Blood Orange Tree
Citrus aurantium Sanguinelli
The blood orange tree fruit is one of the most glorious of all citrus fruits. Purchase yours from Trees Direct today.
Citrus aurantium Sanguinelli
|Approx height when sent||
Half-Standard ~ 0.9 metres 5L pot 30-35cm head
Blood orange tree fruit is one of the most glorious of all citrus fruits. Cutting open the orange to see the ruby colour and thence the flavour is a treat in store. The juice makes a wonderful drink on its own or with champagne or spirits for cocktails.
Requires protection in the winter months.
John Innes compost No.2 or No.3 (for acid loving plants)
Care for Citrus
Citrus (Blood Orange, Grapefruit, Kumquat, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Orange,
Citrus can be kept outside from May/June to September, obviously depending on the weather, with an Indian Summer they can be kept out longer than usual. All Citrus must come in for the winter. No special pruning is required although one can improve the shape by a light pruning of straggly shoots.
Citrus need winter light which is difficult to obtain in the UK so they do need to be in a glasshouse, conservatory or tunnel. Often some leaves will turn yellow and drop off but they will re grow with warm spring sunshine. Another grower has suggested that once a month break up a several spent tea bags and stir into the compost’ which seems to be a good idea. Rotted oak leaves will have the same effect.
Suggested home remedy, About once a month, from November to March, add 1 level teaspoonful of Epsom Salts to each Citrus and water in – this will improve leaf colour and general well-being. Spray with a fine mist of water in spring to assist pollination. If scale insects appear on the undersides of the leaves spray with some leaf defence. Some gardeners recommend dabbing scale insects with a paint brush dipped in methylated spirits or rubbing alcohol, although these substances are not approved as pesticides.
How To Grow Citrus Container Growing
Citrus are really only suitable for growing in patio tubs or containers in Britain. Choose one of a good size for the tree or shrub you are planting. Be careful not to pant in too small a container, a plant loaded with foliage and fruit can easily become top heavy in high winds and it will also need to be re potted much sooner as it grows.
There are many containers available but it is important to choose one that has good drainage. There should be holes in the base to ensure good drainage and prevent root rot. It is always a good idea to put stones or rubble into the bottom of the container to help with drainage and prevent soil from falling out. Ideally, the container should be stood on a couple of house bricks or on gravel to assist drainage.
Dig a hole approximately double the width and double the depth of the size of the container the plant was grown in. Now fork over the sides and bottom of the hole to loosen up the surrounding soil before refilling to bring the soil level up to the correct planting depth for your plant; you can either refill with the soil you originally dug out or, ideally, with a mixture of this soil and 25% organic matter such as well-rotted manure (not fresh) or compost, to give your plant the best start.
Position the plant in the hole, ensuring its final planting depth is the same or only slightly deeper than it was previously grown at (indicated by the soil or compost mark on the stem). Now refill, either with the previously removed garden soil or your soil/compost mixture. Firm in well and water if the soil is dry. Under no circumstances should you use any stimulants, fertiliser or bonemeal at planting time as these products will ‘burn’ any new root growth and may actually slow your plant’s development!
In the first growing season after planting it is vital to ensure the plant is adequately watered – and this is even more critical in extended dry periods or drought. When watering any newly planted stock ‘a bucket a week’ is favourable to ‘a teacup a day’, and will encourage a good, deep root system.
Keep the area around the base of your plant free of weeds and grass which would otherwise compete for moisture and nutrients.
To further aid moisture retention it is a good idea to mulch round your plant with chipped bark, well-rotted manure or similar; this will also help with suppressing weed growth.
During the active growing season an occasional feed with our ‘Instant Life’ or a light top dressing with a base fertiliser will prove beneficial. Under no circumstances be tempted to overfeed!
Pruning and Training
Many many books have been written on fruit pruning and training – a subject we cannot discuss in detail on this simple guidance sheet; for advice on training and pruning we would recommend Grow Fruit by Alan Buckingham (DK Publishing).