How to grow a clementine tree


Clementine Tree: Growing the Cutest Treat

You know those tiny oranges you buy in big bags at the store? The ones you can peel in one long strip that taste super sweet? They’re called clementines and they’re not exclusive to stores. You can grow them at home by having your own clementine tree!

It sounds too good to be true, but clementine trees are great houseplants that are fairly easy to care for. In fact, if you haven’t grown citrus trees before, this is a great starter. Clementine trees are more durable and forgiving than their relatives. Plus, they grow just about the sweetest mandarins out there!

In this article, we’ll answer all your questions such as ‘What is a clementine?’ and ‘How am I supposed to grow a tropical fruit in the United States?’. By the end, you’ll be all set to get planting, cultivating, and munching.

Good Products At Amazon For Growing Clementines:

  • Espoma Organic Soil Acidifier
  • Monterey Horticultural Oil
  • Neem Bliss 100% Cold Pressed Neem Oil
  • Espoma Citrus-Tone Plant Food
  • Kensizer Yellow Sticky Traps

Quick Care Guide

The clementine tree is a lovely hybrid citrus. Source: Golf Bravo
Common Name(s)Clementine, Christmas Orange, Sweet Tangerine
Scientific NameCitrus reticulata ‘Clementine’
Month(s) of Harvest4 months
LightFull sun
Water:1x weekly, more for young trees
SoilSandy, mildly acidic, and fertile
FertilizerEvery other month
PestsFruit flies, leaf miners, soft scale
DiseasesPhytophthora, canker

About The Clementine Tree

Clementines are cultivated hybrids that don’t grow on their own in nature. They’re believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, where they’re still widely produced. These trees are well-suited for the tropics, subtropics, and the Mediterranean.

In the United States, you can grow these mandarins outdoors in growing zones 9-11. If you aren’t lucky enough to live in such a warm growing zone, you can keep the tree inside and set it out during the summer. Clementines are often grafted, so it’s easy to find one with the rootstock of a dwarf tree. These will grow up to 6 feet tall instead of 25.

The tree itself is quite ornamental. It has a rounded, evergreen canopy of bright green leaves. In the spring, it features fragrant white blossoms that transform into 3” baby mandarins. The fruits ripen from November to February, earning them the name Christmas orange. They have a thin, loose peel and are typically seedless. This plant usually has thorns, but that’s not much of a deal-breaker if you add in the fact that it’s also known for a high pest-resistance.

Clementine Vs. Mandarin: What’s The Difference?

They may look similar, but clementines and mandarins aren’t the same thing. Taxonomically speaking, mandarins are a species of citrus fruit (Citrus reticulata) and clementines are a hybrid variety of that species (Citrus reticulata var. Clementine). The origin of this variety has been long debated and the current theory is that it’s a cross between a mandarin and sweet orange. So, all clementines are a type of mandarin, but not all mandarin oranges are clementines.

There are tons of other mandarin varieties – tangerines, Murcotts, and satsumas to name a few. Out of them all though, clementines are the smallest and, in our opinion, one of the sweetest. They stand apart with their dark yellow-orange peels and squat oval shape.

Planting Clementines

A mature tree can produce a significant amount of fruit. Source: dlebech

Whether by seed or start, plant your clementine tree in the spring or fall. If your growing zone allows it to stay outdoors, choose a location with plenty of sun and space. Keep the thorns in mind since you probably don’t want them snagging you each time you walk through the garden. Give yourself plenty of space for easy maneuvering. 

Check the soil drainage and fertility, adding sand and organic matter as needed. It needs to drain well and be chock-full of nutrients for the new plant. If you’re planning to grow this tree in a container, choose one that’s light enough to move around or has wheels. Air pots on some kind of wheeled foundation will work excellently.

Planting citrus tree starts is pretty simple. Remove the start from its container and dig a hole slightly larger than the rootball. Gently loosen the roots to help them take to the new soil. Now, just stick it in the ground, fill in the soil, and give it some water. You may want to add a thin layer of mulch on top to preserve moisture, especially if it’s in the ground.

Seeds should be thoroughly cleaned before planting to avoid mold growth. Soak them in warm water overnight to remove any remaining pulp (this will also encourage germination later). If you aren’t going to plant right away, dry the seeds completely and store them in an airtight container in a cold place. Otherwise, plant them ¼” deep in moist potting soil, place the container in the sun, and keep the soil moist. To lock in humidity, cover it with a punctured, clear covering until the seedling pops up to say hi.

Clementine seeds germinate in 2-4 weeks but take 2-3 years to grow into mature trees. Don’t transplant your seedling until it has some strong roots and is actively growing. Over time, you’ll need to repot it every 2-3 years, changing out the soil completely, to keep it well-fed.

Care

Bright orange fruit peeks out between the clementine leaves. Source: boyan_d

The care requirements for clementine oranges are about the same as other citrus trees. If you can master this tree, just think how many other citrus fruit you could grow!

