If you celebrate Christmas, you might have found a tiny orange fruit in your stocking left by Santa Claus. What little orange fruit? Mandarin oranges. What are mandarins, and what do I need to know about caring for a mandarin orange tree?
Mandarin orange information lets us know that it is called citrus reticulata. They are members of a unique species with loose, thin peels. They can be a similar size as sweet orange or way smaller, it depends on the assortment. A mandarin orange can hang from a thorn tree that gets up to over 24 feet. The fruit looks like a little, slightly squashed orange with a vibrant red-orange to orange peel circling the sectioned juicy fruit.
Common in the Philippines and throughout South and Central America and typically grown in India, East Indies, Japan, and southern China, the name “tangerine” might apply to the whole group of Citrus reticulata. Typically, this is in reference to those with red-orange skin. Mandarins are satsuma, clementine and other cultivars.
“Cuties” are clementine mandarins sold before Christmas and tango mandarins afterward. The terms “mandarins” and “tangerines” are used interchangeably. Though, the tangerines signify the red-orange mandarins shipped out of Tangiers, Morocco to Florida in the late 1800s.
Mandarin orange trees are of three types: pummel, mandarin, and citron. What we usually categorize as mandarins are ancient hybrids (grapefruits, sour oranges, and sweet oranges).
Mandarin Orange Tree – Planting
Mandarin oranges grew first in Asia and the Philippines. They are progressively developed for commercial cultivation through Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida with some lesser groves in California, Texas, and Georgia. While the fruit of the mandarin is easily damaged in transit, vulnerable to cold, and delicate, the tree is more accepting of drought and cold temperature than the sweet orange.
Mandarin Orange Tree Care
When caring for a mandarin orange tree, water it regularly, one or two times a week in drier climates. Call a Tampa arborist if you need assistance. For container mandarin orange trees, water until it goes through the holes in the container’s bottom.