Planting Orange Seeds
Included are goals, observations and instructions. This activity can be done anytime
of the year.
- Sensory stimulation
- Promote positive feelings
- Social interaction
This activity was done for a "tropical vacation" theme at a
nursing home. I went to a grocery store to look for tropical fruits that could be planted from
seed. I bought avocados, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes. Before the activity, I made a
beautiful display of fruit on the table and chopped up some of the fruit for everyone to sample. As
participants entered the room they saw the bright coloured fruit and smelled the citrus. No one had
ever planted fruit seeds; this was a new experience for everyone. The idea of growing fruit was
intriguing and some were doubtful it would work. Experience has shown me that this is really easy
to do and very successful. I was looking forward to seeing the doubtful people surprised when the
sprouts emerge from the soil.
- Peel open the oranges and pick out seeds.
- Fill 6 inch plastic pots is with potting soil
- Plant 4-6 seeds 1-2 inches deep in soil in each
- Pat soil firmly and gently water
- Keep soil moist and don't allow to dry out
- It may take over a month before you see sprouts
- Transplant each seedling into 6 inch plastic pots when they
are 2-3 inches tall
- Provide as much sun as possible and don't allow the soil to
Before we began looking for seeds I gave everyone the opportunity
to sample some of the fruit. This gave the group the opportunity to discuss:
- "I remember eating fresh pineapple in Hawaii."
- "I have never had avocado before; it doesn't have much taste
and the texture is unusual."
- "I prefer Naval Oranges; they are juicy and
After sampling the fruit we focused our attention on looking for
seeds. Everyone was able to find a 4-6 orange seeds. We then cleared the table to set up for
- "If all of these seeds grow then we could sell
- "We could start our own orchard"
- "Oranges can't grow outside in Ontario all year
- "Will they ever grow fruit?"
- "The seeds are slimy and a little difficult to pick
This was an enjoyable activity because it enhanced their sense of
imagination and curiosity. They lovingly teased each other as they talked about starting an orchard
or selling them for profit. An orange tree grown from seed makes a beautiful houseplant and a great
conversation piece. Try it out the next time you find seeds in your orange or grapefruit.