Mandarin oranges are a tropical fruit. If you like mandarin oranges but hate paying for them at your local grocery store when they are in season, consider growing your own, whether or not you live in a warm climate. Not only will a mandarin orange tree provide you with a supply of fresh fruit, it will also add visual appeal to your house or yard.
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Pot your young plant or seeds in a large container so that you do not have to repot it later as it grows. Fill the pot with a rich, composted soil. Plant the seed so that its distance from the surface equals two lengths of the seed. Plant a young tree deep enough so that the tree will be stable in the pot--about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom.
Place the container in a warm location that gets direct sunlight, where the humidity is between 30 and 60 per cent, such as in front of a bathroom window. Alternately, use a humidifier or place some bowls of water near your plant; they will provide humidity as the water evaporates.
Water your plant daily until it drains from the bottom of the pot.
Add a water-soluble fertiliser to your plant four times a year to ensure the plant has the nutrients necessary to flower and grow fruit. Sprinkle a fertiliser made specifically for citrus plants on top of the soil. Follow the specific product's recommendations for quantity, as different fertilisers contain different levels of plant nutrients.
Move the tree outdoors during the summer months, when the temperatures are appropriate for the tree, and move it back indoors when the temperatures dip below around 15.6 degrees Celsius.
Trim the plant every couple of years so that it does not get too large for its pot and your indoor space. Cut back branches shooting outward off the trunk so that your mandarin orange tree does not get too wide for your indoor space. Do this outside during the warmer months to avoid making a mess inside your home and choose an appropriate tool for the job; trim small growth with pruning scissors, and use a saw for thicker branches.
Tips and warnings
- Purchase a two-year-old or similarly aged mandarin orange tree from a nursery. You can also plant the seeds from a mandarin orange that comes from a fruit-bearing tree, but plants from store-bought fruit are highly unlikely to grow mandarin oranges.
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