Sun and Temperature

In order to grow the best citrus fruit, these trees need full sun. Give it the brightest location you have, especially if it’s indoors. If you just don’t have an indoor location that’s sunny enough, you may need to supplement it with a grow light. In a pinch, clementine fruit trees will tolerate partial shade, but they usually won’t produce as well.

This plant can handle cold temperatures as low as 20°F, but we don’t recommend you test that. Exposure to frost can hinder fruiting or potentially be fatal. Keep your clementines fruit nice and warm with temperatures above 50°F. In extreme heatwaves though, you’ll want to give it some protection so it doesn’t get sunburned.

Watering & Humidity

The soil needs to be consistently moist but definitely not waterlogged. To achieve this balance, water when the top inch or two dries out. Depending on location, you’ll likely be watering it weekly. If it’s a very young tree, it may need to be watered as much as every 2-3 days during its first year of growth.

To prevent overwatering, keep an eye on the soil drainage and don’t forget to empty the water tray for container-grown trees.

These are tropical trees, so they can tolerate high humidity. If you’re growing it indoors, keep the citrus tree away from heaters that can dry it out. Use a humidifier or place the container on a tray filled with rocks and a little water to create evaporative humidity around the plant.

Soil

Outdoors, you’ll need sandy, slightly acidic soil. This plant is flexible with other soils, but for it to really thrive these requirements are important. Determine if your soil drains well by watering it and watching it drain. It should drain fairly evenly and quickly without any puddling. If there’s room for improvement, mix in some sand or perlite.

The best way to determine the pH is to use a home-testing kit. As mentioned, you’ll have to amend the soil so it’s slightly acidic or at least balanced. Use a commercial soil acidifier containing sulfur and gypsum to gradually bring the soil to a slightly-acidic level. Citrus can grow in neutral soils as well, but the fruit will often be sweeter if the soil’s lightly acidic!

Add a few inches of light mulch in the summer. This will lock in moisture so you won’t have to water as often. It’ll also keep the soil supplied with organic matter, which will be high in demand with this tree. Don’t place the mulch right against the trunk, however; leave at least a few inches between the mulch and the tree trunk.

For indoor plants, you’ll have the best luck with specialty citrus soils. You can find them almost anywhere and they already contain everything these fruit trees need. It still needs to be well-draining, but loamy soil is preferred for these container plants.

Fertilizing

Feed your clementine mandarin every other month throughout the year (these trees don’t go dormant). If you’d rather use a slow-release fertilizer, apply it at least at the beginning of spring and fall. We highly recommend using a citrus fertilizer as they’re tailored to this tree’s needs.

Pruning

Clementines can be grown in containers as well as in the ground. Source: oddharmonic

Even if you’re growing a dwarf tree, pruning shouldn’t be overlooked. Like a good haircut, trees require regular trims to keep them healthy and in shape. You can prune your clementine mandarin any time of year, but during spring is preferable.

Clean your shears first and then evaluate the tree. Look for and trim back the following things:

  • Branches obstructing walkways
  • Dead or dying branches
  • Crossing branches in the center of the canopy
  • Offshoots (also known as suckers)
  • Leggy branches

As a general rule of thumb, only prune up to a third of the plant at a time. Also, be conscious of which branches are flowering or fruiting so you don’t remove them all. 

Propagation

You might be wondering, how do you grow a clementine plant from seed if the fruit is seedless? Farmers around the world achieve this thanks to a botanical phenomenon – parthenocarpy. Some plants, including clementines, can produce without being fertilized. Because the reproduction process hasn’t been started by pollination, seeds rarely develop in the fruit.

This mandarin variety requires cross-fertilization, so if the tree is isolated or only surrounded by clones of itself, it can’t be pollinated. This leaves it to produce parthenocarpically. Likewise, if you keep your plant isolated during blooming, it’ll produce seedless fruit.

If you do come across a clementine with seeds, that means some brave little bee managed to cross-pollinate it. The plant that grows from that seed may vary from the original tree because it contains DNA from a different tree. To keep the clementine variety from being lost after multiple cross-pollinations, these trees are propagated asexually by grafting.

The most popular grafting method for young citrus trees is budding. This is when a bud is taken from the scion – in this case, a clementine tree – and grafted onto the rootstock. A wide variety of rootstocks are compatible with this plant, but they have to be citrus. To choose one, consider where you live and what properties the rootstock will need (pest resistance, soil demands, etc.). If you aren’t sure, the best thing to do is to ask a local nursery or agriculture department what they suggest for your area.

The budding process is simpler than grafting the whole scion. There are several different methods, so we’ll just cover T-budding, also known as shield budding. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A healthy, mature clementine tree
  • A healthy, actively growing rootstock of your choice
  • A sharp, clean knife
  • Grafting tape

Begin by selecting the clementine bud you’ll graft. Choose one that’s large, healthy, and preferably right next to a leaf. Clip off the leaf leaving the petiole so you have a little handle to hold onto. With your knife, cut the bud off the branch using an upwards slicing motion. Leave about half an inch below and above the bud and make it deep enough to include bark and a sliver of wood.

