Chinotto Sour Orange Tree (Citrus aurantiifolia var. myrtifolia ‘Chinotto’)

Chinotto Sour Orange Tree


What is Chinotto Sour Orange Tree

With myrtle-like leaves and small oranges, this small tree is unlike any other. The Chinotto Sour Orange Tree, also knows as the Myrtle-Leaf is a one-of-a-kind citrus tree. The evergreen leaves will remind you of myrtles, but the bright, orange fruit will let you know it is definitely an orange tree.

Its small size makes it a perfect container plant. Growing your Chinotto tree is easy, and it doesn’t matter where you live. Some people even train their trees as bonsais. The unique leaf shape and compact size make this tree a fantastic houseplant. Give it some outdoor sunshine in the summer, and you’ll have a healthy Chinotto.

The sour oranges are great for cooking. Chinottos aren’t known for their fresh flavor, but they are widely used in Italy for candy making and cooking. Too sour to eat off the tree, but packed with sweet, citrus flavor when they’re cooked, the Chinotto can be an excellent addition to your meals. Show off your culinary skills by adding this unique citrus to your cooking repertoire.

The fresh smell of the blossoms and fruit is undeniable. Your yard and your home will light up with the cheerful fragrance of Chinottos. The spring brings an abundance of small, white flowers that will mesmerize you with their scent. During the fall and winter, the tree produces a plethora of oranges. Wherever you place your tree, the pleasing fragrance will be enjoyable for everyone around it.

Even colder states can experience this summery fruit. By planting your tree in a container, you have the option of bringing it inside when the temperature drops. Placing it near a sunny window will be enough to keep your tree thriving through the winter season. The sweet blossoms will fill your home with a fresh, warm fragrance that will be welcome during the cold months.

They’re so easy to grow. The Chinotto tree doesn’t require a lot of fuss. This tree is very trainable, so it’s very enjoyable to prune. Of course, pruning isn’t necessary, so you’re free to just let your tree grow however it wants to. Growing to only 1-2 feet, there’s hardly any upkeep to this great citrus tree.

The Chinotto Tree is gaining popularity. Widely popular in France and Italy, this tree has finally made its way over to the states. Everyone loves its compact size, delightful scent and fun uses in recipes.

Chinotto Sour Orange Tree (Citrus aurantiifolia var. myrtifolia 'Chinotto') Citrus aurantiifolia var. myrtifolia 'Chinotto'

How to Grow and Care for Chinotto Sour Orange Tree

Chinotto Sour Orange Tree (Citrus aurantiifolia var. myrtifolia ‘Chinotto’) Growing Requirements

Hardiness zone 4-11 patio / 8-11 outdoors
Harvest time Fall


Choose a spot in your yard that receives at least 6 hours of sun every day. Make sure the soil is well-drained and the area is free from grass, which will compete for water and nutrients. Dig a hole in the ground that is twice as wide as the root ball. Place your tree in the hole, with 1 inch of the root ball sticking out from the top of the soil. Water thoroughly after planting. Add a thick layer of mulch around the base of the tree, but keep the mulch 6 inches away from the tree trunk.


Plant your tree in a small container, slightly larger than the root ball. Plant in well-draining soil and make sure your container has proper drainage holes. Place a layer of rocks on the bottom of your container to aid in drainage, then add your soil and tree, making sure the tree stands vertical and upright. Bring your tree inside when the temperature reaches below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.


You only need to water your tree when the soil is dry. For trees planted in the ground, check the soil at a depth of 5 inches. For container plants, check the soil at a depth of 2 inches. Depending on the humidity in your area, you will likely only need to water your tree once a week. The roots of the orange tree are wide, so be sure to water past the drip line for trees that are planted in the ground.


You will need to add a citrus fertilizer to your tree during its harvest. When you begin to see fruit, apply your first round of citrus fertilizer according to package directions for the size of your tree. Add additional doses of fertilizer every month or two during the entire harvest season. You will also need to add a dose of fertilizer twice during the dormant season. As your tree matures, you can increase the time between dosing during the harvest season, and you can skip the dormant fertilization all together.


You can prune your tree to shape as a bonsai, if desired. The Chinotto responds very well to pruning. You can trim back as much of your tree as you wish, keeping enough of the living branch to encourage new growth. Prune just as new growth appears.


When watering your tree, spray the leaves and branches with a hose to knock off any larva or eggs. If you see any eggs, larva or worms sprayed off, be sure to put them in a sealed trash bag and throw them away to prevent them from re-inhabiting the tree. Keep the area around your tree free from grass and prune off any branches that touch the ground. These measures will prevent ant infestations. You may also spray your tree with insecticidal soap at the beginning of the harvest season. If your tree becomes infested, you will need to use an insect oil to rid the tree of pests and prevent diseases.


Remove fruit as soon as it has ripened on the tree. to prevent pests, remove all fruit from the tree before it falls and rots.


Once picked, Chinotto oranges will not continue to ripen. You can store oranges in your pantry for up to a week. However, Chinottos will also stay fresh in the refrigerator for a month. You can eat your fruit fresh, but it is not recommended, as the taste is unpleasant. However, Chinottos are great for marmalades, candy making and cooking.

Chinotto Sour Orange Tree (Citrus aurantiifolia var. myrtifolia ‘Chinotto’) Details

Common name Chinotto Sour Orange Tree
Botanical name Citrus aurantiifolia var. myrtifolia 'Chinotto'
Plant type Fruit Trees, Bushes
Hardiness zone 4-11 patio / 8-11 outdoors
Growth rate Medium
Harvest time Fall
Height 8 ft. pruned
Width 2-3 ft.