Description of Fruit
Fruit (cv. Sathgudi) almost spherical, small to large, smooth surface, attractively orange coloured when fully mature and ripe, base and apex evenly rounded, rind(peel) thin to medium thick with little rag, semi-glossy and finely pitted, pulp uniformly straw coloured juicy, flavor excellent, seeds few to many (10-20), segments 10-12 weighs 150-200 grams each. In most places ‘Sathgudi’ fruit does not develop proper colour, as it is picked before ripe. It is seen in the market from August to December (main season).
The Production of Sweet Orange is largely favored by dry semi-arid tropical to sub-tropical conditions . However sweet orange plant grows well under sub- tropical climates and can withstand occasional light frost. Several hours of exposure to a temperature of -30c causes severe injury to plants. On the other hand, very high temperatures are also detrimental. It can tolerate well a maximum temperature of 32-40 c and a minimum temperature of 17-27 c. Being evergreen it requires good amount of water and well distributed rainfall of 500-800 mm per annum. Under uneven distribution of rainfall trees require irrigation. Under warmer conditions, as experienced in southern tropical conditions of India. The colour development of the peel is poor, but excellent deep orange colour of the peel develops under sub-tropical conditions like Punjab. Quality is very good under dry semi-arid conditions while under humid conditions fruits turn insipid in taste.
Sweet Orange can be grown on a wide range of soil particularly in well drained, deep (2m) soils and sufficiently aerated soil .In India It is cultivated on a wide range of soils. i.e. Alluvial, sandy loams, red sandy soils. The ideal soil pH is 6.0 -6.5 for optimum growth and yields. It requires medium fertility. Calcareous soils saline and alkaline soils are not preferable because when grown on these soils, plants show poor growth, micronutrients deficiencies and succumb easily and early.
Sweet oranges are universally propagated by 'T'{ shield} budding on root stocks like jambheri (Citrus jambheri Lush) and Rangpur lime (Citrus limonia Osbeck) in India. The latter is more preferred and recommended as it is highly tolerant to drought and diseases and also has the high productivity and produces quality fruits in Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. In Punjab “Jatti Khatti” (a strain of rough lemon) and Karnakatta (Citrus Karna Raff) for blood red sweet orange and other sweet orange varieties are used.
Planting Season:
The planting of budlings is generally done during North West monsoon in North West and Eastern parts of the country. (Punjab , Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh etc.), while in South India and West India planting is done at onset of South-West Monsoon and continuous up to December.
Land Preparation
Selected land is ploughed in all directions to a fine and smooth tilth. Pits of 60-90cm3 are dug at the recommended spacing in summer and filled with 15-20 kg farm yard manure (FYM). The pits are filled first with clay, murram soil plus FYM apart from 10% BHC powder and micro nutrients @ 25 grams each of Zinc, Iron, Manganese, and Copper if initial fertility is low.
A planting distance of 6 X 6 m is generally followed in square system of planting. However, planting distance as well as plant density vary according to the variety root stock used and agro climatic conditions of locality. In general a density of 250-300 plants, per hectare in Punjab and Haryana is followed for sweet orange varieties on jatti khatti root stock. The optimum planting density for Sathgudi oranges is 170-200 plants per hectare on both rough lemon (Jambheri) and Rangpur lime in Andhra Pradesh. In Maharashtra plants of Mosambi variety, budded on Rangpur lime are planted at a distance of 6 X6 m accommodating 270 plants per hectare.
1 to 1 half year- old healthy straight growing budlings free from pests and disease are planted in the centre of the pit with the ball of earth intact during rainy season in such a way that the bud joint remains at least 15 cm from the ground level. Newly set plants are watered immediately and stalked loosely. During the first couple of years, particularly in summer as well as in winter (especially in frost prone areas ) shade /protection should be provided to the young plants. The young plants should be irrigated at 2-5 days interval depending on the type of soil and season for their better establishment up to 3-4 years of planting.
Training and Pruning
Young plants are trained to a single stem system and any shoot arising from the portion below the bud joint should be nipped off regularly. When the plant grows beyond 1.5. m height, the growth may be pinched at a height of 1m from the ground level to develop side shoots at this height. Only 4-6 branches having wide angle with the main trunk are allowed to grow up to 3-4 m height. There after training is not required. Training of the plant should be completed in the first 3-4 years only.
Pruning of bearing trees differs with the variety of Sweet orange. It essentially consists of removal of dead, diseased, criss- crossing and weak branches and twigs, besides removal of water suckers and suckers from root stock portion below bud joint. The removal of water suckers and root stock suckers/ sprouts is very essential for healthy and robust growth of the scion and should be regularly done along with thinning of the shoots for better ventilation. The best time of pruning in bearing trees is after harvesting the crop during late winter or early spring before flowering.
