|How do I care for a Dwarf Valencia Orange tree?
|Citrus plants thrive in temperatures between fifty-five and sixty-five degrees. They should be grown near a bright sunny window, and some direct sunshine can be beneficial.
Any commercially prepared potting soil will have a peat moss base which will satisfy your citrus tree's need for acidified soil. Keep the soil moist, but never saturated.
Dwarf citrus trees require periodic repotting (every third year or so.) The dwarfing characteristics are the result of keeping the tree root bound in the container, so do not used too large of a planter. They have a shallow root system, so a wide diameter container is far better than a deep one. When repotting, use a fresh mixture of one-third peat moss, one-third sand, and one-third sterile potting soil.
Citrus trees respond well to pruning. Keep all the dead branches trimmed off, and thin the plant to the three strongest trunks.
Citrus trees are succeptible to plant scale, mealy bugs, and spider mites, so watch out for them, and treat them appropriately. Citrus blossoms are produced year round, but often will fail to develop fruit. To ensure the setting of fruit, use a small brush to lift the pollen from the stamen (male part of the flower) of one blossom and gently dust it onto the pistol (female part of the flower) in the center of another. Within a few days the pistol should begin to develop a tiny new fruit. Enjoy your orange tree!