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Blood oranges get their name from their blood red flesh, and you can choose from three types of blood orange trees. No matter which type of tree you decide to purchase, you should look for healthy saplings. These will typically have healthy looking leaves and signs of new growth, and they will have no signs of pest activity or disease. Their bark and branches should also be in good shape. Blood orange trees should also have a healthy root ball to grow properly.
Unlike most other types of oranges, blood oranges usually have red flesh and pulp. This can range from streaks of red to a deep blood red, or even purple. The color of the pulp is attributed to the presence of pigments known as anthocyanins. While these are often found in other fruits and vegetables, including berries and tomatoes, they are typically uncommon in citrus fruits. Blood oranges will also usually have a pink or red rind.
You will usually be able to choose from three main types of blood orange trees. Tarocco blood orange trees are typically considered the sweetest variety, but the fruit is also not as red as other types of blood oranges. These trees also need frequent doses of fertilizer to grow well.
Sanguinello blood orange trees produce fruit with reddish rinds and orange pulp streaked with red. Moro blood orange trees, on the other hand, typically produce the most colorful blood oranges. This fruit usually has burgundy to purple flesh, and it is also very fragrant and flavorful.
Choosing healthy bloody orange trees is very important, and you should first inspect the leaves of any tree before you buy it. They should be a deep green color with no discoloration, spots, or wilting. You should also examine the trees for signs of pests, such as holes in the leaves. Be sure to check underneath the leaves as well. New growth should also be visible during the growing season, which is usually during the winter and spring months for blood oranges.
The stems and bark of blood orange trees should also be strong and healthy. There should be no visible blemishes or cankers, for instance. They should also have one strong center trunk.
You should also pay special attention to the root balls of any blood orange trees that you might purchase. Trees will usually come with their root balls wrapped in a burlap sack or already planted in a container. The roots of ball and burlap trees should be contained, for the most part, in the bag, and the burlap should show no signs of mold or mildew. Container grown trees should be planted in large enough containers to prevent the sapling from becoming root bound. Visible roots swirling around the top of the soil and roots sticking out of the drainage holes are often signs of a root bound tree.