How Much Water Do Orange Trees Need?

Orange trees often need several gallons of water per week. A freshly planted tree may need more frequent watering than a mature, larger tree. For the first few weeks after planting, it’s best to water your orange tree 2–3 times per week. Meanwhile, a mature tree only needs to be watered once per week.

How much water do orange trees need?

How Much Water Do Orange Trees Need Per Day?

You do not need to water orange trees on a daily basis. Depending on the age of the tree, oranges should be watered 1–3 times per week. However, oranges need several gallons of water per week. 

  • You do not need to water your orange tree every day.
  • Orange trees need several gallons of water, split into 1–3 weekly sessions.
  • The amount of water your orange tree needs changes with age and seasonal weather.

The amount of water your orange tree requires varies by size and season. Orange trees need more water in summer and less water in cool months. Additionally, young trees need more frequent watering than established oranges.

How Do You Water an Orange Tree?

It’s best to water your orange tree with a soaker hose. Construct a watering basin by creating a ring of mounded dirt around your tree that is 5–6 inches (13–15 cm) tall and half as wide as your tree’s canopy. Simply fill this basin slowly with a soaker hose on a low setting. Water in this fashion 3–4 times per week for young trees, then gradually reduce to once-weekly watering as the tree matures.

  • Create a ring of dirt, called a “water basin” around your orange tree. This is a ring of dirt 5–6 inches (13–15 cm) tall.
  • Your tree’s water basin should be half as wide as the branches of the tree.
  • Use this soaker hose set to a low setting to fill the water basin over the course of a few hours.
  • Fill the water basin 3–4 times per week for young orange trees in hot weather.
  • Fill the water basin 1–2 times per week for mature trees in the peak summer heat.

Your initial watering basin should be a bit bigger than your planting hole (which is 1.5 times the width of your plant’s root ball). The initial watering ring needs to be 5–6 inches in height (13–15 cm) and 6–8 inches thick (15–20 cm). While the tree is young, simply fill the watering ring when you water it. Over time, the ring will erode away until it disappears completely within 6 months. Once the ring disappears, you can either build a new basin or simply water the root zone of your orange tree.

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Do Orange Trees Like Wet or Dry Soil?

Orange trees prefer moist soil but they tolerate dry soil far better than they tolerate wet soil. If you have to choose between wet or dry, err on the side of underwatering. A healthy citrus tree can deal with dry weather for up to a month.

  • Orange trees prefer moist soil and tolerate dry soil but can’t stand wet soil.
  • To keep your tree healthy, it’s better to underwater than overwater.
  • Remember to reduce watering when natural rainfall supplements your watering schedule.

Soil type also plays an important role in maintaining soil moisture. Orange and other citrus trees prefer well-drained soil, usually sandy soils especially. A sandy soil type will often ensure adequate soil drainage, reducing the risk of overwatering. 

Can You Overwater an Orange Tree?

It is surprisingly easy to overwater an orange tree. Orange trees need tons of water to soak the entire root system. This means they need to be watered for hours at a time. In practice, this means you can easily forget about a soaking tree and overwater. Alternatively, you might set your soaker hose to a high setting and waterlog the soil.

  • It is easy to overwater an orange tree by watering on a high setting or forgetting your soaker hose while it is running for hours.
  • Drooping leaves and signs of fungal disease means your orange tree is overwatered.
  • Keep an eye on your irrigation practices and soil drainage to avoid overwatering.

Overwatered orange trees do not experience maximum growth and are prone to health issues. The structural integrity of the tree trunk degrades, leaves droop, and fungal issues develop. In general, you want to only water until the soil surface is covered by water and no more. Check to make sure that this water is draining into the deep soil. If drainage is not adequate, it may be time to loosen the planting soil or replace it for better drainage.

How Do You Know If Orange Trees Need Water?

Underwatered orange trees will have yellow leaves, show signs of wilting, and have dry soil. If the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil are dry to the touch, it’s usually time to water. However, because orange trees require deep watering, you may want to use a moisture meter. This will allow you to check if the moisture level deeper than you can check by hand alone.

  • Orange trees require water when the soil is dry at a depth of 2 inches (5 cm).
  • Use this moisture meter to track the soil moisture in all weather conditions.
  • You’ll know it’s time to water your orange tree when your moisture meter says the soil is dry.

It’s generally safer to underwater than overwater your orange tree. A couple of weeks without watering is less dangerous to an orange tree than watering every day. However, you’ll need to increase the watering frequency in the summer months to prevent your tree from suffering dehydration.

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Orange Tree Water Requirements

Orange trees do require a ton of water to maintain their growth. They especially need higher amounts of water when they are young and in the summer months. Here are some key things to remember when it comes to watering oranges:

  • Orange trees and other citrus trees need several gallons of water per week.
  • You can water oranges with a soaker hose or drip irrigation.
  • Water the soil surface for a few hours each session.
  • Overwatering is surprisingly easy so monitor your watering times carefully.
  • Underwatering is less dangerous to oranges than overwatering.
  • Your orange tree needs more water once the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil are dry.

Orange trees may require a lot of water but they are very rewarding plants to grow. These delicious fruits grow on beautiful trees that make for stunning gardens. If you’ve never tried growing a citrus tree before, the orange tree is almost as fun to start with as a lemon tree.

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