in Los Angeles and have a spot that would get plenty of afternoon sun throughout the year (though a lot more in the Summer) -- that is sun after about 12 or 12:30, but the rest of the time it would be partially shaded by my house -- more so in the Winter.

Does summer sun or winter sun determine the ripeness of the oranges? Isn't afternoon sun more powerful because it's heated up the environment significantly -- it certainly seemed to kill my house paint on that side of the house (South West ish).

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bencelest(z9 CA)

It is the length of exposure and not the intensity what the citrus trees want. Citrus trees will be saturated by about something like 35% of the sunrays heat and can not take anymore sunlight for photosynthesis or food production. That's why you will notice that their leaves sometimes fold due to sunrays heat. The longer it is exposed to sunlight the more food they can manufacture thus more growth to your plant.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 1:42PM
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bencelest(z9 CA)

It is the length of days the fruit stayed on the tree till maturity when the tree starts to flower. That's why you have winter and summer harvest. It's in their genes. Like Early Navel and Lane late Navel orange.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 9:34PM
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My two cents worth.I have a dwarf mandarin growing in auckland
new zealand.It only gets about two hours of sun a day as its
covered by my house.By rights its shouldnt succeed there,in
the ground.The ground is not incredibly free draining either.
It is growing very well and is 5 years old now.The secret to my tree is a feed it every month with a couple of
handfuls of granuler citrus food with an npk of 5/5/5 plus
trace elements.I especially feed,just before flower burst in
spring and while the little fruitlets are growing.They need
nitrogen to size up.The trace elements are very important as
they contribute to fruit quality.I have fed npk plus magnesium and it doesnt give the same results.7 essential
trace elements are needed.
As to the sun helping your oranges to ripen,well i have news for you,the sun does not rippen your citrus fruits.What rippens them is the drop in temperature in autumn and winter.Its the drop in temp that converts the acids and makes them sweet.
That is why australian citrus are not that sweet because they dont get a cold down and why usa oranges are
so yummy because you have hot,sweaty summers and cold autumn/winter.
People like to feed npk with a high k factor when the
tree is flowering and has small fruits but will often cause
fruit drop,when what the tree really needs at this time is
nitrogen,its the nitrogen that makes your fruitlets reach
their full potential plus deep waterings.
They also prefer early morning sun from 8am to midday,
so you could try to locate in a spot that receives that.An occasional feed of epsom salts along with your fert would be
a good move too.
cheers and good luck

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 4:13AM
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I have recently purchased a Key Lime tree and a Robison Tangerine tree from HD. I am not sure where to place these in my yard. I would like to plant them in the backyard where they will be protected from pilphering by neighbors. However the backyard is slightly shaded by very tall pines. How much sun do they need? How does direct sun effect the trees? Should I place them in spots in the yard while still potted and see how they do for awhile or just dive in?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 1:15PM
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i must say that it does not get very cold here in south florida in the autumn and winter, but i dont know how warm it stays "down under".

my neighebor has three trees planted between a bunch of pine trees and they appear healthy and have large fruits.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 11:11PM
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