How we saved our oranges from splitting open before ripening – and you can too!

More on the value of Epsom salt:

We don’t have any “before” pictures of our old orange tree with the hanging fruit all split open and inedible.  Funny, I never thought pictures of these ugly fruits would come in handy for a post one day!   If you want to see how they look, you can search for “split oranges on tree” images online to find lots of shots of oranges with the rinds splitting open.  It’s a common problem.

After researching on the mighty internet and reading multiple websites about why oranges split, we find many theories:

  1. Tree too young – nope – our tree is probably over 30 years old with a thick trunk.
  2. Too many fruits – nope – it didn’t have all that much fruit.
  3. Inconsistent watering – nope – we deep watered it and kept it evenly moist for about six months, but the fruits still split and still you couldn’t squeeze a drop of juice from these dry oranges.
  4. Mineral deficiency… nope – We had recently fertilized with a citrus fertilizer and added an extra layer of mulch under the tree canopy.
  5. Hmmm….

Then suddenly inspiration came  – Epsom Salt would heal the tree!   So thankful for those moments of inspiration! Just quietly ask for an answer, and the answer will come 🙂

It’s funny I didn’t think of it sooner, because as everyone who has ever complained of a physical ailment in my presence knows, my go-to remedy is an epsom salt bath.  That and a good rest, and usually the person is much improved.

I generously sprinkled about 4 cups of Epsom salt on the ground under the large old orange tree canopy and watered it in.  Use enough Epsom salt to sprinkle under the canopy, and the very best time to sprinkle Epsom salt is before a rain event, so the rain can dissolve it and wash it into the soil.   It’s always best to use a light sprinkle and add another sprinkle later if needed so you can see how the tree reacts.  I have never had a problem using too much Epsom salt with my sprinkle method.

A bag of Epsom Salt
A bag of Epsom Salt

It seems like a miracle because in the 4 years we’ve lived here, we never had nice fruit from this tree.  We were just happy enjoying the blossoms and accepting the false belief that this tree just doesn’t produce good fruit. – LOL   Here’s how the oranges look now….

The oranges are ripening happily with no splitting after receiving their epsom salt treatment.

Here’s something just for fun…a close-up of a busy bee.

A bee visits an orange blossom on our happy orange tree
A bee visits an orange blossom on our happy orange tree – cuteness!!!

That’s it – if you have this splitting oranges problem – use Epsom salts  – and let me know if it works for you!



Ripe Oranges - they turned out so juicy and sweet
Ripe Oranges – they turned out so juicy and sweet
Roots Grow Fruits by Joe Ceraso
Roots Grow Fruits!



Author: Tutu Sainz

We are a couple of urban food foresters on 1/2 acre in the San Diego County area. We love our food forest, it feels like a garden of eden and it's always fun to work here and eat the food we grow, and to walk around and look at the beautiful plants and trees that are growing here. We believe food forests are the key to abundance for everyone everywhere!

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