erins327
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Fast Growing Orange Tree Varieties?

Hello,

Houston native here that wants to plant an orange tree but am too impatient to wait years for fruit. Especially since we might not be in this house for longer than 4 years or so.

Are there any varieties out there that will fruit within a year or two so I can benefit from it before we move?

Thanks for any advice!

Erin
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applestar
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree

Hmm. I'm not well versed in citrus trees in the garden due to it being too cold here, but as a general rule, mature or nearly fruit tree buds are grafted onto root stocks, and then the resulting trees which can fruit as soon as root system and tree structure can support fruit production are sold at various stages.

So I think a good part of your concern will depend on your budget and how big of a tree you have in your budget to buy and plant/have planted. It will also depend on how much production you would consider enough.

It will also depend on the variety what time of the year they bloom and when the fruits will ripen. What kind of oranges were you thinking of? I know you can buy some container-grown orange trees that would fruit first year.
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erins327
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree

Yes Applestar I have heard about the grafting method is alot faster to get fruit consumption. I'm really open to any variety of edible citrus! I love them all!

Right now I'm seeding out satsuma seeds, however I don't know which kind. Got them from my friendly neighbor. This is more of a essentially free experiment that if successful will plant in the yard somewhere for others to enjoy.

My main reason for apprehension is paying $45 for a tree I won't be here to see mature and fruit out.
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applestar
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree

I think your best bet would be to get something you can grow in a container. Here are a couple of reference links. Logee's s a great source of info for northern gardeners who would need to protect their tropicals for overwintering, and they have been in mail order business for a long time and I'm comfortable ordering from them.

Since you are in Texas, Logee's is probably not suitable source for you. I'm not familiar with good sources for your area, but I do like Four Winds for cultural info reference (Oh, I see they can't ship to Texas, so this place won't work as source either).
Growing Citrus in Containers
https://www.logees.com/growingcitrus

Gardeners have been growing citrus in containers for thousands of years. The attractive and edible fruit combined with intensely sweet flowers makes citrus a prized potted plant. Some gardeners grow citrus outside in pots in tropical zones while others grow citrus inside in pots in northern climates. Whether or not you live in a temperate or tropical climate or live in an apartment or home, growing citrus fruit successfully in containers has a few common cultural requirements.
Growing Dwarf Citrus In Containers - Four Winds Growers
https://www.fourwindsgrowers.com/tips-a ... iners.html

Growing Citrus in Containers
Dwarf citrus trees are especially suited for container growing as they can be kept at manageable sizes. Container growing allows gardeners to overcome poor soil conditions or limited space in a landscape. People enjoy their trees in decorative pots on a patio or apartment balcony. Many customers have cold winters and bring their citrus indoors during freezing weather. For some pictures of successful container plantings take a moment to view this slide show.
These tips can help you on the way to successful citrus growing in containers:
Select the right size pot with adequate drainage holes. A 2-3 year old citrus tree typically wants to grow in about a 12” diameter nursery pot (commonly referred to as a “five gallon”.)
Four Winds has a nice chart of citrus varieties:
https://www.fourwindsgrowers.com/our-ci ... chart.html

Citrus Variety Info Chart – Four Winds Growers
https://www.fourwindsgrowers.com/pages/ ... info-chart
Last edited by applestar on Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Updated the citrus variety chart link
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erins327
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Location: Houston, TX

Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree

Thanks for that chart! Thats useful.

Upon further investigation, my city's Ag Dept is doing a citrus fruit sale this Saturday! Looks like will be a perfect opportunity to get what I need!

Thanks,

Erin
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applestar
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree

Let us know what you get :-()
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ElizabethB
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree

Hello Neighbor,

I live in Lafayette, La. Did you find an orange tree?

If not contact Saxon, Becnel & Sons in Belle Chase, La. Sorry - I do not have their phone number. They are one of the largest, most reputable growers in our region (that includes east Texas). They are a major supplier to big box stores and local nurseries. If you call them you will find that they are very helpful. They will advise you on variety (your best bet is a satsuma.) They can recommend a variety best suited to Houston.

You can probably find their trees at Lowe's or HD. The size will generally be 3 to 5 gallon. Get the 5 gallon if you can find it.

When buying from big box stores inspect the plants carefully. The grower ships perfect plants but the big box nurseries do nothing other than water - periodically. Inspect the underside of the leaves. Look for traces of leaf miners. Inspect the surface of the leaves for black sooty mold. Inspect the joint of the leaves to the stem. No white fluffy stuff in the leaf joints. Pull the plant out of the pot. It should not be root bound.

When planting keep this in mind - a 50 cent plant needs a $5 hole. No deeper than the root ball but 3 to 5 times wider. Plant now. Do not amend the soil. Do not fertilize until February 2018. You plant will try to produce a few oranges this year. Your best bet is to snip off the infant fruit. Let the root system develop and get established. Next year let the fruit develop. You will probably get 1 - 2 dozen oranges in 18. After that you can expect an increasing amount of fruit each year.

Fertilize with 8-8-8 in February and May/June. First year - Fill a 16 oz. peanut butter jar with 8-8-8 granulated fertilizer. Punch holes in the lid. With you left shoulder next to the branches and the shaker jar in your right hand circle the tree sprinkling fertilizer. Water well.

