Cara Cara Red Navel Orange (Citrus sinensis)

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Red navel oranges are the best orange for people who don’t usually enjoy citrus. That’s because of everything that sets the fruit apart as a cultivar: Naturally red flesh that is seedless, with a low acidic sweetness. Plus, of all Citrus varieties, it packs the most Vitamin C. What’s not to love? This novel navel variety has one of the largest statuses as a cult fruit, if there is such a thing, beloved by chefs as the key to flavorful sauces and vinaigrettes. 

The Red Navel tree is more closely related to other navel varieties than the similar-looking blood orange. Call it splitting hairs, but there is one significant difference in the chemical makeup of the fruits. In blood oranges, the red pigment comes from anthocyanin, but red navel oranges get their coloration from carotenoids like lycopene. 

Planting, cultural care, pruning, and harvesting are similar for all citrus plants, with a few slight variations. Generally, they are best planted in filtered sun with well-drained soil that can hold moisture and nutrients. Citrus trees a particularly high demand for nitrogen. If you’re fantasizing about long afternoons of picking fresh fruit from your personal citrus grove, keep this in mind: The key to growing citrus is setting it up for success from the start.

Plant Type:
Subtropical Evergreen Fruit Tree

Harvest Season:
Winter, Spring, Year-round

Main citrus fruit production will take place in late winter through spring, but may produce throughout the year

Mature Size:
7-30 ft

Mature size varies by citrus tree type. Overall, citrus varieties can be grown in containers and maintained at smaller sizes.

Soil & Moisture:
Well-drained, high fertility and good moisture-holding capacity; High nitrogen demands. Regular watering throughout the first year and throughout flowering and fruiting season.

Light Requirements:
Full Sun, Part Shade

Overall, citrus prefers slightly shady areas and has better fruit production in part shade lighting conditions.

Self-Fertile:
Yes

Growth Rate:
Medium 

Zone Hardiness:
Outdoors 8-11; Patio/Greenhouse 4+

Although their fruit provides a distinctly tropical twist to any drink or dish, Citrus trees trees are actually very cold hardy fruit trees, taking temperatures down to the low 20's!

Propagation:
Grafted and capable of producing fruit within 1 year.

See More:
Sow Exotic offers many different unique varieties of Citrus trees. Shop the Citrus Collection!

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Small: 2" Peat Pots
Medium: 4" Coconut Coir Pot
Large: 6" Peat Pot
X-Large: 8-10" Pot 
Citrus: 4x14" Pot

View Full Plantable Pot Size & Materials Guide Here 

Dig Deeper

Sweet, tangy, juicy citrus fruit is more than just a delicious snack or an essential ingredient in your Sunday afternoon mimosas!

Citrus (especially oranges) is an amazing source of Vitamin C, an essential vitamin that helps prevent and treat the common cold/upper respiratory infections and improve heart health. Your body can’t make vitamin C on its own so you need to get it from fruits like citrus, fresh vegetables, berries, etc.

Shop All Citrus Varieties