Hardiness Zone: 11
Hav from Spain
This type of fruit splitting is thought to happen as a result of unstable environmental conditions that cause stress to the tree. This is usually due to sudden swings in temperature, rapid increases in moisture or notable changes in the relative humidity. If these sudden fluctuations happen during the initial stages of the fruit's development, the inner fruit and the outer rind of the orange may end up growing at slightly different rates or the orange may develop a weak rind. Either will eventually cause the fruit to split sometime down the road as the fruit continues to mature and grow in size.
Although there isn't a lot you can do to control the weather (e.g. preventing cool spring weather from suddenly turning hot), you can avoid extreme fluctuations in moisture levels by keeping the soil around your tree consistently watered. Citrus trees do not like to stand in water, so hopefully yours is growing in well-drained soil. Depending on the rainfall in your area, try to water it at least every other week during the growing season-more during extreme heat. To prevent overwatering, let the top 5-6 inches of soil dry out between each watering. The key here is consistency. Wilted or curling leaves are an indicator that moisture levels are either too high or too low. Certain types of orange trees are known to be more resistant to fruit splitting. If you plant orange trees in the future, contact local growers to find out which of these are available in your area.
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Usually fruit that splits has too much water at too fast of a rate. This usually occurs later in the season. (09/09/2006)
By thrifty 50
What would make my grapes split before ripening. I regularly dust with sulfur and have not watered them, although we did have almost an inch of rain last week. (07/25/2007)
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