Are you searching for the best fertilizer for orange trees? If so, you have come to the right place.
There are very few things more enjoyable, and sweeter than growing orange trees in your yard and enjoying freshly picked from the tree fruit at the peak of its ripeness.
Fortunately for gardeners with the proper climate, growing citrus trees is easy. With some basic care and fertilization, orange trees will flourish.
However, what fertilizer should you use for orange trees?
In this post, we are going to take a closer look at what to look for in the best fertilizer for orange trees and a few of our favorite options.
What is the best fertilizer for orange trees?
You want to look for a fertilizer that has a nutrient ratio of no higher than 8-8-8. Additionally, orange trees tend to enjoy soil that is just slightly acidic. With that being said, look for an acidifying fertilizer.
Still not sure which plant food to buy? Don’t worry, we have picked out 4 of our favorites that work extremely well on citrus trees.
- Jobe’s Organics Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer with Biozome
- Miracle-Gro Citrus, Avocado, Mango Plant Food
- Dr. Earth Organic Fruit Tree Fertilizer
- Ez-Gro Citrus Tree Fertilizer
Before we talk about them individually, let’s talk a little more about fertilizer for orange trees.
What to look for in a good fertilizer for orange trees
Orange trees prefer a balanced fertilizer (or one slightly higher in nitrogen) that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as well as the micronutrients iron, manganese, and zinc for optimum growth.
To see optimum results in your fruit trees look for a fertilizer ratio no higher than 8-8-8.
These numbers found on the fertilizer label are the N-P-K ratio (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium); the consumer can look at this ratio and determine the percentage, by weight, of nutrients in the bag.
In an 8-8-8 fertilizer formula, a 10-pound bag would contain 0.8 pounds of nitrogen, 0.8 pounds of phosphorus, and 0.8 pounds of potassium.
Citrus trees prefer slightly acidic soil too, so an acidifying fertilizer can improve plant growth. Apply fertilizer to the plant foliage or mix in the soil directly to roots.
Foliar micronutrient sprays can help boost growth if applied when tree leaves are approximately half the size of fully mature foliage.
Citrus specific fertilizers are great products to use but a basic, all-purpose fertilizer will work well when applied in the correct amounts.
Fertilizer stakes are not recommended as they can burn the root systems close to the stake. It is best to apply a light amount of fertilizer, with more frequent applications spread over the growing season.
A quick look at the three main nutrients and how they can help your tree to flourish…
Nitrogen is one of the key nutrients needed for plant growth; its main responsibility is controlling vegetative growth within the plant. It is assimilated into amino acids which are the building blocks for plant proteins, it is a major component of chlorophyll and helps to make the foliage green, and nitrogen is also necessary for enzymatic reactions within the plant.
Phosphorus is a component in DNA and RNA (the genetic building blocks within plant cells) and is needed for flowering and root growth.
Potassium works more indirectly than the other two nutrients. It is not a component of plant parts but activates enzymatic reactions that occur within the plant, making it imperative for overall plant health.
Now that we have talked about what to look for, let’s talk about a few of my favorite options.
The Best Fertilizer For Orange Trees
Jobe’s Organics Fruit & Citrus Blend
- An OMRI Certified Fertilizer
- Nutrient Ratio: 3-5-5
- Contains Biozome
- Apply every 2 – 3 months
The first on my list of the best fertilizer for orange trees would have to be Jobe’s Organics Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer.
This is an OMRI-certified organic, granular fertilizer. In addition, it contains Biozome and it is specially formulated to provide fruit-bearing plants the nutrients they need to produce abundant, healthy citrus fruit.
It contains Biozome, bone meal, feather meal, potash, and composted manure with an N-P-K ratio of 3-5-5.
Biozome is a proprietary product containing a combination of healthy bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi, and microorganisms that helps to improve soil texture and increase water infiltration and retention.
Application Tips: Apply every 2-3 months for optimum results.
- Nutrient Ratio: 5-2-6
- Slow Release
The next one on our list that we want to take a closer look at is Citrus-tone.
This option is an all-natural, organic plant food based on leading university recommendations and formulated for citrus, fruit, and nut trees.
