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These instructions are sent with the plant gift
This Seville Orange Tree (Citrus x aurantium) produces the aromatic orange fruits that are highly prized for marmalades and for cooking. They are a sourer and smaller than a traditional orange but are kept in a very similar way.
Orange trees, although not native to this country, do surprisingly well in the UK. A light room near a window or a conservatory is ideal in winter. In the heat of summer you can give your plant a holiday, Put it outside on a sheltered patio and it will enjoy the fresh air. Bring it back inside when there is a nip in the evening air as your plant will start to suffer in temperatures below 2˚C.
Your plant has recently been repotted so won’t need repotting again until next Spring. If you don’t have citrus compost then a mixture of multipurpose compost, garden soil and bark chippings or sand will also produce a good free draining substitute. A Terracotta pot is also a good idea for citrus as they do hate to be waterlogged.
When watering, always water from the top and allow excess water to drain away. The roots should never be allowed to stand in water and the top of the soil should be allowed to dry out completely between waterings. The amount of water your plant will need will vary a lot between summer and winter. It will always vary depending on the situation, so use the weight of the pot and the dampness of the soil as a guide. Your orange tree will also benefit from a citrus feed every week or so in the summer.
To get the most flavoursome fruit, leave the orange fruits on the tree as long as possible to allow the fruit time to sweeten up and test whether they are ripe by gently lifting the bright orange fruit to see if they drop. Traditionally Seville oranges ripen in January, but you may find that they ripen outside their normal season when keeping them inside.
Overwatering, underwatering and shock can all be a cause of leaf drop. One or two leaves is not something to worry about but more than 20 and your plant is not happy. However, in most cases, return to a regular watering routine and temperature will lead to recovery.