Plant DetailShow Menu

Citrus x sinensis

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
SI-trus sy-NEN-sis
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Sweet orange is an evergreen tree in the Rutaceae family that grows up to 30 feet tall in tropical, sub-tropical climates and its fruit is what you find in grocery stores.  It is a hybrid resulting from a cross between a mandarin orange and a pomelo although when this was done is not fully known. However, its name means "from China" and likely refers to where it was originally grown and used. It has glossy green leaves and attractive orange edible fruits.  It is not cold hardy so in cooler zones it can be grown in a container that can be overwintered indoors.  Its flower is the state flower of Florida.

The sweet orange requires direct sunlight.  It is frost tender and does best when planted in a place where it can receive early morning sunlight during the growing season, so new, tender branches don't freeze. It prefers a pH of 5 - 6 but will tolerate a neutral or alkaline range as well.  It is drought tolerant but flourishes when kept moist. Do not overwater. 

Pruning sweet orange trees is different than other deciduous fruit trees.  Flowering and fruiting on sweet orange trees occurs on new wood and you don't want to cut flowers that are your future fruits.  It is recommended that all pruning occur after the fruit has ripened. 

Plant outside for year-round enjoyment in the proper hardiness zone or put in a planter for movement inside when the weather turns cold. Sweet orange dislikes root disturbance so it should be placed in its permanent location outside when young. If growing them in pots, great care must be taken when moving them to larger containers.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant can cause contact dermatitis in some people.  There are many insects which could affect sweet orange.  They include citrus rust mite, citrus snow scale, purple scale, Florida red scale, mealybugs, whiteflies, aphids, and fruit flies. Diseases include greasy spot, stem-end rot, sweet orange scab, citrus canker, and citrus greening disease.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#houseplant#white flowers#fragrant leaves#frost tender#medicinal#fragrant fruits#acidic soils tolerant#orange fruits#evergreen tree#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical feel#contact dermatitis#container plant#wet soils intolerant#shade intolerant#edible#showy#full sun
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#houseplant#white flowers#fragrant leaves#frost tender#medicinal#fragrant fruits#acidic soils tolerant#orange fruits#evergreen tree#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical feel#contact dermatitis#container plant#wet soils intolerant#shade intolerant#edible#showy#full sun
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Citrus
    Family:
    Rutaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The juice is used in jellies, to make ice cream, sherbet or sorbet, and its fragrance is found in perfumes and cleaning products. The rind of the fruit is often used as a flavoring in cakes and icing or made into marmalade. Flowers can be cooked as a vegetable or made into a tea. The oil in the seed can be used in soap making. The fruit is rich in Vitamin C which aids the body and recent studies have attributed the fruit with lowering cholesterol and aiding in the digestion of fat. The fruit contains bergapten, which is used in tanning lotions as it promotes pigmentation in the skin.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Grafting
    Leaf Cutting
    Seed
    Distribution:
    All tropical, sub-tropical regions around the world
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Edibility:
    Fruits are edible
    Dimensions:
    Height: 8 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 8 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Houseplant
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Orange
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits are round to slightly oval in shape and can vary in size from 2-5" in diameter. The color of the fragrant, exterior rind is orange when ripe, as is the pulp. The fruit and juice are sweet.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Clusters of up to six fragrant, creamy white flowers bloom on the ends of the branches.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenulate
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The glossy, aromatic leaves are ovate in shape and can reach up to 4" long.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    New year's growth is green in color.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Lawn
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Small Tree
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Vomiting, diarrhea, depression; potential dermatitis. The fruit is edible, skins and plant material can cause problems.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Essential oils and psoralens, geraniol, citral and d-limonene
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes