Orange Farming: How to Plant and Harvest

Citrus Reticulata, more commonly known as oranges are the most common type of citrus fruit preferred all over the world. Oranges are one of the most famous citrus fruits consumed so much that it accounts for around 40 % of citrus fruit cultivations. Mandarin, sweet orange, and acid lime are the most popular types that are grown and are preferred all over the world.

Oranges are not only delicious but also very nutritious. They hold a lot of medical benefits which makes these fruits even more preferable. Oranges are a rich source of various vitamins. Vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin C are found in abundance in oranges which makes them a very healthy choice of fruit.

Oranges are also consumed for their mineral content. Phosphorous found in oranges are very beneficial to human health and thus oranges stand popular. These factors of oranges make it economically valuable which makes orange farming a desirable venture. 

Orange farming
Orange farming

Land preparation in orange farming

Like most types of farming, orange farming requires the preparation of land before beginning the process of planting. The first step begins with the process of plowing the land. Once the land is plowed it ought to be leveled. This will ensure good production of oranges. In case orange farming is done in hilly areas, the process of terrace farming should be followed.

This will ensure that the oranges are grown on slopes and there is no danger of water clogging. Since citrus fruits are extremely sensitive to excess water, utter care has to be taken to prevent too much water as this could potentially harm the oranges. The land during rainy seasons must be prepared in such a way that there is good drainage. A drainage channel of about 3 to 4 feet has to be readied in the land to provide sufficient drainage. These are the preparations to be done regarding the land preparation.

Planting in orange farming

Once the land is prepared, the process of planting can begin. This is a very important stage as this ultimately affects the productivity of the oranges. Oranges can be propagated either by seeding or by T budding. The most famous type, Mandarin oranges are usually propagated by seeds. However, they can also be vegetatively propagated, that is, through the method of T budding.

There are however different seasons that these methods are done. Seedlings are usually transferred from July to August. Transfer of seedlings after the commencement of monsoons will result in greater yield. Budding is usually done in late January. Budding can however be done even during early February to yield high results. 

While planting the oranges, care has to be taken to provide sufficient space and ample conditions for their growth and development. The orange seedling or saplings are planted in individual pits in the soil. They must be planted in square pits which should be around 50 cm x 50 cm.

The plants must have sufficient place between each other to ensure that they grow without disturbing the plant nearby. Thus, a space of around 4 cm. is preferred. A space of 6 cm can also be provided between each plant. When such optimum spacing is followed, the production will be higher and around 350 to 450 plants could be planted in a heater. 

Irrigation in orange farming

Any plant requires sufficient and ample water to grow and develop to the fullest. Oranges, being citrus fruits are sensitive to water and thus utmost care has to be taken regarding the irrigation of the oranges. Proper methods and techniques of irrigation will ensure in high yield of oranges. Irrigation is very important and critical in the initial stages of orange farming.

This is the stage where the nature of the fruit develops. Proper irrigation in the beginning stages will ensure bigger fruits and will also prevent fruit drops. Just like sufficient water is important, it is also necessary to prevent excess water. Too much water causes various risks to the growth of oranges. Root rot and collar rot are serious diseases in oranges that will occur in case of water clogging. This has to be avoided at all costs. 

Thus, the method of irrigation of oranges has to be light. Light irrigation done frequently will yield good results. While irrigating, the nature of the water must also be taken into consideration. Water that is used for irrigation must have lesser than 1000 ppm of slats. Else, this will prove very harmful to the oranges and may potentially kill them. 

The system of micro irrigation can also be followed. This system of micro irrigation will ensure that water is saved and the plants get the required nutrients from light irrigation. Micro irrigation ensuring that the plants get the required nutrients will also enable good retention of fruits, especially in the critical stages of growth. The water requirement for citrus fruits is generally more. Tropical and sub-tropical fruits are different from citrus fruits in the sense that, citrus fruits face recurrent growth and development. Due to this factor, they require more water than tropical fruits.

Thus, the water requirement is usually up to 900 mm. per year. However, they can require around 1100 mm of water per year depending on the land, soil, and the type of plant grown. Young trees, of up to 4 years of age require around 5 to 15 liters of water per day. Plants around 5 to 8 years which are middle-aged require an average of 30 to 105 liters per day. Meanwhile, mature plants which are usually 9 years or above require around 60 to 170 liters of water daily. 

