Of all the citrus fruits, oranges are the most popular. Nothing beats the taste of summer in a glass of orange juice, or the sweet segments of a ripe fruit. When that fruit comes from your own tree, then certainly nothing at all can beat that. An orange tree makes an attractive addition to any garden where it can be grown outdoors, or a beautiful feature in a large pot in cooler areas where it may need some protection during the coldest months. Orange trees carry heavy crops of fruit, and will keep your kitchen and table well supplied for months of the year. By growing several varieties, you can have oranges over a longer period, but for that first tree, or to extend the season for trees you already have, the Olinda Valencia Orange is a great choice. Valencia oranges are a stand-out variety because they ripen much later than other types, such as navel oranges. Valencia oranges ripen from March to June, making them the only orange available fresh in summer. They form from flowers that open in spring, but take more than a year to develop and ripen. This means that when the flowers open, there are also golden fruits on the tree – flowers and fruit at the same time – a unique event that makes these trees double attractive.
When choosing a tree, choose wisely, because you will have that tree for a long time. Unnamed seedling trees, or just something labelled ‘orange tree’ will be disappointing, as you have no idea what you have, when the fruit will be ready, or what it will be like. Choosing the Olinda Valencia Orange, you will know that you have one of the outstanding varieties of orange available. It is an older variety, but it has stood the test of time. It has an exception appearance, with a smooth, thin skin, containing flesh that is sweet, deep-orange in color, and very juicy. The juice is sweet, but with a refreshing acidity too – a perfect balance. It is an outstanding choice if you want a juicing orange for glasses of cold, fresh, summer orange juice, and equally good for salads, eating fresh, or for baking. It makes a delicious sweet marmalade as well. It has only a small number of seeds in the flesh. If you want oranges in winter too, we recommend the delicious, easy-to-peel Washington Navel Orange.
The Olinda Valencia Orange grows into a small tree, smaller than other Valencia varieties, so it is the perfect tree for home gardens or pot growing. It reaches only 10 to 12 feet tall, and perhaps 6 feet across, with a dense, rounded crown. It is also hardier than other varieties, and it will tolerate temperatures down to 28 degrees for short periods, making it suitable for growing outdoors in warmer parts of Zone 9, as well as in zone 10, in places such as Florida or southern California. It is also more drought-tolerant, so it is a great choice if you live in a dry area, like Arizona or southern Texas. The foliage is evergreen, with rich, glossy leaves. It has no thorns, so even small children can safely harvest the fruit.
Because of its small size, the Olinda Valencia Orange is a top-choice for growing in pots. It will live for many years in a large pot, and produce a heavy crop of full-sized fruits with some basic care. Always use a pot with a drainage hole, and never stand your tree in a saucer of water. Use a potting soil for outdoor trees, preferably one mixed for citrus trees. Use a citrus fertilizer regularly from spring to fall, as directed for the one you buy. Allow the soil to dry a little between each watering, and always water well, so that some escapes through the drainage hole. Keep the tree in a brightly-lit, cool place while the outside temperatures are below 40-45 degrees. The fruit will continue to develop, and ripen when you return the tree outdoors, where it should always be in a sheltered, sunny place.
The Valencia orange was developed around the middle of the 19th century by the farmer and land-holder William Wolfskill, at his farm in Santa Ana, California. He developed it form orange trees originally brought over from India. Around 1939 Ollie Smith, who lived in Olinda, California, had a tree in his garden he had grown from a seed. Usually trees from seeds produce only poor-quality oranges, but Mr. Smith got lucky, and his tree had excellent fruit. When he showed it to the Citrus Experiment Station in his state, they saw its potential and introduced it to growers. It has been a popular variety ever since, proving its worth over and over again.
If you are looking for an orange tree for your garden, or to grow in pot, the Olinda Valencia Orange is a great choice, since you will have fruit in summer, when you want it most. We have a good stock of top-quality trees, but this is a popular variety, and our stocks will not last long. Order now, to see oranges growing in your own garden.