Oranges are a classic Christmas fruit, but normally Brits have to settle for an imported fruit in the toe of their stocking rather than being able to pick a fruit fresh from their own tree on Christmas Day.
However, with a conservatory, you can think again about growing oranges in the UK, as it can replicate a Mediterranean climate and keep your citrus tree flowering and fruiting productively.
What does a conservatory need to grow oranges?
The RHS says that since orange trees aren’t hardy enough to flower and fruit well after a cold British winter, it is sensible to grow them in pots that can be brought into a conservatory or other sheltered spot when the weather gets cold, but left outside in the summer.
So a conservatory needs heating and the ability to let lots of natural light into the plant if you want to grow oranges in it. When you’re searching for conservatories Tewkesbury based companies such as firmfix.co.uk/conservatories/ can take care of the whole process from planning permission to floor coverings and heating options.
The minimum temperature oranges should be exposed to is about 5°C but if you want to encourage strong flowers and fruit then don’t let your conservatory temperature dip below about 13°C. Conservatory heating options include the popular wall mounted electric heater, but underfloor heating or conventional radiators can also be installed in conservatories and may offer a more consistent source of heat if you are wanting to grow oranges.
Keep your plants inside from September to May, setting them out on sunny days and acclimatising them to being outdoors for the summer. Do move your oranges out of the conservatory in summer because they don’t like prolonged heat of 30°C and above, but keep them in a sunny location that has some shade in the hottest parts of the day.
Other things you need to do to encourage fruit in your conservatory is to ensure your plants have a little space in the pot to grow and extend their roots. Make sure the soil you use is acidic and add some feed to your pots while they overwinter in your conservatory. Water when the soil is quite dry and give it a thorough soaking and use a drip tray under your pot to avoid ruining your conservatory floor!