Cultivation of Sweet Orange

Sweet orange cultivation practice

About citrus group

Botanical name: Citrus spp.
Family: Rutaceae
Sub-family: Aurantaoideae.
Fruit type: Modified berry, called – Hesperidium
Edible portion: Juicy placental hairs.
Citrus groups
Sweet orange: Citrus sinensis
Grape fruit: Citrus paradise
Pummelo: Citrus grandis
Acid lime: Citrus aurantifolia.
Sweet lemon: Citrus limmettoides
Lemon: Citrus limon
Mandarin: Citrus raticulata.

Also read: Propagation methods in fruit plants

Sweet orange cultivation

  • Botanical name: Citrus Sinensis osbeck
  • Family: Rutaceae
  • Origin: China
  • Sweet orange is the 2nd largest citrus fruit cultivated in India.
  • Citrus fruits rank third in area and second in production.
  • Maximum area under sweet orange is in A.P, M.H and Karnataka.
  • Climate and soil
  • It grows well in dry, semi-arid to sub tropical condition.
  • Average temperature for growth: 16-20 °C.
  • Maximum limit of temperature: 32-40 °C.
  • Annual rainfall: 500-775 mm.
  • Well drained sandy loam or clay loam is best for sweet orange.
  • pH should be 6.5-7.5.


  • It is done during monsoon.
  • Pit size is 60 × 60 × 60 cm.
  • Planting distance: 6 × 6 m.
  • Planting system: Square system.

Training and pruning

  • Training: Single stem system.
  • It should be completed in first three years.


  • It is done in pre-bearing trees.
  • Best time is late winter or early spring.
  • The cut end of pruning should be treated with Bordeaux paste to control fungal attack.
  • Pruning in bearing stage is done generally after harvesting.

Manuring and fertilizers

For mature tree, fertilizer is applied in a 30-40 cm wide ring.

  • Fertilizer recommendation for pre-bearing stage (up to 5 yrs) 1st year 10 kg/tree + 10 kg more in every year.
  • NPK: DAP 0.25 kg/tree/year + 0.25 kg in every year.
  • Superphosphate: 0.5 kg/tree + 0.5 kg/tree/year.
  • Bonemeal : 0.5 kg/tree + 0.5 kg extra.
  • For bearing trees: NPK 1500, 350, 400 gm/tree/year, FYM: 30 kg/tree/year. After care
  • Intercropping: Suitable intercrops are soybean, cotton, pea, turnip, cabbage, bottle gourd, okra etc.
  • Weed control: Application of Diuron as pre-emergence weedicides @ 3 kg/ha and post emergence weedicide Formoxone @ 5 kg/ha in 500 hrs of water is more effective.


  • Best method is double ring method/bed Irrigation interval is 6-8 days.
  • In young plants up to age of 8 years, adopt basin irrigation system.
  • In grown up old orchard, adopt flood system of irrigation
  • Drip irrigation is also practiced in Maharastra
  • Number of irrigation in a year: 20-25.
  • Total amount of water required: 1325 mm/year.
  • Most critical stage for irrigation is fruit development stage.
  • Sweet orange are susceptible to water logging, phytopthora rot and therefore water stagnation should be avoided.


  • Matures in 9-12 months.
  • Sweet orange is a non-climatirc fruit.
  • It should be harvested at fully ripe stage.
  • Main harvesting season: For north India: December to February, for south India: October to March, and for central India: November to January.
  • Harvesting time mainly depends on TSS and acid ratio.

Varieties of Sweet orange and TSS:Acid ratio

Mausambi    30 : 1
Pineapple   14 : 1
Jaffa   14 : 1
Blood red   14 : 1
Valencia    10 : 1
  • Fruit should be harvested at least 8% sugar
  • Acidity varies from 0.3 to 0.8 %.

Post harvest management

  • For packaging: Corrugated boxes are commonly used that increases shelf life.
  • For reducing spoilage:Frruits dipping or spraying with 5 %. Benlate (500 ppm solution) and keep them in room temperature.
  • Sweet orange can be effectively stored at 4.4 °C for 2-3 months and 2 °C for 4 months (RH 85-90%)


Commercial method: T- budding or shield budding.


A full grown tree yields 500 fruits /tree/ year.


Exotic variety

  • Early season variety: Hamlin
  • Mid season variety: Jaffa , pineapple
  • Late season variety: Valencia.
  • Variety cultivated in India commercially: Blood red.
  • Mosambi: Widely grown in Maharastra and best rootstock is rangpur lime.
  • Satgudi: Im Andhra Pradesh and best root stock is rough lemon.


  • Blood red is most popular in North India and is the best root stock for Karnakhatta, Jatti, Khatha.
  • Shamouti is the seedless variety of sweet orange
  • Pine apple and Valencia they are susceptible to citrus greening.
  • Other some important varieties: Malta, Washington, Navel.

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