Watering, humidity, temperature, sun; learn all the details on how to grow a mandarin orange tree indoors.
Mandarin orange tree is beautiful, aromatic greenery, which with its blossoms decorates gardens and homes around the world. Did you know that this popular tree has been around for thousands of years?
Mandarin oranges most likely originated from Indian wild oranges, about 3000 years ago. From India, they first came to China, where they have spent a great deal of time before expanding to the rest of the world.
This delicious fruit is named after the language spoken in China. Namely, Chinese officials wore orange clothes, so the name stuck to the fruit when sent to other countries.
Are you ready to learn how to grow a mandarin orange tree indoors? Keep on reading.
Mandarin Orange Tree – Description
The mandarin orange tree is a popular citrus tree that produces small and sweet-tasting fruits. There are some characteristics that distinguish this type of tree from all other orange trees. Mandarin oranges come in miniature and regular sizes and produce small oranges. They usually have thorns on the trunk and branches, and bright green leaves.
As for the fruit, it is usually smaller than a typical orange and has a color that varies from orange to reddish-orange hue. Mandarin orange trees can grow as tall as 25 feet and can be grown in the ground or in a pot. Those grown in containers are generally not as big as those grown in the ground.
Where are mandarin oranges grown? The tree favors and thrives in milder climates, in zones 9-11. Accordingly, they are very popular fruits for cultivation in the south and southwest.
Make sure to check out how to grow a mandarin orange tree indoors.
How To Grow Mandarins From Seed
All you need for this procedure are dried seeds. Plant the seeds about an inch deep in good potting soil, and then cover it with plastic wrap. Wait a few days until you notice that the seeds have germinated. Once the seeds have germinated, place the pot in a sunny location.
If you are not in the mood to plant from seed, you can always get your mandarin orange tree from your local supplier.
Mandarin Orange Tree Care
Like all other citrus fruits, mandarin oranges need special care to grow and bear fruit year after year. Read more about it below.
Choosing The Right Pot
The first step is to choose the right pot. The ideal one has good drainage, but also provides enough aeration for the roots of the plant. Try to find a pot that is made of non-porous materials so that it can retain some moisture. The pot should be deep to avoid possible tip over.
Also, initially start it in a small pot and move it to a larger pot as the mandarin orange tree grows.
When it comes to soil, choose a light, well-draining soil mixture with an abundance of peat, and perlite or vermiculite. These inorganic ingredients can help promote aeration and drainage in the pot as well as around the roots of the plant.
Mandarin orange trees prefer full sun. So put them in a place that has at least 6 hours of sun a day. More than that is not recommended as it can cause burns on younger parts of the tree. It would be best to place them on a window facing south or west.
If you can’t afford that much light, supplemental light, such as grow lights or fluorescent plant lights can help.
As for the temperature, there are some limits that the plant can tolerate. This tree prefers night temperatures not lower than 55 ° F, and day temperatures between 70 – 80 ° F. Also, temperatures below 55 will lead to dormancy, which if prolonged can result in premature death.
Try to water your plants regularly to keep the soil moist (not saturated). Also, allow the potting soil to dry a little between waterings. To make sure it’s watering time, stick your finger about half an inch to make sure the soil is semi-dry.
As for the frequency, you can water it modestly 2-3 times a week. Try to avoid overwatering because it is just as deadly as under-watering.
In addition, it is important to pay attention to the warmth of the water as using too much hot or cold water can “shock” your orange tree. Therefore, use water that is similar in temperature to the plant.
Since they are considered tropical plants, they need a lot of nutrients to grow and bloom. It would be best to fertilize your mandarin orange tree annually. Starting in early spring when new growth began to appear, then in mid-spring and again in late summer.
Considering that it grows slowly, the mandarin orange tree will require very little pruning. In spring and summer (intensive growth phase) you can pinch back the growth on those stems that grow too long.
Also, during the fall and winter, it is necessary to remove any branches that are broken or look unhealthy. This will encourage growth and better yields.
Repotting Your Indoor Mandarin Orange Tree
These are the most common signs that your tree needs repotting:
- Its roots come out of drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
- The soil is drying more and more often (more than usual).
- The plant takes on an unhealthy appearance.
Your plant may not always show all of these signs (sometimes none), but it is good to transplant it after it is been in the same pot for two or more years.
The keys to successfully growing a mandarin orange tree indoors are good lighting, proper temperature and humidity, and nutrients.
Lastly, keep in mind that you should not expect flowering and fruiting for the first five years of planting.
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