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growing tangerines from seeds

How to Plant Tangerine Seeds

By: Katelyn Lynn

21 September, 2017

Tangerines (Citrus reticulata) are sometimes also called satsumas and mandarins. They can grow to between 15 and 20 feet tall and are hardy in the USDA Zones 8B to 11. Tangerine trees produce 2- to 4-inch-wide, juicy, sweet fruit that are similar to oranges but thinner skinned and easier to peel. Growing a tangerine tree from seed is both easy and fun just make sure you plant fresh tangerine seeds right away because germination rates will drop if the seeds dry out.

Remove the tangerine seeds from the pulp of the tangerine and place them into a strainer, or wire basket. Fill up a sink in your kitchen with water. Then, drop in 1 teaspoon of bleach into the water. Immerse the strainer of tangerine seeds into the bleach and water solution for a quick rinse. Don’t let the tangerine seeds soak in the bleach and water solution. A quick dunking is all that is necessary

  • Tangerines (Citrus reticulata) are sometimes also called satsumas and mandarins.
  • Immerse the strainer of tangerine seeds into the bleach and water solution for a quick rinse.

Rinse the strainer containing the tangerine seeds with tepid water for about 30 seconds. Then spread the tangerine seeds onto paper towels and let them air dry.

Place sterilized seed starting potting mix into 3- or 4-inch wide plastic pots. Or you can mix together your own by mixing together equal portions of sterilized potting mix, aged compost, fine sand, vermiculite or perlite and peat moss. Pack the soil down firmly in each of the plastic pots. Then transfer the pots into a shallow tray-like container.

Pour water into the tray to let the soil in the plastic pots absorb enough moisture until the soil is just damp to the touch. Poke two to three 1/2 inch deep holes in each plastic pot. Drop in one tangerine seed into each hole. Then, cover up each of the tangerine seeds with approximately 1/2 inch of the growing media.

  • Rinse the strainer containing the tangerine seeds with tepid water for about 30 seconds.
  • Then, cover up each of the tangerine seeds with approximately 1/2 inch of the growing media.

Transfer the tray of pots into a location in your home that will remain right around 65 to 70 degrees F. Spread a layer of polythene film over each of the plastic pots. Check the pots daily to make sure the growing media remains moistened. Germination of tangerine seeds typically will being in 2 to 3 weeks, depending on growing conditions.

Remove the sheet of polythene film from the tray as soon as you start to seed the tangerine seedlings emerging from the soil. Then place the tray where it can receive a lot of bright light, approximately 8 to 10 hours of light daily. Keep the tangerine seedlings moist, add a little water to the tray when needed.

Transplant the tangerine seedlings when they are about 2 to 3 inches tall. You can plant them into 1-gallon pots, or into larger containers until they are big enough to be planted into their permanent location.

  • Transfer the tray of pots into a location in your home that will remain right around 65 to 70 degrees F. Spread a layer of polythene film over each of the plastic pots.
  • Check the pots daily to make sure the growing media remains moistened.

If reusing plastic pots, sterilize them before use. Place them in a 1 part bleach and 10 parts water solution for 1 to 2 minutes. Rinse them with tepid water and air dry before using.

According to Texas A&M University, most citrus trees will grow well when there is a soil pH range of 6 to 8.

Plant tangerine trees in full sun and make sure they will be provided shelter in the winter if temperatures drop below freezing.

Tangerines (Citrus reticulata) are sometimes also called satsumas and mandarins. They can grow to between 15 and 20 feet tall and are hardy in the USDA Zones 8B to 11. Tangerine trees produce 2- to 4-inch-wide, juicy, sweet fruit that are similar to oranges but thinner skinned and easier to peel. Growing a tangerine …

Tangerine Tree Care – How To Grow Tangerines

Tangerine trees (Citrus tangerina) are a type of mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata). Their loose skin, easily pulled away from the fruit, and the sweet segments within make them a delicious treat. In the United States, the ‘Clementine’ is the most familiar of the species and is readily available in grocery stores. This article is for those gardeners with an interest in how to grow tangerines or how to care for a tangerine tree you already have.

Planting Tangerine a Tree

Unless you live in a tropical or sub-tropical region, you’ll be growing tangerines in a pot. While they withstand cold temperatures better than most citrus, they still can’t survive a hard freeze. Even in warmer climates, it’s best to choose a sheltered place for planting. Tangerine tree growth is dependent on lots of sun, so choose a sunny spot as well.

You might be tempted to try growing tangerines from seed, but in all likelihood, the tangerine trees that result from your efforts won’t bear the fruit you’re expecting. It’s much better to purchase your tangerine trees from a reputable nursery. The plant will be grafted onto a rootstock and already have a year or two of growth.

To know how to grow tangerines best, you’ll need to gather a few things before you unwrap your tree. First, you’ll need a container that leaves plenty of room for growth. While potted citrus trees don’t mind being a little pot bound, you want to give your growing tangerine’s roots plenty of room to expand. Don’t go overboard. Just make sure there are a few inches (7.5 to 10 cm.) of free soil around the root ball than there was in the container it came in.

Which brings us to the second item before planting. Tangerine trees like a neutral soil pH, so it’s a good idea to wash off as much of the peat around the root ball as you can. Most good potting soils are already neutral and the addition of peat can drive the pH into the acid range.

Place your tree into the pot and fill the area around the roots with soil. Set the tree at the same level as it came from the nursery and tamp the soil down well. Young tangerine trees need plenty of water until they’re settled in their new home. Keep the soil moist, but not wet, for at least a week or two and the water regularly.

How to Care for a Tangerine Tree

Now that you’re finished potting, it’s time to talk about how to care for a tangerine tree. Tangerine trees grown in a pot need to be fertilized at least twice a year and as soon as you see new growth, it’s time to begin. Set your pot in a sunny place and let nature take its course.

When the weather is consistently above forty F. (4 C.), it’s safe to move your tree outdoors – although, like most houseplants, gradually moving your tangerine to its new microclimate will prevent shock and the loss of leaves. Follow the same process in the fall when temperatures begin to drop.

When your tangerine tree is indoors, it will need to be watered when just the top of the soil is dry to the touch. During the time your potted tangerine tree is outdoors, it will need to be watered daily.

When talking about how to care for a tangerine tree, we would be remiss not to mention the future. Unlike some other fruits, tangerine trees need no pruning.

As it grows, your tree will need to be repotted about every three to four years. Like other houseplants, one size up in pot size should be enough.

It will also take three to four years for your tangerine to bear fruit. So be patient and enjoy its beauty in the meantime. And when you taste the first fruits of your labor, you’ll be glad you learned how to grow tangerines.

Tangerine trees are a type of mandarin orange. This article is for those gardeners with an interest in how to grow tangerines or how to care for a tangerine tree you may already have.