August 22, 2022
The blood orange has been grown in the Southern Mediterranean since the 1700s but its origin is uncertain; it may have originated in China or in Southern Europe. In Sicily, the arancia rossa di Sicilia holds Protected Geographical Status from the EU. The “blood” in “blood orange” refers to the brilliant crimson color on the inside of this fruit. Blood orange fruit also has a sweeter taste than most other orange varieties. These plants thrive in warm climates and do especially well in USDA zones 9-10.
Late March is the ideal time to plant blood orange trees outdoors, as the threat of frost will have passed. Watering frequency will vary with location and climate. Water often enough to keep the soil moist but not wet. Your blood orange tree should also be planted in well-draining soil so that its roots aren’t inundated. You can skip watering during rainy periods.
A well-balanced liquid citrus fertilizer should be used once a month from spring through fall and is essential for the health of your blood orange tree. Citrus trees in general are heavy feeders, especially in regard to iron, manganese and zinc. Your local nursery should have an adequate liquid feed product available.
Citrus grows best between 55° and 85° F. Indoor temperatures averaging 65° are most conducive to growth if light is adequate.
Your blood orange tree’s environment should be as bright as possible, but avoid excess heat, as this will dry out the soil too quickly. Outdoors, blood orange trees thrive in full sun. A location that provides morning sun or filtered light throughout the day is ideal. When grown indoors, your blood orange tree should be kept a minimum of 24” from windows to avoid burning the leaves. In warm locations, be sure to monitor soil moisture closely.
Flowers will appear from small shoots that originate where the leaves meet the stem and will appear sporadically throughout the year, with heaviest growth in the spring. If too much new growth is produced at the branch tips, don’t be shy about cutting it back to a lower position to shorten the tree's height as it begins to re-grow.
Shop Moro Blood Orange Trees: