Dwarf orange trees are valuable dwarf citrus that have been enchanting many gardens and patios with their handsome and shiny evergreen foliage, fragrant blooms, and flavorful fruits for generations. Dwarf orange trees are popular among home growers and cultivators because they are easy to grow, have a well-behaved root system, and can adapt well to different methods of cultivation.
Standard to Dwarf
Orange trees come in different sizes. Standard varieties grow to about 20 feet, while dwarf orange trees for sale at nurseries can grow from 6 feet to 12 feet tall. Except for its size, dwarf citrus trees are not that different from standard-sized trees. Dwarf orange trees are just regular fruit trees that are grafted onto smaller citrus tree rootstock to inhibit their growth. Dwarf citrus trees require the same maintenance and care as standard-sized trees, and they still bear normal sized fruits that taste the same as their big counterpart trees.
On the other hand, growing a dwarf fruiting tree has its advantages – you can grow your citrus tree in smaller landscapes that cannot accommodate a large hulking tree and have easier access to sweet, tasty fruits.
Tree Size and Growth
The growth of the tree is greatly affected by the rootstock the budwood is grafted on. However, other factors also affect the size of the tree:
- When planted directly in the ground dwarf orange trees tend to reach their maximum height since they can spread their roots out. However, planted in a pot or container the dwarf orange tree grows smaller since the tree becomes root bound and the growth becomes stunted.
- Sunlight exposure plays an important role in growing fruit trees as some require 6 to 8 hours of full sunlight every day. When fruit trees are planted in a shady area and cannot get enough sunlight they become weak and the growth is stunted.
- Water and proper drainage is another factor that determines the life span and growth of all citrus trees. When planted in soggy soil that retains water, the roots rot and cause growth and development to become obstructed. When planted in dense soil like clay the roots will not be able to take hold.
- Pruning keeps the growth in check, although it is not necessary for shaping the tree. Keep in mind though that you still need to cut or prune diseased or dead branches to prevent the disease from spreading throughout the tree. Also, prune and thin dense foliage to let the sunshine reach the lower branches and to increase air circulation.
- External and environmental disturbances like frost, storms, or other weather patterns and insects also greatly influence a citrus tree’s growth.