Dwarf Moro Blood Orange Tree

Growing Zones in Ground: 8 - 11 / in Pots: 4 - 11

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Description

The Dwarf Moro Blood Orange Tree is an evergreen citrus tree with round top and spreading growth habit. These orange trees produce beautiful, fragrant blooms in spring that are a delight to look upon and smell. Moro Orange Trees produce medium-sized sweet, juicy, blood-colored oranges with little to no seeds.

Blood Orange Trees are believed to have originated from either China or the southern Mediterranean where they have been cultivated since the 18th century. They are a natural cross between a pomelo tree and a tangerine tree. The Dwarf Moro Blood Orange tree, botanically named as Citrus sinensis ‘Moro’, is the newest variety among the three most common types of blood oranges. It originated as a bud mutation of the “Sanguinello Moscato” in 19th century in southern Spain, Lentini located in the Province of Siracusa in Sicily.

The Dwarf Moro Blood Orange Tree is an evergreen citrus tree with round top and spreading growth habit that is typically grafted onto Flying Dragon dwarfing rootstock or citrus trifoliate to make it more cold tolerant and disease resistant. This dwarf orange tree is categorized as a tropical tree that does well in the U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA growing zones 8 through 11. If you live in zones 4 to 11 you can still grow this Blood Orange Tree in a container, and move it indoors when the temperature drops and the weather outside becomes too harsh.

Dwarf Moro Blood Orange Trees are ornamental trees that add instant curb appeal wherever they are planted. They are a welcome addition to any garden, backyard, or pot on your patio. Furthermore, these orange trees produce beautiful, fragrant blooms in spring that are a delight to look upon and smell. These blooms then turn to medium-sized sweet, juicy, blood-colored oranges with little to no seeds. Blood orange flesh varies in color, from orange veined with ruby coloration, to vermilion, to vivid crimson, to dark, almost black flesh.

Citrus Tree Care

The Dwarf Blood Orange tree is a low-maintenance, easy to grow tree that produces abundant terrifically sweet, blood-colored fruit. Make sure that when you order a dwarf citrus tree, that you time it to be delivered in late March when the danger of frost has already passed.

  • Sunshine – all citrus trees like dwarf lime trees and blood orange trees need warm, temperate climate 55-85 F (13-29 C) outdoors and 4-6 hours of full sunshine on a daily basis to establish a healthy root system, process photosynthesis and produce blooms and fruits; this is the reason why most citrus trees thrive in USDA growing zones 8-11. This may cause concern if you live in colder regions, but you can actually supplement your trees’ sunshine needs by using a plant grow bulb in addition to the sunshine it can get in your location naturally.
  • Planting Location – Before your dwarf orange tree arrives, make sure that you have already selected an ideal planting location. Choose a location where your citrus tree will get optimum sunlight and a container with soil that is light and drains well.
  • Watering – When you receive the orange tree you ordered, make sure that you water it deeply right after replanting. Keep in mind that it is crucial that you use deep watering technique when dealing with growing citrus trees as demise of the majority of citrus plants were caused by over watering. Water the tree every 2 to 3 days until it is well established or you can purchase an inexpensive moisture meter tool from any local gardening store to accurately measure the soil moisture. If the measuring tool reads under 50 per cent then it is time to deeply water your citrus tree.

For those who live in colder areas where Blood Orange Trees are moved indoors during winter months, they might need additional humidity to keep the foliage lush. Water them once a week (skip watering during rainy days when trees are outside) until they are established.

  • Fertilization – growing Dwarf Moro Blood Orange Trees are voracious eaters and requires plenty of nitrogen, iron, zinc and manganese. Be generous and feed your growing citrus trees three to four times a year with specific fertilizer for citrus trees. Use a 2/1/1 ratio citrus tree fertilizer where nitrogen is double the amount of the other two elements.
  • Planting in a Container
  1. Use a container with wide diameter instead of a deep one since dwarf Blood Orange trees have a shallow, spreading root system. Use a good-quality potting soil enough to fill the container within 4cm of the rim.
  2. Carefully remove the tree from its nursery pot and set it on the hole you have prepared; ensure that the root ball rests at least 5cm above the surrounding soil then fill with potting soil, patting down lightly to avoid air pockets.
  3. Be sure to add enough potting soil to allow for slumping after watering.

Fruit & Harvesting

Fruit

Dwarf Moro Blood Orange Tree fruit are medium in size with an average diameter of 2.7 to 3 inches (70–76 mm) and weighs around 96 grams. They have tougher rind that is a little hard to peel. Although it is hard to peel, Blood Oranges compensate with the amount of juice they have, their aroma and flavor. These blood oranges are juicier and have a more intense aroma compared to many other orange varieties. They also have a distinct sweet flavor with a tinge of raspberry overtones in addition to the citrus flavor.

Blood oranges are called thus because of their distinct dark-colored flesh resembling the color of blood. This color is due to the presence of anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant, that is common to many flowers but not to fruits especially in citrus fruits. The flesh of blood oranges develops its crimson color with low temperature at night.

