Valencia Orange Tree
Hello, I have a Valencia Orange Tree that I bought about 5 years ago. It is in a (large plant/tree) container w/good miracle grow soil. It has grown about 2 feet (toally 4" in height)in the 5-7 years I have had it. It blooms yearly with up to a 100 blooms of Orange Blossoms(which I love). It then starts to grow the oranges. Until recently, every time the blossoms left and the oranges started, my dogs would hit the tree limbs with their tales thereby knocking the orange buds off leaving me only a couple left to actually grow. My question is this. I realize North Carolina planting zone shows snow, freezing temps, ice, etc, (which is few in happenings). Mostly our winters don't get down into the teens until late January or February and they are short lived. Our pump heating light doesn't come on at the pump until it reaches 32 degrees. Is there a reason why I couldn't plant my orange tree into the clay/brown dirt based garden along with a sunny spot? I have actually found a spot that would carry the most sunlight, it is about 20' from our well/pump (which is covered in winter w/electrical outlet). In order to keep the cold from the bottom root area I could put one of those T-Pee Pots at the base when it went below 30' I could wrap it up T-Pee style in thick visqueen and run an electrical cord w/large clamp light to keep it warm. OR IS THIS REALLY NECESSARY OR IS THERE A SHORTER VERSION OF WINTER WEATHER PREPARATIONS? I love having this tree. I only receive one to five oranges off of it in the last few years but I have attributed this to the container size which I have upgraded in size twice. Do you have any ideas on how I can keep this plant? It is really getting too heavy to roll around in the yard and then have to put up in the shed on freezing nights. OR, I am getting older than I think. :o) Would love to hear from you and your advice. I am looking to add a Meyers Lemon tree to the mix this year. I love gardening of all kinds. Thank you./gturner Georgina Turner Salisbury, NC (formerly - Tampa, Florida Native) 02142019
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Wait to plant the orange and lemon outside in the ground until danger of frost is past this spring, so it has a chance to get established before next winter. Before your freeze season, build frames that cover the entire foliar canopy, so that when you place protective plastic sheeting material it won't be in contact with the foliage. (Frames can be built from wood or pvc pipe with slip fittings that can be dismantled and stored easily over summer.) Deep water the day before a frost. Fans can help move air if practical; that's what they use in citrus orchards with frost danger. Good soil fertility is important to sustain plant nutrient availability, which helps with resistance to stress from cold and other factors.