Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Soil and Sun Requirements for Growing Orange Trees

Orange tree in the sun

Orange tree in the sun

Oranges like a full day of sun—six to eight hours. They’ll do OK in partial shade, too, but you are likely to get fewer flowers that way.

The soil should be well-drained and rich in organic matter to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Sandy loam soil is best.

In general, oranges prefer a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.5, although you may see some varieties that will tolerate soil in a higher or lower range. Take out the guesswork and get your soil tested before you start planting. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and aggravation, and your trees will thank you by growing instead of languishing. Your local extension center will have information on how to get your soil tested. For a little bit of preparation work, you can get a lot of information about the composition of your soil.

When it comes time to plant your oranges, almost anywhere with the right sun and soil will do. While most oranges grow best in the ground in zones 8 to 11, if you live outside those zones, you can grow oranges in containers outside while conditions are right; then you can bring them inside.

The recipe for healthy oranges is sunlight, well-drained soil, and warm temperatures. If you can provide those three things, you can grow oranges just about anywhere.

How have you grown oranges—full sun or partial sun? Have you had your soil tested or did you do it yourself? Please tell us your tips and tricks for growing great oranges!

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