Citrus trees do not need to be fussed over. You will get leaf miners from moths and sooty mold from white flies. Neither will impact you fruit. Do check the leaves for what looks like bird poop. It is a Dog Faced Caterpillar. Do not spray. Just pick them off and squish them.

Cold weather - Temperatures in the upper 20's and low 30's will not damage your tree unless the temperature remains below freezing for more than 3 or 4 hours. Most winters you have no worries. Then you have the 2 - 4 days of low 20's that we had this year. In Lafayette we had 2 days with lows in the mid to low 20's. The temperature was below freezing for 8 to 10 hours each day. :eek: Unfortunately we were out of town. My 5 year old Satsuma - which produced at least a gross of oranges - was severely damaged. IDK if it will survive. Had I been home I would have sprayed it with water just as the temperature fell below freezing. Ice forms on the leaves and branches and keeps them from getting below 32 degrees. A trick that commercial citrus growers use.

:oops: :oops: :oops: There I go again. I have been away from the site for awhile but many members know that I can get on a roll and just give TMI.

SORRY!!

Good Luck with your orange tree.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

imafan26
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree

It would be better to buy a grafted tree and keep it in a pot so you can take it with you. Get a big one. Citrus trees need to have a canopy large enough to support the fruit. If the graft is from a tree that is already producing, it may take a couple of years for the graft to be strong enough to support fruit. If the tree is older and larger it may produce in a shorter time. Try the local nurseries in your area, you may find some already in a pot or grow bag and fruiting.

I don't know about oranges, since the only oranges that do well here are the navel oranges. Meyer lemons will usually set fruit in one to two years. Persian limes take longer 3-5 years. Calamondin can set fruit in less than a year if it is planted at the right time.
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erins327
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree

Hey guys!

Checking in with my fruit tree update.

I never made it to that fruit sale, I went to the Houston Rodeo instead. :)

However in January I started some satsuma seeds in a warm sunny window and all four are about 3-4" tall now. They have been growing very slloooowwww but Im blaming that on the cooler temps of late Winter. Now we are having 80's/60s weather, and I see new leaf growth trying to get started.

I know from seed it will take years to get big enough to bear fruit, but I'm pretty stubborn about growing almost everything from seed. :lol:

I had a Persian Lime that froze in January and ended up having to cut it all the way back to where it was just a stub in the ground!. But it already has 2-3' sprouts coming up all over the trunk top.
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Gary350
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree Varieties?

When I lived in Arizona oranges were cheap 10 lb bag $2 at the Mexican flea markets & $3 at Food City & $4 at Walmart. Being that cheap for 10 lbs it is hardly worth growing your own but it sure is nice to have oranges in the yard and be able to pick 1 any time you want.

I would plant several orange trees you will get about 15 oranges the first year from each tree. If you have 10 trees then you will get about 150 oranges. Fertilize the tree is cool weather not hot weather you will get about 25 oranges 2nd year, maybe 35 to 40 oranges 3rd year, maybe 55 the 4th year. Set irrigation to water the tree at 9 pm after the sun goes down. Big plants need more water than little plants so experiment with the water. A new plant needs more water because root ball is small but don't make the soil be a swamp. I had a 2 liter sprayer on my tree it watered the tree 20 minutes every evening.

Oranges in TN are not cheap, $1 each for navel, $10 for a 5 lb bag of smaller oranges.

I had a dwarf marmalade orange tree. It is very sweet and very good flavor the most popular orange in AZ. Dwarf means the tree will grow about 15 ft tall and probably never need to be trimmed, larger trees need to be trimmed by someone with a lift bucket truck. Buy 8 to 10 trees plant them 4 ft apart it will be several yrs before you need to cut down every other tree.

thanrose
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree Varieties?

I absolutely agree with the concept of free is best, so growing from seed is wonderful even when you know you won't be there for the mature tree.

But... Citrus is a touchy topic in Florida, probably California, too. Too many diseases and pests for a mega millions agri-business, and control of the trees out there is one way to control the diseases.

I sincerely recommend buying your citrus trees from an established citrus grower. While you won't find them in Idaho, any place that you can grow dooryard citrus should have someone within fifty miles who has been growing them professionally for many years and likely many generations. They will know exactly what you should get once you give them your ideas. I've had kumquats, tangerines, lemons, oranges, and calamondins. If you want fruit in two years, or you want fruit that will set in February, or you want lemons by Christmas, they will know what you need. They'll know what size tree, what environmental concerns you should address, and they will sell you trees that are actually thriving already.

As I recall, they weren't even that expensive compared to the big box stores. They actually supply the big box stores often enough.

My favorite purchases were a Meiwa kumquat and a Dancy tangerine. The old dude asked me if I liked my tangerines with a little kick to them or just sweeter, if I wanted a zipper skin. Did I want fruit this year? The kumquat also was selected based on how I planned to use them, what I expected in size of the tree, the sun and soil in my yard, etc. If you have a watering system is another factor for which citrus to select. You don't want to grow grass or plants right up to the trunk, you don't want mulch, and you definitely don't want a watering system on it twice a week or whatever. But some will tolerate more suburban conditions, some will have wicked thorns, some are really susceptible to sooty mold or leaf curl. You don't get that advice at a big box store, or even at a general garden nursery.

