An orange tree grows in Brooklyn

I've always loved the idea of having an orange tree but haven't ever felt very comfortable taking care of my own. Maybe it's the northern blood in my veins, what would little old me know about citrus tending?

Last week while working in Chinatown, the lovey Jennifer Smith of Cookie Magazine fame inspired me with her indoor citrus success story. Is it possible and downright doable to have blossoming orange trees? Inside? Sign me up!

We spotted these little guys outside a plant shop on Catherine st and East Broadway and unknowingly each bought one to take home. Now we have twin trees growing in Brooklyn.

I re-potted it into an old beat up terra cotta pot that was recently vacated (sob) by a creeping jade that committed suicide on my watch. During the re-potting I lost an orange and decided to do a bit of experimenting.

No matter the size, an orange still looks like an orange. I, however, took the experiment one step further and cannot even describe the sourness. Holy smokes, I'm sticking to sunkist from now on.


  1. Good luck with your cute lil' orange tree!

    I'm in northern Ca where it does frost at times in the winter so orange trees can be tricky. By chance, we planted a dwarf mandarin just outside where the steam from our dryer gets let out. The little thing has thrived and produces the tastiest oranges.

  2. We had quite the citrus grove in my backyard when we lived in Florida. We had a tangerine tree, two orange trees, and two grapefruit trees.
    I've never had tastier oranges!
    One of our orange trees caught some tree disease, but my mother managed to save it.

    Sorry, your tree has yet to produce a delicious piece of citrus. Hopefully, the orange will be sweeter in the future =]

  3. Wow, there's hope for sweeter citrus at home! I'm so happy to hear y'all have good experiences, I'll keep everyone posted as to the next crop's taste.

  4. I love to send wee little lemon trees as gifts. I want my kitchen to be overrun with rosemary, citrus, mint, but my thumb is a death weapon to greenery.

  5. Are you certain it's an orange and not a kumquat? Was it marked with a tag from a grower? The size is really really small for a ripe orange ...
    if you can, do another test. See if you can bite right through the skin. If it's an orange, the skin will be bitter and kinda thick, if it's a kumquat, the skin will be thin and sweet!
    I hope you have a kumquat! I LOVE them!
    best of luck on your citrus adventures!

  6. Aww, germi, it makes me very happy to see you here! I bought this guy in Chinatown and there was no tag on him. I thought it was some kind of dwarf orange. Guess I'll have to break another open!

  7. Great orange tree!!! Because of your post I have start thinking in buying one and grow it in the balcony...

  8. Hi, do you know where I can buy an orange tree in brooklyn ?

  9. Hello, I do not agree with the previous commentator - not so simple

  10. Looks like Kumquat hybrid or a Calamondin. Both are quite sour.