Tips

Care for the dwarf orange tree

Care for the dwarf orange tree

Spain

Its white flowers, orange blossom, waxy-looking and star-shaped, have a delicious and characteristic aroma. Its fruit, small in size, has the shape of a flattened green dial that turns orange when ripe and is edible, although its taste is somewhat bitter, similar to lemon.

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The dwarf orange tree is an evergreen bust that belongs to the family of the rustáceas. There are many varieties, all from Asia, which are popularly known as: Kumquat, Japanese Na-ranja, Calamondín ..., even though their scientific name is Fortunella margarita, in honor of a Scottish horticulturist (Robert Fortune) who He brought the first copies to Europe from China and, margarita, comes from Latin and one of its meanings is pearl, alluding to its small fruits.
Some of the most suitable varieties for growing in a pot are Citrus aurantium (Bouquet), with pointed leaves and rather bitter fruits; Citrus sinensis (Navelina), of small size, small and elongated leaves and sweet fruits and Citrus mitis (Bunge), a small dense tree with small and elliptical leaves. Both the leaves and the fruits of these trees are used in natural medicine because of their high content of essential oils, mineral salts, vitamin C, E and beta carotene. Jams and spirits are made with its flowers and fruits. When buying one of these plants, it is important to check that it is well rooted since otherwise it may not survive too long.

2 How to get a beautiful shape Spain

To control the shape of the trees and direct their growth, it is best to enter directly into the ground and secure the branches with special wire, so as not to damage the trunks. To give your cup a beautiful shape, it is best to make a very careful pruning and with a good technique.
What size can reach these trees?
It depends on the variety, but they do not usually pass the subway, although some, if they are in an optimal place, can almost double that size.

What is the best place to place them?
The best place is near a window facing south, as this will receive the maximum natural light, but beware of direct sunlight through the glass that acts as a magnifying glass and burns the plant. You have to be very careful with the changes of place as it affects you a lot and can cause all your leaves to fall.

3 Dwarf Orange: Data sheet Spain

LIGHT: It needs a lot to favor its growth. Place the plant in a clear and sunny place, since indirect sunlight is essential.
TEMPERATURE: Fruit trees do not resist frost and an environment that is too cold stops growing and too dry causes fruit to fall. So in winter a temperature between 15 and 18º C, it will be adequate, while in summer it is best to have it outside avoiding direct sun.
IRRIGATION: We will do it daily in summer and weekly in winter, always checking that the soil is not soaked and that it has good drainage.
FERTILIZER: From spring to autumn, pay frequently with an organic fertilizer. In winter use fertilizers that have iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium, as this will prevent the fruit from falling before being ripe. If you have planned, wait until it sprouts.
What type of pot and soil do you need? These trees, despite their small size, like all fruit trees, need a lot of space to grow, so the best thing is a wide and deep pot. The substrate must be rich in nutrients and with a pH between 5 and 6; It is very important that it is well drained.
Is it necessary to transplant these species? We will do it with young specimens, every one or two years, depending on their growth, during the spring. We will change them to another pot of greater diameter and deeper, when we see that the roots come out below. It is important to carefully remove the soil that is attached to them. To ensure the success of the transplant and stimulate the development of the roots, although it is not essential, you can add rooting hormones with fungicides.

4 Dwarf Orange: Most frequent problems Spain

- The leaves turn yellow and small bites are observed. The plant has a red spider. To end it, apply a specific acaricide and, to avoid it, be very careful with dry, warm and poorly ventilated environments.
- Roots show rot. The plant has fungi, possibly due to excess water. Let the soil dry between watering and watering and to end it, apply a fungicide.
- The plant has tiny white mosquitoes. This is due to the whitefly that sucks the sap. To remove them, spray with a contact or systemic insecticide.
- When do they bloom? Its flowers begin to sprout in spring and perfume the environment for weeks. Although there are varieties that have flowers practically all year. A curiosity is that, in some cases, flowers and fruits appear at the same time. In any case, flowering will last longer if an elevated temperature is avoided, watering with lime-containing water and site changes.
- Is it necessary to prune? Although pruning is essential to control its shape and size, the dwarf orange is not very friendly with her, so you have to do it with great care. The most appropriate time to do it is spring. A fundamental thing to keep in mind is that only if the tree is healthy can it be pruned. Also, the less drastic the better pruning. In many cases, pinching or defolation is sufficient to control growth and shape.