Orange tree from a stone at home
Among the variety of indoor plants sold in specialty stores, the eye quickly catches neat trees with glossy leathery foliage and a mass of brightly fragrant fruits. If you have patience and put in a little effort, you can grow an orange tree from a seed and at home, especially since a seed from a ripe fruit bought in a store is suitable as a planting material..
How to grow an orange at home from a seed?
The orange seed is covered with a rather dense, hard peel, on the one hand, preserving the sprout from all kinds of damage, and on the other, preventing its germination. If the seed dries up, it is very difficult to make it hatch, so only fresh seeds are used for planting..
- washed in warm water;
- soaked for 8-12 hours;
- planted in loose soil or peat to a depth of 1 cm under the film.
Until the moment of germination, which occurs in a month or a month and a half, the container with seeds remains in a shaded warm place. The mini-greenhouse should be periodically humidified and ventilated. And only after the emergence of sprouts, future orange trees are brought into the light.
Since in countries where oranges grow in nature, trees generously receive both heat and light, you can provide seedlings with the longest daylight hours by planting seeds at the end of winter or in March. But even in this case, young orange trees respond well to the extension of daylight hours with the help of special lamps..
Transplanting an orange at home
The picking of sprouts is carried out at the stage when two true leaves open on the orange, while it is important to take into account that the plant reacts extremely painfully to all manipulations associated with transplantation and possible damage to the root system. It is unacceptable for the root collar of an orange to be underground during transplantation.
The best way to transplant a tree is to transfer the plant along with an earthen lump in spring, until the active growth of shoots begins and buds appear. A home-grown orange will have to be regularly subjected to this procedure, each time choosing a container with a diameter of 1-3 cm larger than the old pot:
- The growing root system of a young plant once a year requires an expansion of the “living space”.
- Mature fruit trees are replanted every 2-3 years.
For seedlings with 4–6 leaves, a pot with a diameter of about 10 cm and a soil mixture of two parts of sod land, one part of deciduous humus, the same volume of peat and sand are suitable. Already at the next transshipment, the proportion of sod land in the soil is increased and a small amount of clay is added. An orange tree, which is grown from a stone at home, must be provided with good drainage and an irrigation regime that does not allow root rot.
Optimal growing conditions for an orange at home
Like all inhabitants of the subtropical zone, orange trees do not tolerate drafts, but they love light very much and are demanding on the humidity of the air and soil. With a lack of lighting, citrus fruits can hurt or refuse to bear fruit, so it is better to grow them on the sunny side, but shielding them from burning direct rays, especially in summer. In autumn and winter, when the daylight hours decrease, the orange grown from the seed is highlighted.
The air humidity in the room where the tree is located should not be lower than 40%, otherwise the plant begins to quickly shed its leaves and may die. This happens especially often in winter, during the heating season, or when the pot is located close to the heater. In this case, it is necessary to artificially humidify the air, spray the plant and make sure that the soil under it does not dry out..
The danger of drying out the soil exists in the summer, therefore, daily watering, moisturizing the entire earthen lump, but not causing moisture stagnation, is extremely necessary for an orange..
Home orange trees can die if the irrigation water contains chlorine. Therefore, they use rainwater, thawed or settled water for at least a day, which is heated to 25-30 ° С..
Caring for an orange tree at home
In order for the seedling to develop quickly, and after a few years the plant began to bear fruit, it needs to create conditions, as in the Mediterranean and northern Africa, where oranges grow in nature:
- In summer, the tree can be taken out into the air, protecting it from the scorching sun..
- In the spring, when bud formation begins and ovaries are expected to form, orange trees need to be kept at 15-18 ° C.
- In winter, watering is reduced and a warm winter is arranged at temperatures above +12 ° C, not forgetting about the backlighting of the plant.
On transferring from room to room, changing temperature, humidity and other growing conditions, up to turning the pot, an orange tree, as in the photo, at home can shed its leaves, turn yellow and wither. Therefore, it is advised to rotate the plant so that its shoots grow more evenly, it is advised about 10 ° every 10 days..
An actively growing orange every 7-14 days needs a complex fertilizing with fertilizers for citrus crops or a composition based on 10 liters of water and:
- 20 grams of ammonium nitrate;
- 25 grams of superphosphate;
- 15 grams of potassium salts.
Caring for an orange tree at home means that iron sulfate is added to the top dressing four times a year, and to maintain the rich color of the foliage, the orange is watered monthly with a solution of potassium permanganate..
Orange seed grafting
If you take good care of the tree, it quickly grows and develops. However, not everyone manages to wait for flowering and ovary, and if the fruits do appear, they turn out to be small and bitter. The fact is that oranges grown from the seed may not carry parental characteristics and may simply be wild plants. You can recognize such a wild game already at the age of one by the hard green thorns on the trunk..
How to grow oranges at home, as sweet and large as store fruits? In this case, you can choose one of the following methods:
- Carry out the classic grafting of a tree, using a seedling as a rootstock for a varietal cuttings obtained from a fruiting plant.
- Inoculate an orange by budding by implanting the bud of a cultivated plant with a small layer of bark and wood. For reliability, you can use up to three eyes at the same time, grafting them from different sides of the trunk.
The second method is less laborious and painful for the tree. If the seedling after grafting remains only as a rootstock, it is better to carry out the operation on a tree at the age of 1 – 3 years, when the diameter of the stem does not exceed 6 mm.
On an adult orange tree, in the photo, you can graft various citrus crops, since the plant practically does not reject related species.
Forming an orange crown at home
Fruiting of an orange tree at home can begin 6-10 years after the seeds germinate and only if the plant has a properly formed crown. The buds, and then the ovary, in the same plants appears on the developed branches of the fourth order. Therefore, to obtain an early harvest, the formation of the crown begins during the period when the tree reaches a height of 25-30 cm:
- In spring, the main shoot is pinched at the level of 18-25 cm.
- Of the side shoots, three or four of the strongest are left, which are cut off, forcing to branch.
- In the next season, two branches of the second order are left from the increment. They will subsequently give 3 to 5 shoots of the third order..
- And only then will horizontal fruiting branches begin to develop.
- Next, they monitor the density of the crown and the timely replacement of branches.
On young trees, the first flowers and ovaries are best removed. The first harvest can be as little as 2-3 oranges, so that the plant does not lose too much strength when they ripen.
You can speed up the tree’s entry into fruiting by wintering the orange at a temperature of 2 to 5 ° C, limiting watering and not feeding for three months. When the temperature rises to 15-18 ° C in the room where the oranges grow, buds begin to set and an ovary begins to form. A properly cared-for orange at home can live up to 50-70 years, regularly delighting with the appearance of white flowers and brightly fragrant fruits.