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How to Plant Orange Seeds to Grow an Orange Tree

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Growing citrus trees from seed continues to amaze me. My latest obsession is trying to grow a Valencia orange tree because we all liked the juice so much. Discover how to plant orange seeds and try growing an orange tree along with me!

Now, first things first, we live in PA Zone 6b and an orange tree would not be able to survive living outside all year. All of the citrus trees we grow have to come indoors for the late fall to early spring.

Orange cut open with seeds on green cutting board, two halves

Still, to me, it’s worth it!

I am excited to try growing an orange tree from seed. So far we’ve had successful orange seed germination, so I’m really looking forward to the rest of the experience.

How long does it take for orange seeds to sprout?

Orange seeds can sprout in as little as a week or less, depending on their quality and condition. The orange seeds I germinated took about 4 days to begin germinating.

Hand holding an orange tree seed sprout

How long does it take to grow an orange tree?

Citrus trees can take some time to grow from seed. Some folks say they will never produce fruit while others share success stories. Research suggests that seed-grown orange trees can bear fruit within 15 years of planting.

If you are impatiently awaiting fruit, you may wish to buy a more mature orange tree!

What are some different types of orange trees?

Valencia orange trees grow wonderful juicing oranges. Navel orange trees produce popular slicing oranges for fresh snacking. Some other orange tree varieties include car acara navel oranges, calamondin oranges, blood oranges, and Jaffa oranges, to name a few. By way of classification, you can find sweet oranges and bitter oranges.

Planting orange seeds from Valencia oranges

How to Germinate Orange Seeds

Learning how to grow orange seeds is very similar to my other post, how to germinate lemon seeds.

If you wish to learn how to grow an orange tree from a seed, you might as well try lemons, too!

At any rate, you can follow these steps for germinating orange seeds and planting them.


To complete this gardening task, you will need plastic zip-seal baggies, paper towels, water, a permanent marker, and fresh oranges with seeds. You’ll also need a knife and a cutting board.

DIY: How to Plant Orange Seeds

Proceed with these instructions to try growing an orange tree from the seeds of an orange.

Hand holding Valencia orange seed

Harvesting Orange Seeds

  1. First, shallow-cut an orange in half. Use care not to cut too deeply.
  2. Remove any visible seeds and set them aside.
  3. Cut wedges for eating or juice the orange for fresh orange juice.
  4. Remove any additional seeds you may find.
Orange juice with seeds on a cutting board

Germinating Orange Seeds

  1. Use your thumbnail to gently separate and peel away the rough outer coating of the orange seed.
  2. Fold a paper towel in half and wet it with a small amount of water.
  3. Place the orange seeds on the towel, spaced out so they are not touching.
  4. Add more water if needed to ensure a damp, but not soaking, paper towel.
  5. Fold the paper towel to cover all the orange seeds.
  6. Place the folded towel into a zip-top sandwich bag.
  7. Use the permanent marker to write the type of seeds and the date.
  8. Place the seeds out of the way for a few days to a week. I place mine on top of the microwave.
  9. After 5 days to a week, check on the seeds to see if any germination took place. You may see the root radicle emerging from the seeds. This is a sign of successful citrus seed germination!
Hand holding a Germinated Orange Seed
This orange seed germinated in a matter of days! Photo taken 11/02/22

Transplanting Sprouted Orange Seeds to Pots

After successfully germinating orange seeds, you can move the seedlings to little pots.

  1. Prepare a small flower pot. Place a coffee filter inside to help filter and catch the soil. Fill with damp potting mix.
  2. Create a small indentation in the center for the sprouted orange seed.
  3. Place the seed in the hole and bury it up to the surface level. It will continue to grow as intended.
  4. Lightly water and place the baby orange tree in a sunny window.
Lots of germinated orange seeds

The process is pretty easy actually! For tips, check out the University of Minnesota Extension’s tips on growing citrus as houseplants.

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I am so excited to grow a baby Valencia orange tree this fall and winter. I will be sure to report back with updated pictures as the young orange tree grows.

Border collie dog sniffing germinated orange seeds
She is my gardening buddy! So curious, she wanted to know what was growing in there! Check out that root peeking out!

By the way, if you enjoyed this post, you might also like my post on growing a clementine tree from seed! You can also try growing a lime tree from seed or planting grapefruit seeds!

Are you growing any orange trees from seed? Would you like to try growing them along with me?! Hit me up in the comments with any questions or stories you may have.

Happy Gardening!

11.03.22 – Updated to add photos of orange seeds germinated. Also created Google Webstory – https://www.bunnysgarden.com/web-stories/germinating-orange-seeds/.

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