Now we move to the rootstock. It must be actively growing for this to work. Check this by peeling off a piece of bark. If it comes off easily, the tree is growing. If not, you’ll have to wait. Choose a healthy, mature spot on the trunk and make a vertical cut that’s slightly larger than the bud cutting. It should be deep enough to cut through the bark but not the wood underneath. Turn that vertical cut into a T by cutting a horizontal line on top that’s slightly wider than the bud. Carefully peel back the corners of the bark, revealing a pocket underneath (don’t tear the bark). 

Grab your bud cutting and gently slide it into the pocket. Close the bark around it so just the bud and petiole are sticking out. Use grafting tape or something similar to wrap the graft. Now you leave the bud alone to heal. When it’s securely connected to the trunk, remove the tape (unless it was biodegradable). Chop off the rootstock right above the bud so the tree will direct its energy into the bud’s growth.

Harvesting and Storing Clementines

Clementines are easy to peel and have smooth skin. Source: Paul and Jill

You’ve planted your tree, fertilized it, and cared for it like a child. Now, the tree’s ready to give something back!

Harvesting

Your clementine trees will be ready for harvest from early to mid-winter. The mandarins don’t ripen after being picked, so you’ll have to get them on time. When ripe, the skin turns completely orange with no green left. It will be a little heavy and give slightly when pressed. Pick it by hand or with clippers.

These mandarins don’t overripen easily and last on the tree for months. However, we recommend you pick them before winter’s over to prevent rot.

Storing

A fresh clementine orange will last about one week in the pantry. Keep it in an open container in a dry cool spot for best results. For a longer life though, refrigerate your mandarins in an open plastic bag, mesh bag, or just in the crisper drawer. As it ages, the mandarins will shrivel and lose their flavor. Remove any overripe mandarins before they spoil the others.

Mandarins can also be dehydrated for use as tasty, healthy snacks. Place each wedge on a dehydrator tray and dry them at 125°F for 10-12 hours. Store the dried treats in a vacuum-sealed bag.

To properly store clementines in the freezer, separate your fruit into wedges and lay the wedges on a metal sheet pan. Once the wedges are completely frozen, you can remove them from the pan and place them in a zip-top freezer storage bag. To thaw them back out, place your mandarins in a bowl or container in the refrigerator to gradually thaw.

It’s very common to store mandarins as juice or preserves. Juice should be frozen. Preserves can be canned as jams or jellies, but be sure to use tested and food-safe canning recipes.

Troubleshooting

The glossy, dark leaves of the clementine make the fruit very visible. Source: Jared Klett

Lucky for us gardeners, clementine trees don’t have any serious problems. However, you still need to be vigilant at watching for symptoms.

Growing Problems

Yellowing leaves are a common yet solvable problem. The usual culprit is a lack of sunlight, which is remedied by moving the tree’s location. If the leaves are only yellowing in the center of the canopy, you’ll need to thin it out so the sun can reach each leaf.

If your trees are exposed to cold temperatures, even infrequently, they may not fruit. Prevent this by moving them indoors on time. If you don’t think the temperature is the problem, check that your fruit trees have enough sunlight.

For indoor trees, under or overwatering can lead to leaf drop. Check that the soil is draining well and water more carefully. It can be helpful to make a watering schedule to help keep you on track.

Pests

Fruit flies are the pests you’re most likely to encounter. Besides lazing around the kitchen, these annoying bugs lay their eggs on fruit – on or off the tree. The best way to prevent them is by keeping the tree clean, removing dead material or fallen fruits, and harvesting on time. Horticultural oil may keep some species at bay. Placing a yellow sticky trap in the tree can help you easily see if you’re having an outbreak.

A pretty interesting insect, the citrus leaf miner literally mines tunnels through young leaves. The winding pathways are visible from the outside of the leaf and will eventually cause it to curl. This is very damaging to young trees but doesn’t affect the yield of mature ones. However, the damage may invite bacteria and infections. If only a few leaves are affected, remove them from the tree and burn them. Large populations can be prevented by periodically spraying new growth with neem oil.

Soft scale feeds on plant sap and can cause considerable damage over time. They leave behind honeydew, which is a sticky substance that invites sooty mold and ants. These pests also cause wilting and leaf drop. To get rid of them, apply horticultural oil, neem oil, or insecticidal soap to the trees. Like most pests, populations will be much easier to control if caught early on.

Diseases

Citrus gummosis, also known as Phytophthora, is a disease that attacks the bark. It causes sap to ooze from the trees, bark to fall off and leaves to lose their color. You’ll also see nasty-looking lesions on the tree. This disease is encouraged by damp, cool environments. Prevent it by only using well-draining soil and not overwatering. To treat it, remove infected bark and add copper fungicide to the rest.

