Orange Trees in Houston
There are many varieties of fruit-bearing orange suitable for Houston’s climate. Two of these which produce the most colorful fruit, according to Texas A&M University, are the Sanguinelli Blood Orange and the Moro Blood Orange. The Moro tree is the larger of the two, growing to between fifteen and twenty feet tall. The Moro fruit has red flesh, while the Sanguinelli’s is a bright purple. Each variety produces small to medium sized fruit. Both are usually seedless. These trees need care when the temperature falls below 28 degrees F.
The Republic of Texas Orange tree grows to fifteen feet tall, with foliage up to fifteen feet wide. It tolerates cold weather well and thrives in the Houston climate. In addition to yielding a medium to large and slightly seedy fruit, the tree works nicely as an ornamental. Records show it found in Texas as far back as 1847.
The Jaffa Orange is the most popular orange in the U.S. of Middle Eastern origin. It has been cultivated here since 1983 and produces sweet, nearly seedless, fruit. The fruit and rind are yellowish in color and occur in alternate years. Jaffa fruit should be harvested as soon as it is ripe to prevent spoilage.
Notes on care of all the above varieties:
- Plant in March, after the last expected frost.
- Trees younger than two years old need protection from the cold.
- The soil should be well-drained.
- Plant where there is good sunlight.
- Site the trees away from any structure and with southern exposure.
- Water once per week.