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How Do I Choose the Best Dwarf Orange Tree?

Hollie Thomas
Hollie Thomas

Dwarf orange trees are specifically designed to grow in containers inside the home or outdoors. In contrast with their standard orange tree counterparts, orange dwarf varieties generally reach a height of about 4 feet (1.21 m), whereas a standard orange tree might reach a heights of 10-20 feet (3.04-6.09 m) at maturity. When choosing a dwarf orange tree, the climate, soil conditions and rainfall do not necessarily need to be considered because of the dwarf's ability to thrive within the home. There are several varieties of dwarf orange trees that can be chosen, with all of them producing fruit whose taste is unique to the specific variety, so the choice can be made based on which qualities are desired in the fruit.

A dwarf orange tree is particularly easy to grow, but they do require plenty of sunlight, typically about six hours of sunlight per day. On average, most varieties need to be watered only once per week, and the soil should have almost completely dried before watering again. Each variety produces white blossoms that are highly aromatic, and the fruit that they produce typically is the same size as the fruit from a standard orange tree. On average, the trees will bear fruit within two to three years.


The Moro blood orange, or Belladonna sanguigno, has a stronger flavor and is often described as berry-like in taste. The flesh of the fruit has an intense red coloring, and the fruit is renowned for its distinctive aroma. When grown indoors, the oranges usually will ripen in December, January or February.

The Washington navel dwarf orange tree produces a seedless fruit. This variety has a thicker skin and is easier to peel than most other oranges. The Washington naval, however, contains less juice than other varieties, which is slightly bitter, making them unsuitable for juice. Fruit from this variety of dwarf usually ripens in November, December or January.

Bergamot sour oranges are often used to flavor tea.
Bergamot sour oranges are often used to flavor tea.

The Bergamot sour orange, or Citrus birgamia, is believed to be a possible hybrid of the citrus limetta and the citrus aurantium. The fruit from the bergamot is a similar shape to that of a lemon, and the skin of the fruit is more lemon in color than a common orange. As the name suggests, the fruit has a flavor that is more sour than most other oranges. The peel from this variety is often used to flavor tea, and the essential oil extracted from bergamot juice is used extensively in aromatherapy. The fruit from this dwarf orange tree usually ripens in late winter.

Discussion Comments


What other kinds of fruit trees could I grow in my own home? Could I grow lemons or limes? What about apples and other kinds of non citrus fruits? This idea is so exciting.


How big of a container will I need to grow my dwarf orange tree? I would like to get one and I have a spot all picked out that gets ample sun but I am not sure I have all the room the tree will need. If they use huge containers or grow too tall I might have to scrap the idea.


I have heard about dwarf orange trees and have always wanted to have one myself but I am hoping that someone can answer some questions for me before I take the plunge. First, how long does it take for the tree to start producing fruit? I know that some fruit trees can take years to start producing.

Also, how much fruit can I expect and will the tree produce fruit year round? Also, where can I buy these kinds of trees and what should I expect to pay? Thanks to everyone who can answer my questions.

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    • Oranges.
      By: Springfield Gallery
    • Bergamot sour oranges are often used to flavor tea.
      By: Grafvision
      Bergamot sour oranges are often used to flavor tea.
    • Moro blood oranges have a berry-like taste.
      By: IngridHS
      Moro blood oranges have a berry-like taste.
    • The oranges from a dwarf tree are typically the same size as the oranges from a standard-size tree.
      By: lapas77
      The oranges from a dwarf tree are typically the same size as the oranges from a standard-size tree.