If you see clusters of brown, raised lesions on the leaves, twigs, and clementine mandarin, you’re most likely dealing with citrus canker. When the lesions first show up, the skin around them turns yellow. In time, it turns brown and collapses in. Prevent the cankers by keeping the trees clean and dry. Use a copper fungicide to remove existing lesions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you grow a clementine tree indoors?

A: Yes! As long as you have a sunny window, these trees make excellent houseplants. You can even find dwarf varieties that are well-suited for indoor growth.

Q: How long does it take a clementine tree to produce fruit?

A: They usually start producing at 2-3 years old.

Q: Do mandarins grow in the United States?

A: Yes, a large variety of mandarins are grown in the southern growing zones.

Baby Citrus! How to Grow a Clementine Tree from Seed

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There’s just something so rewarding about growing citrus trees from seed! Particularly here in PA zone 6b, where we can’t grow citrus trees outdoors over the winter, it feels like a challenge and I always love a good gardening challenge. I’m excited to share my tips and experience on how to grow a clementine tree from seed with you!

Growing a Clementine Tree from Seed – Clementine Seedling and Fruit

Our family sure goes through our fair share of clementines (Citrus clementina). It seems like a great fruit tree to start from seed. After having some luck germinating lemon seeds, I’m really looking forward to expanding my grove of indoor citrus trees.

If you’d like to learn how to grow a clementine tree from seeds, keep reading. I’ll tell you the quickest and easiest way to germinate clementine seeds for baby trees!

Baby Clementine Tree in a nursery pot

Does a clementine have seeds?

Clementines are not truly seedless. Grower intervention helps to create seedless clementine varieties. Many times, clementines are seedless when growers intentionally cross-pollinate with another tree species and prevent natural pollination by the bees. When pollination does occur, or if clementine trees grow autonomously, the presence of seeds may become more prevalent.

Most of the time, you may not find clementine seeds in your Cuties or Halos (or other clementines). However, when you do find them, you can germinate clementine seeds and try growing a clementine tree at home!

Three Clementine Seeds on a Granite Table with Three Clementines (Mandarins)

Is a clementine the same as a mandarin?

Clementines are a type of mandarin but not all mandarins are clementines. Three different types of clementines exist — “seedless clementines,” clementines (with at most 10 seeds), and Monreal (with more than 10 seeds).

If you think clementines seem different during the early season as compared to the new year, you aren’t imagining it. The beloved Cuties brand of clementines offers Clementine mandarins from November through January and W. Murcott mandarins from February through April.

Is a clementine the same as a tangerine?

Clementines and tangerines are similar but not the same. When compared to a tangerine, the clementine is smaller in size. Its coloring is brighter orange and the skin is smoother as well.

What does a clementine seedling look like?

A clementine seedling has a rich green color and rounded leaves. When clementine seeds first germinate, you’ll notice the prominent seed radicle (root) emerging from the seed. The root of the clementine seedling is very robust and sturdy.

Many Clementine Seedlings Growing in a Wet Paper Towel

How tall do clementine trees grow?

Clementine trees can grow up to 25 feet in the ideal environment. However, it’s quite easy to prune them to a height that is more manageable for you, such as 6 to 10 feet high. This works especially well when you live in a cooler climate such as zone 6 as we do.

Learn How to Grow a Clementine Tree from Seed

Growing a clementine tree from seed is not difficult if you try the right steps.

Supplies needed for growing a clementine tree from seeds

Start with fresh seeds or even clementine seeds you’ve allowed to dry. Both dry and fresh seeds should germinate.

And now, follow these steps to discover how to grow a clementine tree from seed!

  1. Enjoy eating a clementine! This is the easiest and most delicious part. 🙂
  2. Remove any seeds that you find and set them aside.
  3. Allow the seeds to soak in water for about 15 minutes. This softens the outer skin of the seed coat.
  4. After soaking, use a thumbnail or very carefully use the edge of a sharp knife to gently nick the seed coat.
  5. Gently unwrap the seed coat and remove it from the seed. You should now see a softer, smoother “nut” type seed.

  6. Fold a paper towel in half and wet it with a spray bottle.
  7. Write “Clementine” and the date on a plastic zip-top bag.
  8. Spread the seeds out on the wet paper towel so they aren’t touching.
  9. Fold the paper towel over the seeds to they are covered on all sides. The paper towel should now be the right size for the bag.
  10. Place the paper towel in the plastic baggie.
  11. Set the baggie somewhere warm and out of the way, such as on top of your microwave or near a heating vent.
  12. Wait up to a week to check for signs of germination. (If you’re like me, check sooner, hah!)
Germinating clementine seeds in a plastic baggie with a wet paper towel

By the way, feel free to check out our more in-depth post about germinating seeds in wet paper towels and baggies!

Clementine Seedling Care

Caring for clementine seedlings is easier than you might expect. Don’t be intimidated!

Try these nearly effortless steps for good clementine seedling care to give your baby citrus trees the best chance at life.

