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Orange trees produce the orange or sweet orange and they are known botanically as Citrus sinensis. The orange is a hybrid and it was hybridized in ancient times. The Spanish likely introduced the orange into Arizona in the early 1700’s and then into California about 1769. The orange tree has become the most commonly grown fruit tree in the world. Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona produce the majority of oranges in the United States. Oranges are a sub-tropical plant so they must be brought inside in northern locations. Place the dwarf orange citrus tree on a porch or patio for the spring, summer, and fall. When the temperatures begin to drop into the thirties, bring the tree indoors and place in a window with a western or southern sun exposure. Orange trees are evergreen and prefer full sun, fertile, but well drained soil, and moderate water.
Growing your own oranges is not difficult and the benefits are outstanding. Freshly picked oranges taste great and they contain multitudes of healthy vitamins and minerals, untouched by machines or relegated to storage bins. Oranges are an excellent source of flavonoids and vitamin C. A single orange can supply nearly the entire recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Whole oranges provides dietary fiber and other valuable flavonoids plus they are a good source of vitamin A, B vitamins, amino acids, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc. Calorie content of a single orange is about 80 calories. Oranges contain pectin which is a dietary fiber that has been shown to help in appetite control.
Orange trees are popular indoor trees because of the fragrant flowers and attractive green foliage. Indoor orange trees need to be pruned regularly. Smaller buds and twigs can be pinched off by using your fingers. Remove dead and diseased branches when they appear. Also prune off awkward branches that detract from a visual balance. Unpruned orange trees are fine but to maintain a rounded and smaller plant they need moderate pruning. For best production results thin the tree’s orange crop. Keep the orange clusters to two oranges which will create larger fruit and much less weight stress on smaller branches.