Also like: Mango Farming Grow and Harvest

Training and Pruning

The process of pruning is important as it ensures that the plants reach their full development and maximum utility can be gained. Shoots that grow up to 50 cm from the ground must be removed. This must be done to support the trunk. This will allow the trunk to grow stronger and ultimately, the plant. Another care to be taken regarding pruning is to leave the center of the plant open.

The center of the plant must be left open and the leaves must be concentrated on the sides. This will allow maximum growth of the plant. Care has to be taken to distribute the branches evenly on all sides. And the growth of cross twigs and water suckers must be, monitored. At the first sight of this, they ought to be removed. The earlier they are removed, the better it is for the orange trees.

Once the trees start to bear fruits, they do not need much pruning. Bearing trees requires lesser attention regarding pruning. Apart from this, unwanted branches should be removed to divert the energy to the fruits. Dead branches, diseased branches, and drooping branches must be removed regularly. This will support the growth of the plants and will result in a higher yield. 

Diseases in orange farming

Diseases, insects, and pests can cause huge inconvenience in the case of orange farming. This will cause the fruits to develop in a poor condition and ultimately reduce the profits. Thus, the disease must be prevented and avoided at all costs. In case of infection, they must be identified at the earliest and cured.

Various major insects that can cause potential risk to the oranges are citrus black fly, citrus psylla, citrus aphids, citrus thrips, fruit fly, mites, mealy bugs, caterpillars, citrus leaf miners, bark-eating caterpillars all cause extreme damage to the plants. These insects can cause various troubles such as poor fruit sets, and fruit drops. These issues may arise from these insects both at the beginning stage and the maturity stage as well.

The use of insecticides can be very effective. Some of the popular and most effective insecticides are monocrotophos, phosalone, dimethoate, phosphamidon, quinalphos, and dimethoate. The application of these insecticides will solve the issues that arise from the insects. 

Orange trees also face some serious diseases which must be cured as soon as possible to protect the trees and improve the yield of the fruits. The most common and serious diseases are twig blight, gummosis, damping off, root rot, and collar rot. All these diseases are potentially harmful to plants. Ridomil MZ 72, Bavistin, and benomyl can help with these diseases. The application of these sprays will prevent diseases and cure the plant and render it healthy again. These are the diseases faced by the oranges along with the available cure.

Harvesting in orange farming

The final stage of orange farming is harvesting. This is a very important stage as it shows the yield of the farming process and the profit gained. The most common types of oranges, that is mandarin and sweet oranges, have different times of harvest and their plantation time also differs. Mandarin tends to develop in the same period as that mangoes. The flowering of the mandarins occurs in January.

The plant then bears fruits and begins to develop wherein it is ready for harvest from around October to December. The sweet oranges on the other hand flower from June to July. These oranges then grow and develop and would be ready for harvest from around February to April. The oranges usually take around 230 to 280 days to mature. At this stage, they are ready to harvest and this will be indicated by their coloration.

When the oranges turn ripe and turn into a shade of oranges, they indicate the time for their picking. These oranges are picked in intervals as not all oranges develop at the same period. Thus, they are picked at an interval of around 2 to 3 days for up to 15 days. This is the method of harvesting that will maximize yield and increase profits. 

The orange trees usually provide around 50 oranges per tree. This stage is generally achieved around 5 years of age. After this, the production of oranges becomes stable as long as the external conditions are maintained at a stable rate. Once the trees are stabilized, each tree can produce up to 800orages in total on an average basis. 

Once the fruits are harvested, they undergo a few more steps before finally reaching the ultimate customer. The oranges are then graded according to their size and quality and variety. Once they are graded, they are appropriately stored away for a short period, and care is taken to prevent them from perishing. They are then packed carefully in crates to prevent damage to the delicate fruits. They are to be transported as soon as possible as they are perishable. They then reach the ultimate market, whether the local market or exports. This is the stage of harvesting oranges.


Orange farming is one of the most successful types of farming to be practiced over the world. Oranges being economically valuable will result in significant profits. With a longer life span and a greater production of fruits, this farming could be quite successful in terms of profit as well as scope for future growth and development. 

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