Sprouted Clementine Trees from Seed in Wet Paper Towel
  1. When you notice the clementine seeds sprouting, prepare small nursery pots with potting soil.
    • First put a piece of a coffee filter to screen the soil from going through the drainage holes.
    • Next, fill the pot most of the way with potting soil. I LOVE ProMix potting soil!
    • Finally, gently plant the sprouting seed or clementine seedling in the soil mix.
    • Water as needed and place the seed pot in a sunny location or ideally under some grow lights.
  2. When it gets warm enough in your zone, harden off your baby clementine trees and move them outdoors to enjoy the summer sun!
Clementine Tree Seedling in a flower pot in the rain

Growing a Clementine Tree Indoors

I am super excited to be growing a clementine tree indoors! If you are lucky enough to find some clementine seeds, I hope you try it, too!

(I am still hoping to happen upon lime seeds one of these days!)

I’ll be sure to come back and update this post as our journey continues.

But first, here are a few things you should know about growing clementine seedlings indoors.

  • Clementine trees may take two to three years before they begin producing fruit. In the grand scheme of fruit trees, this feels pretty quick and I’ll take it! Hopefully this time in 2023 I’ll have some photos of clementine flowers and fruits for you.
  • Fruit trees don’t always grow true to seed. Especially with the cross-pollination process and efforts to breed the trees as growers intended, you never really know what you’re going to get. Hopefully you’ll get delicious fruit! (If not, you can always buy some citrus trees from your favorite nursery or grower.)
  • Manage your expectations. Some “gardening experts” say never to grow fruit trees from seed and only to purchase quality trees or grafted fruit trees. I don’t think there’s any harm in growing clementine trees from seed as long as you go into it knowing there’s a chance you may not get the results you want. (shrug) I am all for the fun and experiment of it!
  • Grow another variety nearby to get a bumper crop. Clementines can grow without cross-pollinating with another variety, but you can increase the yield with another type of mandarin nearby.
Baby Clementine Tree in a flower pot and Fruit on a turquoise background

Clementine Tree Growth Progress

I just wanted to provide an update on how much my clementine seedling has grown so far!

I feel like it’s growing pretty slowly, personally, but I could just be impatient. 🙂

Also, I know it probably needs some fertilizer as well. That’s on my list for the next week or so.

Anyway, check out this amazing pot I got at Big Lots! Nobody Pots Baby in a Corner!!!

Clementine tree seedling’s growth progress as of October 3, 2022.

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Still a pretty small little clementine plant!

I am still learning every day as I continue on my gardening adventures with my girls. If you have any experience growing clementines from seed, definitely hit us up in the comments! Feel free to ask questions, too, or just say hi! We love hearing from you.

Happy Gardening!

10.03.22 – Updated to add citrus tree selections. Added new photos of current growth state of clementine tree.

Cultivation of clementine - Country life

Clementine is a citrus plant from the Rut family, a hybrid of mandarin and blood orange. It has an indefinite status, it is impossible to say unequivocally whether clementine is an independent species or whether it should be considered a subspecies of mandarin.

Clementines are very similar to tangerines, but they are sweeter and lack the sourness characteristic of tangerines. There are three types of clementines - Montreal, Spanish and Corsican. They differ from each other in the size of the fruit and the number of seeds, however, these differences are very small. Clementine is a fruit that is grown in southern Europe - in Italy, Spain, as well as in some African countries - in Morocco and Algeria.

Description of clementine

Tangerines and clementines are very similar in shape, but clementines have a number of differences from tangerines. They are sweeter than tangerines. Also, compared to tangerines, clementines are rounder. Also, their peel is not as soft and loose as that of tangerines. They are distinguished by a high content of ascorbic acid, carotenoids, macro- and microelements, bioflavonoids and vitamin C. Another feature of this plant is cold resistance, which is not typical for most citrus fruits.

Clementine (tangerine tree) 21-30 cm high. Mandarin tree seedlings for growing at home. Mandarin will reach fruiting in 48 months. The tangerine tree usually blooms once a year in spring, very abundantly. Tangerine flowers are small, white, exuding a pleasant aroma. At home, a well-groomed adult tangerine tree produces an average of 40-50 fruits per year. Clementines are divided into types:

  • Corsican - medium-sized fruits, orange-red skin, fragrant flesh, without seeds, a species with a trademark of the region, usually with two green leaves (they are left on the stalk), but already a few days after harvest, the leaves dry up and fall off (they are an indicator of the freshness of the fruit), because of them, the fruit must be harvested only by hand
  • Spanish: smaller than Corsican fruit with bright orange flesh, sour taste, two to ten seeds inside
  • Montreal - a rare type of citrus with sour fruits, 10-12 seeds inside

Growing clementine at home

You can grow a tangerine tree in a pot from cuttings. They are bought in specialized stores. They can also be ordered online. The second option is less preferred. It is important to visually assess the condition of the handle before buying. It costs quite a lot. Therefore, you need to choose a really strong, hardy plant. It should not have any defects. If the stalk has stains, mold, it is worth putting it aside.

