Cara Cara Orange Tree
Cara Cara Oranges have a unique pinkish, light red flesh similar to a grapefruit but have a very delicious flavor. The fruits are a medium to large size with a juicy and sweet taste.
Cara Cara has low acidity, and unique flavor with hints of cherry, blackberry, and rose petals. Discovered at Hacienda de Cara Cara in Valencia, Venezuela, this amazing fruit is ideal for eating or juicing.
Not compatible with your zone (2a)
General Plant Information
Cara Cara Orange Tree Information and Care
This orange has a small navel, a slightly oblong shape, and no blush on the skin. This tree produces fruit very well. The flesh of Cara Cara Orange has the deep pink, dark color of red grapefruit. The Cara Cara Orange is an easy tree to grow. Its flavor is like a combination of cherries, berries, and orange flavors all into one. There is also a lot of nutritional value with plenty of vitamin C and Vitamin A. These antioxidants help your heart and keep you healthier. Pick the fruit when they are firm, shiny, heavy, and have a wonderful smell.
As an evergreen citrus, the Cara Cara orange tree grows well in the full sun. Plant in well draining soils and water regularly until trees establish. Use organic citrus food fertilizers. Fertilize with more nitrogen during the Spring and Summer growing season. Provide more phosphorus and potassium during the winter. Citrus tree fertilizers usually have more calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Prune orange trees in the Winter during the cooler months around January. Thin orange trees in the Summer. Remove spurs, suckers, and branches going in the wrong direction. Also, take out any shoots growing from under the graft, from low on the tree, or in the center that reaches little light. Remove any dry fruit, twigs, and branches to open the tree to more light. Also, paint the trunk with white water-based paint before the Summer heat to prevent sun damage. The Cara Cara Orange Tree can grow up to 15 to 20 feet tall without pruning. Plant the tree in an area with good draining soil and full sun. Watering is always important both in the ground and in a container. Overwatering your Cara Cara can result in common problems such as yellowing leaves or leaf drops.
Size and Spacing
Plant most citrus trees about 10 – 15 feet apart. Some varieties like Grapefruits and Oranges can grow larger.
Planning is the most important step when planting a tree. Plant your tree where it has enough space to grow to its full potential. Otherwise, your tree will grow into your surrounding trees. A tree that can grow taller with faster growth will overshadow nearby trees. You may need to move other trees to allow for the one that is thriving rather than cutting back one that naturally grows fast and tall.
Additional InformationBloom Color : White
Sun Exposure : Full Sun
Watering : Regular
Plant Type: Evergreen
USDA Hardiness Zones: 8-11
Pollination: Self-Fruitful / Self Pollinating
Soil and Planting: Plant in soil that drains well. Dig a hole that is as deep as the tree’s roots and at least twice as wide.
Place the tree in the hole and backfill around the plant’s roots with a mixture of the native soil and high-quality planting mix that has washed sand and organic fertilizer.
Create a basin around the roots drip zone so that water collects. Water deeply until the roots and nearby soil is saturated and reaches field capacity.
Plant Care Information
How To Water
The quantity and frequency of water to provide is based on the tree’s maturity – Fully saturate most soils with water once per week during the early spring. Increase to twice per week as the weather warms. Water 3 times per week or more during hot summers. Provide about 5 gallons of water for a 5 gallons size plant, 15 gallons of water for a #15-size container plant, and 25 gallons for a #25 depending on soil type. Sandy soils can hold less water required more frequently, while clay soils can hold more water and require less frequent irrigation. Young trees with less developed roots require water more frequently while mature plants with developed roots will require less frequent watering.
Fertilizer and Plant Nutrition
Fertilize your tree every 3-4 months. Use a complete balance fertilizer with a 1-1-1 or 2-1-1 NPK ratio during the Spring and Summer growing season, and a formula with more phosphorus and potassium before the tree flowers to improve fruit production and development.
Winter Pruning and Summer Thinning
Prune your tree to allow light into its center for proper growth and fruit production.
Prune fruit trees in the Winter to maintain size and shape to prepare for Spring growth. Thin the tree in the Summer, and remove excessive fruits. Remove any dry twigs and branches. Cut off any new growth below the graft or very low in the tree, this will direct the plant’s energy to its main branches. Thin your trees during the Spring and Summer seasons to ensure the plant’s energy is directed as desired. Harvest ripe fruit to prevent undesired pests.
Harvesting and Pest Management
The basics of integrated pest management is cleanliness and the use of a combination of methods. This means we use of organic pesticide when the pest population reaches a threshold that requires action. Horticultural oils such as Neem oil is an organic pesticide that controls tiny, soft bodied insects. Use organic Bordeaux and Liqui-cop to manage fungus causing diseases such as powdery mildew, rust, and leaf-curls.
Keep a clean environment, free of weeds and dropped fruit that host insects or attract animals. Harvest when fruit reaches size and store indoors. Use repellants and bird netting to protect your harvest from other animals.
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Plant Trees under at least 4-6 hours of direct morning sunlight in fertilized soil that drains well. Provide enough water to saturate roots at the right frequency to develop good-quality fruits. To grow healthy trees, trim using proper techniques at the right time to prevent biotic pest problems and protect from abiotic Stresses like wind and heat. Sunlight Sensitive plants can burn if they receive direct afternoon sunlight in hot climates due to heat stress. Use shade to prevent this damage.
Limited Guarantee and Returns
The two factors that determine if a deciduous fruit trees will grow well and produce fruit in a certain area are the Chill Hour Requirement and the Cold Hardiness. “Chill hours” are the amount of cold a deciduous fruit tree need to produce fruit. This is measured in the number of hours below 45 degrees Fahrenheit a plant must experience during its winter dormancy. Paradise Nursery only grows Low Chill fruit trees that meet the chill requirements of all areas of the United States.
The second factor is Cold Hardiness. Cold Hardiness refers to the minimum temperature a plant can tolerate. The USDA’s Cold Hardiness Zones indicate the average minimum winter temperatures of areas. Based on the shipping zipcode, our website will only allow you to add plants to your cart that grow within your USDA Hardiness Zone, and tolerate your climate.
Pollination & Propagation
(Grafting/Cutting) Most of Paradise Nursery’s edible plants are self-fruitful. Self-pollinating trees do not require an additional tree to produce fruit. For your convenience, we have indicated which trees require a pollinator, and their associated pollinators. Only the sweet cherries, avocados, and some plums require a pollinator. All of our other propagated edible plants do not require a pollinator. All of our edible plants are either grown from cuttings, budded, or grafted. This way, we can ensure that our plants are high quality and fruit immediately. Plants will generally begin fruiting within a year of planting.