Manuring and Fertilization
Manuring and fertilization of sweet orange plants is very essential to reap high yields of quality fruits. However, uniform manurial and fertilizer schedules cannot be made for all sweet orange varieties grown under different agro-climatic conditions. The fertilizers schedules commonly adopted in major sweet orange growing regions of the country are given in Tables 1 & 2.
1: Fertilizer Schedule (Kg/tree) for major sweet orange growing belts of the country for pre- and early bearings trees.
  Western Maharashtra for Mosambi South India for Sathgudi North India for Malta
of the
tree (yrs)
Di -
1 10 0.25 0.50 0.50 15 0.6 0.6 0.30      
2 20 0.50 1.00 1.00 25 1.5 1.5 0.35 5-20 0.50 0.75
3 30 0.75 1.50 1.50 30 3.0 3.0 0.70      
4 40 1.00 2.00 2.00 40 4.5 4.5 1.00 25-50 0.20 0.25
5 50 1.25 2.50 2.50 50 6.5 4.5 2.00      
2: Nutritional recommendation for a bearing sweet orange for different states in India (g/tree)
State Nitrogen(g) Phosphorus(g) Potasium(g) Farm Yard Manure (kg/tree)
Andhra Pradesh 1500 350 400 30
Karnataka 550 370 550 30
Maharashtra 1000 100 200 24-30
Tamil Nadu 400 200 300 30
Manuring is done twice in a year i.e December – January and June-July. Organic manures should be supplied during June-July (at the start of the rainy season) to allow full decomposition, chemical fertilizers should be applied in two equal splits. Citrus trees including sweet oranges are quite sensitive to deficiencies of micro nutrients and readily express the deficiency symptoms. Therefore, besides major nutrients (N ,P ,K) micro -nutrients should be applied to sweet orange plants. The following nutrient mixture may be sprayed whenever there is a new flush on fully expanded leaves.
3 : Combined nutritional spray for sweet oranges.
Nutrient Quantity (Kg/HA)
Zinc Sulphate 2.25
Copper Sulphate 1.45
Magnesium Sulphate 0.90
Mangnese Sulphate 0.90
Ferrous Sulphate 0.90
Boric Acid 0.45
Slaked lime 4.00
Urea 4.50
Water 454.00
The manures and fertilizers should be applied in a ring below the drip of the tree canopy depending on the age of the tree. For a mature tree, manures and fertilizers should be applied in 30-40 cm wide ring made at a radial distance of 100-200cms (depending on the tree age) from the trunk at a depth of 15-20 cm, as maximum feeder roots are located below the drip of the tree canopy. Immediately after application of manures and fertilizers, the trees should be irrigated.
Sweet orange trees require more water because they are ever-green, carry crop for extended period (9-12 months) sap circulation never entirely ceases and transpiration takes place throughout the year. A grown up sweet orange tree requires 20-25 irrigations in a year, except during normal rainy season. The critical periods of irrigation are, growth of the plant, flowering and fruit development at which water deficiency checks the growth, reduces fruit size and quality. Double ring method of irrigation should be followed to avoid contact of water with the trunk and resultant gummosis disease. To avoid this problem drip irrigation system is followed in the country. When trees are left for wilting for induction of flowering, irrigation should not be given during the period of witling.
Inter Cropping
During the initial years of the crop (pre bearing period) inter crops can be grown to the advantage of the soil and growers. Inter crops like legumes, certain vegetables and green manure crops can be grown. However crops like okra, tomato, chillies, brinjal and tobacco should not be grown as inter crops in any citrus plantation as they spread nematodes to citrus also. Similarly tall growing (Maize, Sorghum, Red gram, Cotton) and exhaustive crops (Cotton, Maize, Banana etc.) should not be grown as inter crops in citrus.
Inter cultivation and weeding:
Inter spaces between the trees rows should be cultivated/ploughed at least twice a year to check the weeds in the orchard. The first ploughing should be at the start of monsoon rains and the last one should be at the end of the south-west monsoon rains. If necessary in between the two, another ploughing may be given. Weedicides like glyphosate, Diuron etc may be used for controlling weeds.
Plant Protection
Insect Pests : More than 200 insect pests and mites invade sweet orange plants and damage and reduce the vitality of the plants of which about 10-12 are serious. Recommended control measure for important pests are as follows:
  • Leaf Miners Prune and destroy affected shoots, spray monocrotophos (0.045%) or dimethoate (0.031%) during initiation of new flush twice at an interval of 7-10 days.