In early spring, plant your clementine tree in a sandy, well-draining area where the sun will shine all day. While clementines love high levels of humidity, they don't like wet feet. A bright spot with a south or southeast exposure is ideal and will provide some winter protection for the plant.

Water regularly when there is little rain, but allow the soil surface to dry out between waterings throughout the growing season. Water sparingly in winter, allowing the soil to dry completely before lightly watering again.

Feed clementines monthly with liquid citrus fertilizer from mid-summer to mid-autumn. When it comes to fertilizing, not enough and preferably too much.

Potted tangerine pruning is done annually. Otherwise, the crown will grow strongly. You can pinch the top. This procedure is performed in March. At this time, the tree releases young shoots. You can also prune after the growing season. If you form a crown according to plan, you can get a beautiful tree of the correct shape. Many varieties do not require grafting or pruning. However, the aesthetics of such a plant will be noticeably worse.

Harvest clementines around November to June. These fragile fruits should be harvested as soon as they ripen, as they should not be kept on the tree for more than a few days after ripening. It is better to cut the stem than to try to pull the fruit out so as not to damage it.

care, propagation, varieties - AG Media

Mandarin came to Europe only 170 years ago thanks to the Italian Michel Tecor. The fruit owes its name to the Chinese. They could only be eaten by wealthy dignitaries of China - tangerines.

Dwarf tangerines and low-growing varieties are suitable for indoor plants. Consider the types, varieties of tangerines, their varieties and determine the main characteristics and signs.

Variety Willifolia

A low tree with a round crown without thorns. It can be grown both outdoors and as a houseplant. In a pot it grows up to 2 m tall and has dark green dense oblong leaves. The plant blooms in spring with white fragrant flowers, slightly smaller than a lemon. Pollination is not required to produce fruits. Fruits grow up to 70 g, almost pitted. The harvest takes place in November. The tree bears fruit from the age of three.

Very important! Growing mandarin at home, you need to constantly monitor the humidity of the air. To do this, a dish of water is placed next to the plant, and the crown is also sprayed daily. Adequate lighting is of sufficient importance for normal growth. Therefore, in autumn and winter, trees need artificial lighting. In summer, the plant feels better in the fresh air.

Wase variety group

This group includes varieties Miho-Wase, Miagawa-Wase, Okotsu-Wase, Novano-Wase, Kowano-Wase.

The variety is considered the founder of the Japanese dwarf variety of mandarins. It was imported from Japan in 1930. This is an evergreen stunted tree that grows no more than 40-50 cm in room conditions. It has a compact crown with abundant, thornless foliage that does not need to be shaped. The bark is rough, brown. The shoots are first light green and then turn brown. The leaves are green, broadly lanceolate. The flowers are white, have five petals and may be singly or in small inflorescences. In size, they are large up to 4.3 cm in diameter. The pistil peeks out from the stamens fused at the base. The pollen is sterile.

Bright orange fruits with a round flattened shape ripen in early October and have a sweet and sour taste. The pulp is divided into 9-13 pieces, contains 30.3 mg of vitamin C per 100 g of the product and does not contain seeds. The peel is smooth, fragile, 0.3 cm thick, well separated from the pulp. The tree bears fruit in the first or second year of life and is characterized by high productivity. Frost resistance is high. The plant propagates by grafting and air layering.

The variety was bred at 1923 by Dr. Chiusaburu Tanaka. The tree is the tallest of all vase varieties in terms of height and is characterized by high productivity. This is the most common and well-known of the varieties of vase. Mandarin fruits are relatively large, pitted, have a thin smooth skin. The pulp is juicy, excellent quality. The ripening variety is among the earliest. Fruit ripening occurs at the end of September. The fruits are well preserved.

Clementine group

The plant is a hybrid of mandarin and king orange from the orange subspecies. It was created at 1902 by the French priest, breeder Clement Rodier (1839-1904). Mostly Clementine trees are tall, but sometimes they are used for growing at home and in closed greenhouses. Consider the main varieties.

Cultivar Marisol (S. Clementine)

An early variety resulting from a Clementine Orowal mutation and ideal for indoor cultivation. This is a fairly tall tree with short branches and dense foliage. Fruit ripening occurs from the end of September. The fruits are quite large, weighing 70-130 g and 5.5-7 cm in diameter. The peel is thin, orange, contains a lot of essential oils. The pulp is soft, very juicy, slightly sour, contains 2 seeds. When harvesting, the fruits must be cut so that the cup does not remain on the stem.

Variety Nules (C. Clementina)

The variety was obtained as a result of mutations in the variety Fina. It is very popular in Spain. The tree is medium in size and has a spherical crown. The branches do not contain thorns. The leaf blades are narrow, the flowers are white, small, solitary or in small inflorescences. Large-sized fruits weighing 80-130 g. The peel is bright orange with a pink tint, soft, bumpy.

