Pruning the Orange Tree in a Pot: [Importance, Time, Tools, Considerations and Steps]

The pruning of the orange tree is one of the fundamental cares to have with this citrus fruit and when it is kept in a pot the need increases even more.

This is because the plant thrives in a limited space, which restricts its growth possibilities.In general, the principles of pruning are similar to established orange trees in gardens.

So if you have an orange tree planted in a pot, pay attention because here you have all the information to advance in its pruning.

Why prune potted orange trees?

The pruning of potted orange trees responds to two main needs: to maximize the space of use and to improve production.In the first case, it is logical that the plant cannot be kept growing at will because it will end up affecting the structure due to the weight.

Calamondin Dwarf Orange Tree 38 cm in a 16 cm diameter pot delivered in a gift box with tri-fold information and care guide – Live indoor plant – Dwarf fruit tree in pot

In the case of production, the idea is that the oranges it produces are of excellent quality. It should be noted that the quantities of oranges produced in a potted orange tree are less than those produced by a garden plant.

When is it best to prune potted orange trees?

The appropriate time is early spring. The thing to take care of here is that it is still dormant.

Potted orange trees are easier to protect from frost because you can move them around as needed.

However, it is not recommended to apply pruning if there is a risk that temperatures will drop below 0º.

What tools should we use when pruning potted orange trees?

Pruning potted orange trees can only be done with the help of pruning shears that are sharp enough and disinfected with alcohol.

GARDENA 8857-20 – Garden shears, maximum diameter 22 mm

In this case, the tree does not tend to be very vigorous and that means that the branches do not become excessively thick. However, it is always advisable to work with the support of gloves and protective glasses.

GRÜNTEK Work and Garden Gloves 5 pairs in polyester with Latex coating (M/8)
Bosch – Garden safety glasses with case

What considerations should we take into account when pruning potted orange trees?

The initial assessment of a potted orange tree is a very simple task because only the branch structure will be there, without foliage. This will help you quickly define which branches you will need to prune and thus make the task go more safely.

Calamondin – indoor dwarf orange tree – edible citrus – ceramic pot 12 cm – live plant (white)

Among the fundamental data that you must take into account before starting is the age of the tree, since the type of pruning will depend on this. And it is that even if it is in a pot, the orange tree can be subjected to training, production or renewal pruning.

How to prune potted orange trees without damaging the plant?

For this task to be positive for you from the moment you decide to do it, you have to follow the following steps:

  1. During the first three years, prune only what is necessary to give the tree structure. As we have already said, potted orange trees usually grow smaller than if they were in the ground, but we have to help them distribute their branches well. This is what is known as training pruning and the idea is to leave the trunk and the 2 or 3 main branches that are stronger and more vigorous. From there, allow the growth of the rest of the branches in a balanced way.
  2. Remove all parts that are in poor condition and cause a negative impact on the structure. This includes brittle or dry branches, withered leaves and even rotten fruit (if that is the case). This is a step that you must apply annually, although if you notice any part affected at any other time of the year, you must act without delay.
  3. Cut back any branches that have overgrown during the period. You will notice these easily because they seem to come out of the structured crown of the tree. However, be careful that this is not excessive, as you could leave the tree without a base for foliage development.
  4. It corrects all the malformations that could be generated, either because the branches are growing with the wrong orientation (looking towards the center of the crown) or they are colliding with each other. If you have any branches that are likely to bend under the weight of the oranges and hit the ground or the pot itself, it’s best to remove them.
Orange tree, multi-year tree, approx. 150-160cm

Potted orange trees are very functional because they give very delicious oranges and can be kept in small spaces.With the correct care that we mention in this post you will have the possibility of enjoying your specimen for a long time.

Of course, do not forget that pruning is not the only care you need, so as soon as the time is right, add a layer of fertilizer to boost them.

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