Do Orange Trees Need Full Sun?

Orange trees are citrus cultivars that thrive in areas with a subtropical climate. In these areas summer is long and hot with much rain, while winter is mild without frost or freezing temperatures. Both standard and dwarf Orange trees flourish in full sunlight but can tolerate some shade. Although, they prefer to bask in the sun all day long, they can still stay healthy if they get sunlight for 6 to 8 hours a day. Being exposed to more sunlight makes orange trees healthier, gives them thicker foliage, and helps them develop more fruit.

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Types of Oranges

Oranges are categorized into two basic types – sweet orange and bitter orange. Sweet Orange is then divided into four classes which are Common orange, Blood or pigmented orange, Navel Orange, and Acid-less orange.

  • Common Orange – This class constitutes about 2/3rd of all orange production and is mostly used for refreshing juice. Common orange varieties grown in the US are Valencia Orange, Hamlin, Gardner, and Hart’s Tardiff Valencia. Common Orange, be it standard or dwarf Orange tree, prefers full sunlight but can be taken indoors if you live in an area where there is a threat of frost. Just make sure to place the Common Orange, like the Valencia Orange tree, near a window with the most sunlight possible.
  • Navel Oranges – Oranges Navel can easily be pointed out from other oranges because of the “navel-like” formation found on the fruit opposite the stem end, giving it its. It plays a big role in commercial import and is the most common orange sold at grocery stores and fruit stands. Popular Naval Orange varieties are Cara Cara Navels Oranges, Bahia Naval Oranges, Dream Navel, and Washington Navel Orange. Navel Oranges are seedless varieties, are sweeter in flavor compared to common oranges, and are less acidic. Standard Orange Navel trees can grow 20-25 feet in height, while dwarf Navel Orange trees tend to grow smaller at 6 to 12 feet tall.
  • Blood or Pigmented Orange – This class is divided into light and deep blood oranges. The pigmented colors of these oranges are brought on by the natural presence of anthocyanin. Besides the blood-red color of the flesh of the fruits, Pigmented oranges also have a distinct berry flavor that you cannot find in other varieties or orange cultivars. This class includes Maltese, Moro, Sanguinelli, Scarlet Navel, and Tarocco.
  • Acidless Oranges – Oranges under this class of sweet orange are early-season fruits with very low acid levels. The fruits are highly appreciated and particularly popular among kids and adults who are not big on tart flavored fruits. Lima, Orange of Heaven, and Viniglia are oranges under this class. You can find both standard and Orange Tree Dwarf in this class.


Although not considered a sweet orange class, there are hybrid oranges that are very popular among orange lovers. Hybrids are crosses between oranges and pomelo, oranges and mandarins, and tangors. Honeybell Oranges are popular hybrids that are a cross between tangerine and grapefruit. Honeybell Oranges are loved for their supreme flavor and incomparable juiciness. If you wish to grow hybrid orange trees like Honeybell Oranges you can contact your local nursery or out of state citrus nursery for more information.