The flesh is very juicy, sweet, contains few seeds. To increase productivity, it is recommended to remove small ovaries, leaving no more than three in a group. Fruit ripening occurs from late November to December. The variety does not tolerate low temperatures, so it is often bred indoors.

Variety Rubino (S. Clementina)

A medium-sized tree bred in Italy and a late variety. It has a dense spherical crown without thorns and very high productivity. Small fruits weighing up to 80 g with a thin orange-red skin. Pulp of good quality, juicy, orange. Fruit ripening occurs from January to February. Tangerines can hang on a tree until early June without losing their taste.

The variety belongs to the “noble” group and is often called royal. It comes from a group of Indochinese or Cambodian mandarins. Some characteristics of this plant allow us to say that it belongs to natural hybrids of mandarin and orange. The fruits have the largest size of all known varieties of mandarins. The peel is very thick for a tangerine, tuberous, close to the pulp, but peels well and has a yellow-orange color.

Selected by V. M. Zorin in the 1950s. The trees are pyramidal in shape with a medium density of leaves. The bark is rough, brown in color, has a brown color on the branches. The shoots are light green in color, ribbed with a slight presence of thorns. The leaf blade is 12-14 cm long and 5-6 cm wide, dark green in color with pointed edges. The flowers have 5 petals, arranged singly or in small inflorescences, 4 cm in diameter. In the middle of the flower there are 19-22 stamens, fused at the base, above which a light yellow pistil rises. The fruits are round, flat, weighing 60-80 g, 4.5-5.8 cm in size.

Tangerines generally have a round, flat base, in some cases with a slight protrusion of the nipples. The peel has a thickness of 0.2-0.4 cm, slightly rough, well behind the pulp. The flesh of the fruit is orange, juicy, has a sweet and sour taste. It is divided into 9-12 lobules with thick films and does not contain seeds. The content of vitamin C is 29 mg per 100 g of product. Harvesting is carried out in the second half of November. Frost resistance is high.

It was selected after crossing mandarin seedlings of Unshiu F. M. Zorin at 1950s at the Sochi Experimental Station. The tree has a broad pyramidal crown shape with abundant foliage and few thorns. Rough bark is brown. The shoots on the ribbed top are light green in color. The leaves are elongated-oval, large, 12 x 5 cm in size, corrugated and form a boat along the main vein. The flowers consist of 5 white cream petals and fused 19-21 stamens with a rounded pistil towering above them.

Flowers may be borne singly or in several small clusters, up to 3 cm in diameter. The pollen is sterile. The fruits are round, flattened or slightly pear-shaped. Their weight is about 70 g, the average size in diameter is about 6 cm, and the height is 5 cm. The peel is orange, slightly rough, 0.2-0.5 cm thick, well separated from the pulp. The pulp is sweet-sour to taste, juicy, divided into 9-12 slices and contains no seeds. The content of vitamin C is 29 mg per 100 g of product. Frost resistance is high.

Abkhaz early mandarin is one of the most common and early varieties. In room conditions, the tree grows small in size with large green leaves. The plant flowers in May and bears fruit in October. The fruits are medium in size, round in shape, have a thick, tuberous, matte skin of yellow-orange color. The pulp is juicy, sweet with a slight sourness, contains a large number of seeds. The fruits are easily peeled. The plant is afraid of excess moisture, so watering is recommended as the humidity of the earthen coma decreases.

The variety comes from the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. It belongs to the early varieties. The crown of the tree is upright with few or no thorns. Tangerines are yellow-orange in color, relatively large, with a thick skin. The pulp is juicy, has a sweet and sour taste.

Very important! Enemies for indoor mandarin are spider mites, scutellum, mealybugs, fungi and viruses.

Semi-early hybrid developed in Florida in 1942. Mass began to be grown at 1964 in Israel, Spain. Variety Nova is ideal for growing in pots.

The tree has a medium spreading crown without thorns. The leaves are elongated, similar to the Clementine variety. It belongs to the early varieties. For better fruiting, it is necessary to carry out formative pruning to remove weak fruits. Otherwise, next year's harvest will not be high. Flowers have a very fragrant smell. The fruits are medium in size with a thin skin that is tight and difficult to peel. The pulp is juicy, dark orange, sweet, divided into 10-11 segments and contains up to 30 seeds. The fruits fully ripen in December. Harvest must be removed immediately after ripening, otherwise its quality will deteriorate.

Unshiu belongs to the Japanese Satsuma variety, although it comes from China. Cultivation originated in Japan, after which it spread throughout the world. It has high frost resistance compared to other varieties of mandarins. Another advantage of the plant is the rapid ripening of fruits with low solar activity. Due to the small size of the crown, the variety is grown both in open ground and as a houseplant.

At home, evergreen tree has a crown up to 1.5 m high with dense dark green leaves. The shape of the leaf blade is elongated, with strongly protruding veins. The foliage renewal period is from 2 to 4 years. Flowering occurs in May. The flowers are white, numerous, collected in inflorescences of 4-6 pcs. The pollen is sterile. The fruits have a rounded flat shape, weighing up to 70 g. The orange peel is well cleaned of pulp.

