The fruits of the orange tree, the oranges, are botanically classified as berry fruits, although they are a special genus, namely the tank berry or endocarp berry. With the orange tree, the focus is not only on the small fruits, but also on the more or less strongly scented, white, small flowers. The orange tree belongs to the rhombus family, there are 16 related species worldwide, such as citrus, pomelo and grapefruit.
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The home of the orange tree
Today, Brazil and the USA are among the largest growing countries for oranges and oranges in the world. Mexico, India, Spain and Italy, along with Egypt, Turkey and South Africa, are also cultivated areas. They produce the different varieties of oranges that are divided into these groups:
- Bitterorangen (Pomeranzen)
- Blonde or round oranges
- Blood and half blood oranges
- Acid-free oranges
Depending on the growing area these orange varieties come from, they are known under different names. The Jaffa orange has been coming from Israel for many years, and the Valencia Late is also very well known. Navel oranges and blood oranges are often used to squeeze out fresh orange juice. This is very healthy, but because of its high vitamin and acid content, it should not be consumed indefinitely per day.
This shows how quickly you have “oversupplied” with vitamin C if 1 or 1.5 liters of it are consumed per day. Orange juice is mostly made from a concentrate and as such is treated with preservatives.
The attitude as a container plant on the terrace
Orange trees of all sizes are very popular to be cultivated on the terrace or in the winter garden because they make a very beautiful plant image. Apart from the lush green of the leaves, the white and fragrant flowers are very popular. If the small, bright orange fruits come from this, the gardener’s pride can no longer be stopped. A small orange tree can be grown into a large tree over a long period of time, which in any case requires a correspondingly spacious relaxation room over winter. This is necessary because the orange tree is not frost hardy and therefore poses a problem for many tree owners.
Warning : the orange tree has long spines between the leaves.
The potting soil
Since the tree grows in a sufficiently large pot, it naturally needs good and, above all, water-permeable potting soil. This should be lime-free and slightly acidic to neutral and can also consist of garden soil. The orange tree does not tolerate waterlogging at all, it gets yellow leaves from it. However, if it produces individual yellow leaves and loses them, it is normal aging and not a cause for concern. This is possible with older shoots and a little thinning can help against this.
The orange tree should only be repotted as little as possible and then preferably in the spring before it begins to sprout. Should it no longer develop enough flowers, this can be a sign that it would like to be repotted.The location and fertilization
The sunniest and most sheltered place on the terrace should belong to the orange tree, which is what it likes best. But that doesn’t mean it needs a lot of water, it should only be watered moderately. Without getting your feet wet and without letting it dry out completely, it will bloom gratefully and perhaps produce many small oranges.
A normal and commercially available liquid fertilizer is used for fertilization, which is added to the irrigation water every 4 weeks according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The orange tree should be thinned out, especially in spring, before it is moved to its regular place. If the winter space is not big enough, the long shoots can be cut back shortly beforehand.
Young plants in particular are very sensitive to frost, they hardly tolerate temperatures around 0 °. The fruits can be damaged first, followed by the young shoots and the roots. Damage occurred quickly, especially if the earth was poured shortly before the frost attack. Some older specimens are a bit more robust than the younger ones. This can be advantageous for wintering if the winter garden cannot be heated. In any case, it should be frost-free, otherwise it should be placed in a stairwell or in the bright garage. The leaves of the orange tree do not fall off, they are green throughout. If they get too little light during the winter, they fall off and come back in spring.
Relocation to summer camp
As early as February, the orange tree should slowly get used to warmer and brighter conditions. This is best done when it is placed next to a south-facing window or in a warm winter garden. Now, as soon as the first leaves appear, very little can be poured. The orange tree should initially only go out into the fresh air when the sun is not shining in order to get used to the open-air season.
Caution : If you put them in direct sunlight too early, the leaves can burn
Like all house plants and patio plants, the orange tree can also be attacked by pests. The most common causes of illness are:
- Yellow leaves from moisture or drought, lime in the soil or too acidic soil
- Spider mites
- Scale insects
If the orange tree has a lot of yellow leaves, it can stand in soil that is too wet or too dry, or the soil is too calcareous. If the soil is high in pH, the leaves can also become excessively yellow and fall off.
Spider mites cause the orange tree to show yellowed leaves that are infested with tiny red spiders and webs on the underside. At an early stage of discovery, the predatory mite can be used to combat it, but later, unfortunately, only chemical agents.
Black aphids, the white sheaths look like white aphids, occur particularly quickly in the garden. You don’t have to treat them with the chemical club, a harmless biological weapon is: collect ladybugs and put them on the orange tree and let them eat their fill. Aphids can go away as quickly as they came. If you don’t want to watch it, you can make a harmless remedy yourself.
Scale insects ensure that the orange tree and other plants get sticky leaves, this is due to the honeydew that the animals produce when they eat. Here, too, a harmless measure helps, scraping off the scale insects and possibly brushing or spraying an oil film.
It is very difficult to grow a new orange tree from seeds. It takes 8-15 years for a small tree to become one that also produces flowers and oranges. It is therefore easier for the layperson to buy a young plant from specialist retailers than to rely on the self-breeding experiment.
Goethe already thought the orange tree was beautiful.
The orange tree is not an unknown plant and certainly not one that hardly anyone pays attention to. Goethe already dedicated lines to him, which praise the special beauty in simple words and are so beautiful that I simply want to weave in extracts from them here:
“Do you know the land where the lemons bloom and the golden oranges glow in the dark a gentle wind blows from the blue sky, the myrtle stands still and high on the laurel, do you know it? There! I would like to go there with you, oh my beloved. ”
So he, too, has already discovered the beauty of the orange tree and its flowers and was probably just as fascinated by it as many other flower and plant enthusiasts are to this day. The white small flowers, which exude their beguiling scent, especially from May, give way in favor of the golden balls, as they were poetically called. The thick-leaved and juicy green leaves, which are leathery to the touch rather than soft and take the form of lancets, form a beautiful crown. As such, they could be admired in orangeries of the kings Louis XIV of France or August the Strong of Saxony and adorned palace complexes and stately staircases.
As Mediterranean as Citrus sinensis may look and even if everyone today associates oranges with southern Europe (where they grow), their original home is the southeast of China. Citrus Sinensis means Chinese citrus and from there it came to southern Europe via the Orient. However, the fruits did not come to Germany directly from the south, but from the north and the two terms oranges and oranges can be explained by the different distribution channels.
Knowledge: As an orange it contains the word “apple” = “sine”, the Chinese apple as it was called in northern Europe. Orange goes back to the ancient Indian usage of “nagarunga” and proves that it was imported from an Arabic and later Spanish region.
Orange trees are the symbol for the south and the Mediterranean flair. They are often kept on patios and in winter gardens and must be cleared in before the first frost. A cool winter quarter is important, it should be light and frost-free. Here the plant waits until February and gathers strength. But it is only poured very little and used to the warmth again in February. This happens in the interior, as the temperatures slowly get warmer, the orange tree can get used to the fresh air when the sun is not shining. Only after the ice saints can the orange tree finally find its place in summer.