Sweet orange cultivation practice
About citrus group
Botanical name: Citrus spp.
Fruit type: Modified berry, called – Hesperidium
Edible portion: Juicy placental hairs.
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.
- 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.