By Sandy Sachs. March 31, 2010.
Bringing home a Florida Honeybell orange tree is an excellent choice. This super sweet, juicy orange contains only the slightest tang, making it a special treat for the entire family. Once the choice has been made to purchase a Honeybell tree, there are many important things to note.
When choosing a Florida Honeybell orange tree, first look for a Honeybell tree that has healthy green leaves and branches. Depending on the time of year, look to make sure the honeybell tree has plenty of blossoms or small green oranges.
The nursery from which the tree is purchased is likely to give planting instructions with the tree. Honeybell trees do best in Mediterranean climates such as the ones found in Florida and California. Choose a location with plenty of sunshine, adequate water, and plenty of room to grow. Plant your Honeybell orange tree in firm, sandy soil, and be sure to fertilize it at least 3 times a year. Usually, it's best to fertilize in or around March, June, and October.
Another interesting fact to note about a the Honeybell is that they are not self-pollinating trees. This means they require another citrus tree be planted nearby for cross-pollinating. In fact, this is the only way a Honeybell tree will bear oranges. Most mandarin types of citrus (some lemons, limes, tangerine or grapefruit, too) are suitable pollinators for the Florida Honeybell orange. Make sure to ask your local nursery representative for a compatible pollinating recommendation.
Lastly, the most exciting part of owning a Florida Honeybell orange tree is harvest time! The Honeybell harvest occurs usually from the end of December to the first few weeks in February. Be patient. Seeing the fruit and waiting for the right time to harvest may be difficult.
Honeybell orange trees are self-picking. They let you know when they are ready to be picked by gently dropping from the branches of the orange tree. Some orange grove owners suggest the early picking of some of the green oranges to ensure larger, healthier mature Honeybells. As the years progress and you become more comfortable owning a Honeybell tree, experimenting with the harvesting is always an option. The recommendation for harvest experimenting is a minimum of 2 to 3 years after the Florida Honeybell orange tree is first planted.
By making note of these important tips, your Florida Honeybell orange tree will quickly become comfortable with its new home. Then you and your family can reap the benefits of owning your very own Honeybell orange tree!