Can't wait until I can plant some more fruit trees. I'll probably be renting for the next year or so.

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applestar
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree Varieties?

I grow my citruses from seeds for fun and without much expectation that they would eventually fruit, though that would be a pleasant bonus. Up here with 7 months of cold weather, they grow very slowly in their containers, especially since I don’t grow them with much conviction — i.e. I don’t fertilize them that progressively. They do make excellent house plants, tolerating the winter indoor conditions, maintaining glossy green leaves.... and while they are only producing leaves, the leaves have unique scent to them depending on which citrus, and can be used like bay leaves in cooking or can be used like tea leaves.

I have a few of them that are being trained as “wannabe bonsai” as well.

So out of the many many citruses I have, I only have one seed-grown lemon tree that started to bloom just recently — last winter? I had purchased a Meyer lemon tree a few years ago, but that one was more delicate than my other citruses and died.

Just last week, for my replacement purchased citrus, I ordered —Tah Dah @thanrose! :wink: — Meiwa kumquat, which has been on my wishlist for a long time. It’s supposed to be shipped when the weather is mild enough for it to survive the shipment. I have heard/read good things about this one. I can’t wait. :-()
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imafan26
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree Varieties?

Citrus from seeds will take 5-7 years to reach maturity. Some trees will be sterile and never produce fruit. Seeds will also be variable which is why people take grafts of trees that make good fruit. Some will be sweeter or more sour than others. With a graft you will be essentially getting a clone of the original tree so the fruit should be the same given ideal conditions. The other reason for grafting is to get stronger rootstock and resistance to some viruses. Growing citrus trees in large pots will keep them smaller and more portable even if they are not dwarf stock. It does take some careful root pruning and moving the pots around to make sure they don't escape.

Some citrus trees will survive and fruit earlier from cuttings taken at the right time which is just before it makes new leaves. If a cutting comes from a fruiting tree it will be a clone and the fruit should be the same if growing conditions are good. It may take 2-3 years from a cutting depending on the type of citrus and how fast the canopy leafs out. Calamondin or mexican limes are fast growers and fruit repeatedly throughout the year so they can fruit from cuttings less than a foot tall. Slower growing citrus like persian limes will take about 5 years just to size up. Meyer lemons are another fast growing citrus. Satsuma only sets once a year so it is going to be slower.
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applestar
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree Varieties?

One of my back-burner projects is to learn to graft citrus. I’m going to slowly add to purchased known varieties and then graft them to some of my dwarf Poncirus “Flying Dragon” seedling rootstock, which should confer dwarfing/better suited to container culture characteristics as well as increased winter hardiness. Actually, I was going to start with the Meyer Lemon, but now my first victim ...err subject... will be the Meiwa kumquat after it grows some. 8)

If they are fast growers, I should really try Meyer lemon again.... I keep thinking about Calamondin Orange, since imafan mentioned it often, but I think some kind of mandarin orange will be next — Gold Nugget or ...hmm I thought Dancy was on my wishlist as one too but thanrose said it was a tangerine?
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thanrose
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree Varieties?

https://cals.arizona.edu/fps/sites/cals ... ndarin.pdf Drat. Lost my post. Anyhow, this guy writes what I think is the current classification on the Mandarin umbrella of tangerine, Satsuma, clementine, et al.

The species names get confusing, and shows that there have been times that botanists made distinction between them. I would expect that Citrus reticulata is the correct binomial, and that there are just many varieties. Once you get beyond the two names, it's a muddle.

imafan26
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree Varieties?

As an update to my post, it is better not to move a citrus after all. You might have problems growing citrus in Texas. Huanglongbing, citrus greening disease has already spread to Texas and now has gone all the way to California. Infested trees will die. Trees should not be transported or scions taken from trees that are not certified disease free. Certified trees are housed in greenhouses to prevent them from being infested with the disease causing psyllids. There is no cure for the disease and the psyllids are hard to control without impacting beneficial insects as well. Imidacloprid is allowed on citrus, but it is systemic and can only be used certain times of the year.

https://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74155.html
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erins327
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree Varieties?

Well I ended up making it to a Citrus tree sale at my local Garden Masters chapter and got a blood orange. Wasn't my first choice, but my husband couldnt resist. :)

I still have my three little seedlings I started from a mandarin tree last year. They actually grew about twice as tall given this new Spring weather. If they work, great! If they end up don't, well it cost about .50 in dirt!

This winter was brutal in Houston, but I was able to save my lime tree! I went out and bought those old school Christmas lights that run super hot, wrapped it up and then covered the lime tree with two huge wool blankets. You could stick your hand in there and I swear it was 20 degrees warmer. And it is currently thanking me with about a dozen limes coming in.
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imafan26
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Re: Fast Growing Orange Tree Varieties?

I like blood oranges, but have not tried growing them. The easiest orange for me to grow and fairly common are the Washington Navel Oranges.
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