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Cara Cara Navel Orange

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Cara Cara Navel Orange (Citrus sinensis)

Extremely sweet and low in acid, Cara Cara navel oranges also have higher vitamin A and C content than standard navel oranges. Virtually seedless. Cara Cara navels have a round shape and a bright orange skin like a traditional orange. Their flesh, though, is pink and resembles the flesh of a pink grapefruit. Cara Cara navels have a more complex sweet flavour than regular navels that includes a hint of raspberry.

Cara Cara oranges, botanically classified as Citrus sinensis, are a natural hybrid that belongs to the Rutaceae or citrus family. Also known as the Pink navel and Red navel, Cara Cara oranges are believed to be a cross between the Brazilian Bahia and the Washington navel orange and were discovered as a mutation on a Washington navel orange tree in Venezuela. Favoured for their berry-like flavour and low acidity, Cara Cara oranges have recently increased in popularity as specialty fruits are being highlighted on social media, bringing awareness to the unusual varieties.

Plant Care  

Sun

They prefer full sun but in the warm areas of the country will handle some shade. 

Water

Need water regularly especially during summer. Water newly planted trees once or twice per week deeply. 

Soil

Well-draining slightly acidic soils. Use high quality organic mix

Fertilizer

Citrus are heavy nutrient feeders, use a high nitrogen NPK fertiliser. Apply 200g at the drip line (2/3 in spring and 1/3 in summer) increasing this by 200g per year until you are applying 2kg. Apply manure in the autumn spread under the tree with mulch.

Wind

Not very wind tolerant but reasonably tolerant to salty marine conditions. 

Frost

Need protection from frost.

Fruiting

1-3 years after planting for grafted plant

Pruning

Citrus are not trained to any particular shape, some varieties do not need any shaping at all. Prune to shape if necessary and any dead or diseased branches. They will tolerate heavy cutting back. Also remove any sucker growth.