I LOVE oranges. I always wanted an orange tree, and didn't think it was possible to have one since I lived in Michigan. Meemsnyc suggested Logee's Greenhouse, since they have decent prices and were having a sale at the time I wanted one. I learned that I could keep this specific orange tree in a container, and would just have to bring it inside for the cold months.
Here are a couple descriptions of this orange tree:
From Logee's Greenhouse, "The best of both worlds – pink flesh similar to a red grapefruit yet all the sweetness of a navel orange. A sport of the Washington navel that originated out of Venezuela, the highly fragrant flowers arrive in late winter followed by ripening seedless oranges in December. These are grafted plants that often begin flowering in their second year. Full sun, grows to 1-3’ in container, minimum temperature indoors 50°."
From Wikipedia, "The Cara cara navel, or red navel orange is an early-to-midseason navel orange believed to have developed as a cross between the Washington navel and the Brazilian Bahia navel. Discovered at the Hacienda de Cara Cara in Valencia, Venezuela in 1976, the parentage is apparently uncertain enough to occasionally warrant the distinction of a mutation, with only the tree on which it was found—the Washington navel—being an accepted progenitor. Cara caras did not enter the U.S consumer produce market until the late 1980s and were carried only by specialty markets for many years thereafter. This medium sized navel is sweet and low in acid, the flavor is more complex than most navel varieties and has been described as evoking notes of cherry, rose petal and blackberry."
Here's the box. Super awesome! I literally ran to the silverware drawer to get a knife to cut through the tape.
Upon opening the box, everything was packaged very nicely. I always wondered how companies shipped plants to people, and now I know! I ship my plants similarly, except without the soil and pot. Instead, I wrap the roots of newly dug up plants in moist paper towel, and then with plastic over it. I then secure it with a rubber band, and wrap the entire plant in newspaper to keep it safe. You can read all about how I package plants on my website. Logee's Greenhouse shipped the orange tree in a 4" pot, covered the soil with shredded paper, and then put a little tarp over it with a slit that went around the plant's stem. It was secured on with a rubber band. After that, it was wrapped nicely in newspaper. They also included instructions on what to do with the plant. I thought it was really neat!
I watered it and stuck it on our kitchen windowsill.
After a week, I transplanted it into a larger pot so that it could form more roots. Since transplanting, it got larger leaves and I think a few new ones. The plant came with a stake, but I still can't get it to stand up very straight. I will have to do some research on how to train an orange tree from this young stage. I would like it to be straight!
One thing that I didn't realize about orange trees, is that they have thorns. This caught me off guard as I was transplanting the tree. Don't worry - no blood was shed!
Here is a close-up of the leaves. I find them very interesting in the way that they have a 'little leaf' followed by a big leaf.
I've never grown citrus in my life, so I am really excited about this plant. This will definitely be a learning experience in raising this tree, and I hope I don't kill it. It's supposed to begin flowering in its second year, and I think it will be worth the wait!