The tangerine tree, like all of its closest citrus relatives, is an evergreen. This means that all year round it will delight you with amazingly green foliage, as well as, with any luck, the sunny color of ripe fruits. It grows remarkably even at home, you just need to create at least minimal comfort for it, which, in turn, is ensured by proper care.

In the botanical classification, tangerines belong to the so-called root family. By the way, these include lemons, oranges, grapefruits, kumquats. It is easy to guess what all these fruits have in common: bright colors in yellow-red tones, juicy pulp, pleasant and strong aroma. The tangerine tree is perhaps the easiest to adapt to the home microclimate and is often grown for winter gardens.

How to "tame" a tangerine tree?

Under natural conditions tangerines-This is an evergreen shrub, reaching a height of no more than 2-3 meters. It would be a stretch to call them trees. A home-grown tangerine tree is unlikely to exceed 1.5 m. On average, it grows only up to 1-1.2 m. It is easy to notice its striking resemblance to lemon bushes. The difference is only in the shape of the crown: in tangerine trees, it is more “ruffled”.

Mandarin blossoms very beautifully: small snow-white flowers appear in small racemes on the branches of a tree. Each inflorescence has 5-6 flowers. They emit an exquisite and delicate aroma, reminiscent of expensive perfumes. The flowers of the tangerine tree are capable of self-pollination, and this is a big plus in favor of its “domestication”.

When the flowering period ends, it is time for the fruit to form. They have a traditional flattened shape, much less often pear-shaped. They have few seeds, and sometimes none at all. The peel of the fruit is soft, fleshy, easily separated.

Tangerines ripen faster than all other citrus fruits, which means that they are best suited for growing at home. Moreover, the choice should be made in favor of early maturing varieties, and of these, dwarf crops should be chosen as the most productive.

These are dwarfs in the full sense of the word: in natural conditions they grow only 0.8-1 m, and in a greenhouse or indoors - only up to 0.4-0.5 m. miniature and thin leaves of tangerine trees from the Vasin family have a light green color, and the flowers remain on the branches for a very long time, sometimes up to 11-12 months. And this, however, does not prevent the trees from bearing fruit in the first or second year of life. What can be dwarf tangerines? Of course, they are small and light - the weight of one fruit does not exceed 60-70 g. Even after the final ripening, they hang on the branches for a long time, giving the tree a beautiful look.

Some interesting facts about tangerine trees

Wild types of tangerines are now almost never found - with the exception of India, which is rightfully given the status of their "historical homeland." Indian gardeners began to grow tangerine trees in ancient times - several millennia before the beginning of a new era. And the wonderful sunny fruits came to Europe relatively late, only in the middle of the 19th century, when they were brought to Spain and Portugal by local merchants.

Where did the name “tangerines” come from? In this regard, there are as many as three versions:

the Spaniards were able to form the word mandarin from the verb "se mondar", which means "easy to peel" and directly indicates that the peel of these fruits is easily separated from the pulp;

in China, these citrus fruits used to be considered a kind of delicacy and were very expensive, because of which they were available only to rich people, who were called tangerines;

Mandarin was once called the island of Mauritius, located in the Indian Ocean. This is probably where such trees were first discovered.

Modern India is not one of the world's largest suppliers of tangerines. Japan and China are leading the way. The main "tangerine republics" of Europe are Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Tangerines are also grown in the Caucasus, and Abkhazia is famous for its special success. By the way, Abkhazian tangerines are distant "relatives" of the Japanese.

You can only pick tangerines by hand - this is exactly what all famous producers do. The fruits are separated from the branches with scissors, and all manipulations are performed with the utmost precision. If you accidentally break the tip of the fruit's skin, it will quickly deteriorate, and even damage any other tangerines that will be stored next to it.

Picking tangerines from branches with bare hands is also not allowed - they will be unsuitable for long-term storage.

Useful properties of "home-grown" tangerines

Actually, according to all their characteristics, tangerines grown at home are not much different from ordinary ones. They have the same taste and chemical composition.

Mandarin fruits can be considered as an element of dietary nutrition. Rich in potassium compounds, they are extremely beneficial for the functioning of the heart and have a beneficial effect on the state of the cardiovascular system as a whole. Almost 90% of tangerines are water, but they also contain proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vegetable fibers, organic acids, a complex of mono- and disaccharides (glucose, fructose, sucrose) and many vitamins. Tangerines even have some youthful properties, as they contain beta-carotene, a substance that neutralizes the effects of free radicals and protects the body from premature aging.

Mandarin peel is rich in essential oils that have a wide range of healing properties: they promote the breakdown of fats, stimulate metabolic processes, help relieve stress and achieve mental comfort. In folk medicine, there are recipes for tinctures on the peel of mandarin, which have an expectorant effect in diseases of the respiratory tract.


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