2. Citrus Psylla Prune affected shoot and destroy. Spray monocrotophos (0.057%) dimethoate (0.057%) and phosolane (0.057%) twice at an interval of 10-12 days. First spray should coincide with the emergence of new flush.
3. Lemon (Orange) Butterfly Spray Monocrotophos (1.5 ml/liter of water) or dichlorvos (1 ml/l) Or dimethoate (1.5 ml/l) or carbaryl (2g/l) or endosulphon (4ml/l) or Bacillus thuringensis (Dipel) (0.057%) at early stages of the pest.
4. Aphids Prune infested shoots at the initial stages of infestation. Spray systemic insecticides like monocrotophos (1.5 ml/l) or dimethoate (2ml/l) or botanical insecticides like neem oil (1%) of mahwa oil(1%) or pongamia oil (2%) at emergence of new flush or flowers.
5. Mealy Bugs Prune infected shoots and destroy. Spray neem oil (2%) or pongamia oil (2%) twice at an interval of 15-21 days as and when the pest makes its appearance.
6. Black Fly Spray first quinalphos (2ml/l) next spray after one week monocrotophos (1.5 ml/l) or dimethoate (.0457%) or acephate (0.05%) coinciding with the initiation of new flush.
7. Scales Spray monocrotophos (2ml/l) methyl demeton (2ml/l) or carbaryl (3g/l).
8. Thrips Make soil application of aldicarb (0.6g/10lit) at 6 weeks interval/ Spray carbaryl (0.1%) or phosphomidon (0.05%) during emergence of new flush.
9. Fruit flies Collect and destroy the infested fruits , use poisonous baits. Male attracting traps (baits) containing methyl eugenol (0.1%) and malathion (0.05%) reduce fruit flies population when used 60 days before harvest.
10. Fruit Sucking moth: Collect and destroy the infested fruits at regular intervals. Arrange light traps in the nights with poisonous baits having a mixture of malathion (1ml) + sugar (1%) + fruit juice.
11. Nematodes Apply Furadon (150g) or thimet (60g) granules and irrigate the trees. Apply castor or neem or pongamia cake (1 tonne/hectare) plus pseudomonas flourescense (40g/plant). Apply Paecilomyces lilacinus inoculum (100g/plant).
1. Phytophthora gummosis: Follow double ring method of irrigation. Drench the soil with Bordeaux mixture (1%) and aliette/ Metalaxyl /Mancozob (2g/l). Use Trichoderma harzanium as soil application.
2. Diplodia Gummosis: Spray Carbendazim (1g/l) on branches twice at 15 days interval.
3. Dry root rot: Apply to soil Trichoderma viride (10kg /tree) + pseudomonas +organic amendments, neem cake and farmyard manure.
4. Ganoderma root rot: Swab the soil with tridomorph (1ml/square meter of soil ) or 10 litres of Aureofungin (3g/l) or 10 liters of carbendazim (5g/l) after irrigation.
5. Die-back and twig blight: Prune blighted and dead twigs. Then spray carbendazim (1g/l) or kavacha or rovral (2g/l).
6. Powdery mildew: Apply calixin (0.5ml/l) or bayleton(1g/l) or karathene (1ml/l) or wettable sulphur (3g/l) twice at 15 days interval .
7. Stem-end rot Spray canbendazim (1g/l) thrice at monthly interval (June, July and August) on fruits and leaves.
8. Canker: Spray copper oxy chloride (3g/l) +streptocycline (0.1g/l) on marble size fruits twice at 15-20 days interval during rainy season.
Citrus canker disease cycle
9. Viral diseases (tristeza, mosaic, greening, bud union crease etc.) Use Disease free plant material; control the vectors (aphides psylla) effectively; eradicate and destroy all infected plants.
Tristeza Virus Mosaic Greening
10. Fruit drop : Regular and uniform irrigations during fruit growth and development, timely correction of nutrient deficiencies, effective control of pests and diseases and spraying of 10 ppm (1g in 100 liters of water) of 2,4- Dichlorophenoxy acetic acid ( 2-4-D) thrice, once at fruit set, next at marble size fruit and finally one month later, will minimize the fruit drop.
Harvesting and yield:
Budlings of sweet orange start bearing at the age of 3-4 years. Sweet orange fruits mature in 9-12 months and should be harvested when they are fully ripe and attain proper size with attractive colour and acceptable sugar: acid ratio. Main Harvesting season of Sweet oranges in North India is December to February, while in South India it is August - March month. In Central and west India November –January for ambe – bahar and March –May for mrig bahar are the seasons of harvest.
SweetOrange Profile Package of Practices - Seed Profile

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