Unique, Cold Hardy Orange Grows Anywhere
Why Hardy Orange Trees?
The Hardy Orange Tree, also known as the Flying Dragon Trifoliate Orange Tree, is one of the most unique fruit varieties available. Its twisted stems are contorted in different directions with curved, claw-like thorns, giving the illusion of dragons in flight.
Plus, the Flying Dragon is simple to grow. Despite its rarity and exotic looks, the Hardy Orange does well in containers, even pruned in bonsai fashion. This tree’s design changes from wicked-like in the winter when its large thorns are exposed – to a soft flowering tree in the spring, quickly followed by colorful, fragrant oranges.
And it withstands temperatures as low as -10 degrees. The Hardy Orange is a tough tree that does well in both sunny and shady areas. It’s drought-tolerant and barely needs pruning, so it’s a time-saver with virtually no upkeep required, needing only a bit of sun and water to thrive.
Planting & Care
1. Planting: First, choose a planting location in full sun (6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day). The tree will tolerate partial shade but its citrus production might be reduced.
Also, the Flying Dragon Trifoliate Orange Tree enjoys well-draining soil but is adaptable to many soil types, growing in clay, sandy loam, and loam.
Keep in mind that the Flying Dragon’s thorns make it a great deterrent for unwanted guests. Planted in rows around your property, or even under windows, it can provide an extra sense of security that’s also deer and rabbit resistant.
When you’re ready to plant, dig a hole that is twice the size of the tree’s root system and just as deep (or select a container, with drainage holes, that’s twice the width of your plant’s shipped container). Place the tree into the hole and carefully backfill, tamping the soil down around the tree’s root system. Finally, apply a 3-inch layer of mulch such as pine needles, bark chips, recycled plastic chunks, or peat moss around the base of the tree to deter weed growth and keep the soil moist.
2. Watering: Keep the soil around the tree moist, watering once or twice weekly. Once the Flying Dragon Trifoliate establishes itself, it can typically live on annual rainfall with no supplemental watering required unless a drought occurs.
If you’re not sure when to water, simply check the surrounding soil about 2 inches down. If the soil is dry here, it’s time to water.
3. Fertilizing: Fertilize annually using a 15–5–19 fertilizer formula, divided into three applications per year: Half was applied in July, one quarter applied two months later in September, and the remaining quarter 4 months later, in November.
4. Pruning: Remove any shoots that appear below the graft union (where the two grafted stems join toward the bottom), and remove any dead or damaged branches. The Flying Dragon Trifoliate withstands pruning well and can be shaped into a small-sized tree if desired.