Espoma Citrus-tone contains a 5-2-6 ratio of nitrogen/phosphorus/potassium and is enhanced with thousands of living soil microbes to aid in the development of the entire tree, as well as enhancing the soil ecosystem.
It is a slow-release formulation, providing small, continuous amounts of nutrients to the mango tree over a sustained length of time.
Simply apply at the recommended rates (2-8 pounds depending on the size of the tree) three times a year for optimum results.
Application Tips: Apply in Late winter as a pre-bloom application to enhance flowering, late spring as a post-bloom application to enhance fruit set, and then again in the fall to replace nutrients already used by the tree.
Please note that this plant food does have organic materials that will smell. For that reason, it might not be the best option to use on indoor plants.
Miracle-Gro Citrus Plant Food
- Nutrient Ratio: 6-4-6
- Slow Release
- Apply every 6 weeks
Are you looking for more fruit on your orange trees?
If so, you might want to give the Miracle-Gro Citrus, Avocado, Mango Plant Food a try. This fertilizer is a simple solution for the busy gardener.
This is a slow-release plant food, meaning that the nutrients are released slowly over a short period of time. This helps to prevent overfeeding.
It contains a nutrient ratio of 6-4-6 provides higher nitrogen and potassium levels for overall tree health and better fruiting.
In addition, Miracle-Gro Citrus, Avocado, Mango Plant Food contains magnesium, sulfur, and iron to help combat common citrus tree micronutrient deficiencies.
Application Tips: Apply at the beginning of the growing season and then every 6 weeks following for optimum results.
Dr. Earth Organic Fruit Tree Fertilizer
- Organic Blend
- Nutrient Ratio: 7-4-2
Next on our list is Dr. Earth Organic Fruit Tree Fertilizer.
This is an organic, coarse powdered fertilizer, that is a superior blend of feather meal, fishbone meal, cottonseed meal, kelp meal, alfalfa meal, soft rock phosphate, mined potassium sulfate, seaweed extract, probiotics, seven strains of beneficial soil microbes, and mycorrhizae.
Nutrients are released quickly and easily available for uptake; trees are fed a continuous amount of high-quality nutrients for several months.
The natural, organic 7-4-2 ratio of N-P-K results in strong root development and more abundant fruit sets.
Application Tips: For established orange trees, use 1 cup of fertilizer for every inch of trunk diameter (measured 4”– 6” above the soil line). Gently work into the soil making sure to not go outside the drip line of the tree; then water thoroughly.
Learn more about this plant food and how to apply it to your trees in the following video:
EZ-gro Citrus Tree Fertilizer
- Liquid Fertilizer
- Nutrient Ratio: 20-3-19
Lastly, let’s take a closer look at EZ-Gro Citrus Fertilizer.
This fertilizer has been specially formulated for a wide variety of different fruit trees such as lemon, grapefruit, lime, mango, kumquat, and yes even orange trees.
This is a concentrated liquid fertilizer making it easy to apply. The N-P-K ratio is 20-3-19. As you can see from that rating that this formula has a lot of nitrogen and potassium.
Keep in mind that not only does potassium help to strengthen the plant, but it also helps the plant to increase its yield. With that being said, if you want to see more oranges on your trees give EZ-Gro a try.
Application tips: Follow the instructions to dilute the concentrate with water, making sure to mix thoroughly. Apply the recommended amount of diluted solution to fruit trees either as a foliar spray or directly to the soil at the base of the tree.
So, What is the best fertilizer for orange trees?
If you are looking for a good organic option I would recommend Dr. Earth Organic Fruit Tree Fertilizer.
If you want something that is just easy to use I would recommend Miracle-Gro: Citrus, Avocado, Mango Plant Food.
Lastly, if you want to see more fruit on your trees, give the EZ-Gro Citrus Fertilizer a try.
Without a doubt, citrus trees are some of the easiest fruiting trees to grow in your garden.
With a little maintenance and care, orange trees can be a successful addition to the landscape.
Choosing one of the mentioned plant foods will help maintain strong, healthy trees that will garner bountiful orange harvests.
Now it is your turn, please share with us what you think is the best plant food for your citrus trees in the comments below.
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