dwarf orange tree - Knowledgebase Question

Long Beach, Ca
Question by annemcmills
April 4, 2010
hello, I'm a new gardener and recently purchased a dwarf orange tree.

It has some buds and is flowering, but lately some of the flowers have fallen off (without withering or anything). Is this normal? What is the normal process for an orange tree to bud/flower/fruit, etc?

Thank you for your advice.
Anne McMills

Answer from NGA
April 4, 2010


It is normal for some of the blossoms to fall off when they're still fresh and white. The usual chain of events is that the tree produces flowers - lots of them. Often, many more blossoms than they can possibly develop into fruits. The next phase is that the petals fall and you'll see the beginnings of a little fruit. If the flowers were pollinated by visiting bees they will develop into little oranges. You won't really know they've been pollinated until they reach about a half inch in diameter. Those that formed from pollinated flowers will hang onto the tree. Those that were not pollinated will drop off the tree. There's one more natural fruit drop process when the fruits are about an inch in diameter. There's no rhyme or reason - we can't tell by looking at the fruit but the tree knows which fruits it is capable of maturing. After this natural fruit drop, any fruit that remains on the tree will most likely develop into full sized fruits and will be ready for harvest in December or January (depending upon weather). Hope this clarifies things for you.

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