Blood oranges are great for eating out of hand and for juicing. They can also be used to make marmalade, baked pies, and pastries, and are great added as an ingredient for refreshing fruit or green salads. These oranges can also be used to make granitas, gelatos, sorbet, and smoothies if you want sweet, cold delights. Blood oranges are also popular in vinaigrette-style dressings or when paired with seafood and poultry dishes.

Harvesting

Dwarf Moro Blood oranges are in season in summer. Look for a fruit with peel that has a waxy shine on it and gently squeeze the fruit to see if it gives a little. If it does, do a taste test to determine if it has ample amount of juice and if it has reached its peak flavor. If the juice and flavor is satisfactory you can harvest the fruits you need but if not leave the fruits for 1-2 weeks then perform another test.

Growing Zones

Advice

Dwarf Moro Blood Orange Trees are cold hardy but needs to be protected when the temperature goes below 28°.  They can grow as tall as 8’-12’ when planted in the ground but tend to be smaller when planted in a container – usually just around 6 ft or can be kept smaller thru judicious pruning and pinching. Their usual bloom season is in spring and you can expect fruits to be in season come summer.

Pests and Diseases

  • Common pests attacking Blood Orange trees are scales and aphids.
  • Aphids are tiny bugs that feed on newly emerged leaves and suck the sap, including the nutrients, from the tree. They cause distorted growth, stunting and decreased fruit production.

Aphids can be controlled with the help of beneficial bugs like lacewings and beetles. You can also use insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils to get rid of these pests.

  • Scales are insects that cause the leaves to fall off. If there is less foliage then the tree will not be able to undergo photosynthesis process and result to lesser leaves and decreased fruit production.

Scale infestation can be controlled with neem oil spray.

  • Common diseases infecting Blood Orange trees is Penicillium digitatum. and Citrus Greening.
  • Penicillium digitatum is a fungus that lives in soil which is best for growing citrus trees. It is the cause of green rot or green mold after the fruits have been harvested. Infected fruits will have white mycelia mass and moist-depressed areas on the outer surface. As the disease progress the fruits shrink and eventually turn into dry, empty shells.

Proper fruit handling can prevent the spread of this disease. You can also spray imazalil or biphenyl after harvesting the fruits to protect them from this disease.

  • Citrus Greening is a bacterial pathogen that causes damage to the root system that results in yellowing of leaves, dieback of twigs, and fruit stunting.

Sanitation is the best way to prevent the spread of this bacterium. Remove all infected citrus trees and follow the antibacterial management process followed in your area.

FAQs

Where are blood oranges gown?

Blood oranges may have originated in China, but are now grown in Italy, Spain, and tropical climates in South and North America.

Are there health benefits to the Blood Orange?

Blood oranges contain compounds called Anthocyanins, which cause the dark red fruit color, and have been shown to combat free radicals as well as inflammation. Blood oranges are also rich in Vitamin C, which has numerous observed health benefits. Blood oranges also contain Vitamin A, which is said to be beneficial for skin health.

How is the Dwarf Moro Blood Orange different from other Blood Oranges?

The Moro blood orange variety is the most richly colored blood orange. It has a deep red interior and theskin has a bright red to crimson shade. The Moro Blood Orange variety is also quite sweet and flavorful, with hints of raspberry and tart grape in the flavor.

Do Dwarf Moro Blood Orange Trees have thorns?

Dwarf Moro Blood Orange Trees are basically thornless, but may have some small thorns on individual branches. As with all plants, individuals may vary in certain respects, and some Blood Orange Trees may have more or less thorns than others. Overall the Blood Orange tree has few if any thorns.

How tall can I expect my Dwarf Moro Blood Orange Trees to get?

Mature Dwarf Moro Blood Orange Trees grown in the ground under proper conditions will reach a height of about ten to twelve feet.

Can I grow a blood orange tree indoors?

Yes. When growing citrus indoors be sure that the tree gets plenty of light. You can supplement sunlight with growing lights if needed. Also be sure the tree is watered thoroughly, but not allowed to stand in water or continually saturated, non-draining soil.

Do Dwarf Moro Blood Orange Trees require a second tree as a pollinator?

No. Dwarf Moro Blood Orange Trees are self-pollinating, and will grow fruit without an additional tree for pollination. However, Dwarf Moro Blood Orange Trees with a second pollinator tree will often grow more fruit than a solitary Dwarf Blood Orange Tree.

Do dwarf blood orange trees take longer to grow fruit?

No. Dwarf trees will typically produce fruit at least as soon as standard sized trees, and in most cases even faster, since the dwarf variety tree will reach its mature size faster.

How long will it take for a blood orange tree to grow fruit?

Grafted trees can produce fruit in about two to three years after being planted. Variations in fruiting are affected by fertilizing, watering, sunlight, temperature, and other environmental factors. Trees grown from seed will take much longer to mature to fruit-growing age(seven to ten years is common).