During the flowering period, the tangerine tree exudes a sweet and very seductive scent that brings a Mediterranean atmosphere to every garden area. In a suitable location with plenty of sun, the tangerine tree can bloom several times a year, the flowers can even develop parallel to a fruit development. The small tree is easy to care for in the warm seasons, but adequate wintering quarters are required in the winter.

Ideal location, planting substrate, planting and transplanting

The tangerine tree is best cultivated in a large flower pot or tub, which is outdoors in the summer months. Ideally, the location is in a garden directly on the ground, but the mandarine can also be placed on a terrace or a larger balcony. Year-round keeping in living areas is complicated, but can be carried out with increased maintenance. Before the first frosty nights in autumn, the tree must be placed in a room with a suitable temperature. The warmth-loving plant does not tolerate frosty temperatures.

  • Always outside from June in the following summer months
  • Sun-drenched location protected from rain and wind
  • Bright winter quarters with a minimum of 2 ° C to a maximum of 10 ° C
  • No drafts as the plant reacts negatively to it
  • Special soil for citrus plants as a breeding ground
  • Plant substrate should contain humus, peat, limestone or clay
  • With the right soil, the oxygen supply for the roots is guaranteed, the excess water is not dammed and can run off optimally
  • In general, citrus plants like slightly acidic and nutrient-rich soil
  • Drainage for the bottom of the pot
  • Repotting becomes necessary when the roots get out of hand and grow out of the pot
  • However, do not repot too often and do not change location too often

Fertilizing and watering

A tangerine tree needs careful, deliberate and moderate watering. If it is kept too moist or too dry, it will have a detrimental effect on its growth and flower development. Stale rainwater is ideal as it is less calcareous than tap water. A dry period of over a month, in which there is no watering, promotes the intensity of the flower formation.

  • Moisten the root ball regularly, but do not keep it wet
  • Check the soil with your finger before watering again, the top layer should already be dry
  • Water more on days with hot temperatures
  • Fertilize only in spring and summer, do not use fertilizer in autumn and winter
  • A special fertilizer for citrus plants, with a lot of nitrogen and lime, but only little phosphorus, is ideal
  • Fertilize every 1-2 weeks exactly according to the instructions on the package

Proper cutting and gentle wintering

A tangerine tree can be cut into a desired shape, otherwise it will grow into a bush-like tree with a stature height of about 1.20 m. Dried branches should definitely be cut off, as this stimulates the further and healthy growth of the tree.

  • The right time to cut is before or immediately after flowering
  • Pruning before flowering stimulates growth
  • A subsequent cut stimulates the renewed formation of buds
  • It is common to cut a round and bush-like shape
  • Sick and dead branches must be cut off
  • Cut out thin and weak branches, as these cannot bear fruit
  • The main goal of pruning is to have a few strong branches with few branches
  • Branches with fruits must not be cut off
  • Use sharp secateurs that have been cleaned beforehand for the cut
  • For larger wounds, apply tree sap to protect the tree

In an unsuitable wintering area, the mandarin tree may lose its leaves. In addition, if mold appears in the soil, the planting substrate is too wet. The tree needs very little water and no fertilizer in the winter months.

  • In any case, set up in a bright place
  • If necessary, brighten up a location that is too dark with a special light lamp
  • The tree needs at least 6 hours of light a day
  • A light-flooded winter garden is perfect for wintering
  • Rarely move or turn the tree
  • Pour moderately
  • The cooler the location of the mandarin tree, the less water it needs
  • Temperature values ​​between 2 ° -10 ° C are ideal
  • In no case fertilize
  • Leave the tree alone
  • Ventilate at regular intervals, but the tree must not be in the ventilation duct
  • Propagate, breed and graft during the winter

Plant seeds

  • The seeds must be free of pulp residues
  • Special potting soil as a plant substrate, this is germ-free and stores enough water
  • Select a small to medium-sized saucepan with a drain hole
  • Always plant only one seed per pot
  • Put the seeds about an inch deep into the soil
  • Moisten regularly
  • A warm and bright place is ideal, but without direct sunlight
  • Keep planting substrate moist, but not too wet
  • You will only replant when the pot is too small and the roots are already growing out below
  • Do not fertilize the seedling in the first months of life

Inoculating and refining

There are various options for grafting mandarin trees. Inoculating is the most common method. This requires a bud from a noble rice, which is a piece of the offspring of an already grafted tree. The bud is also known as the noble eye. This process is economical and high growth rates can be achieved. The required cut is not easy to make, practicing on a different piece of wood beforehand will help ensure that the cut is safe. The interfaces may only be touched with the knife. The procedure is carried out with a wildling (this is also called a base) and an already grafted tree.

  • Clean the pad / wildling in a suitable place
  • Make a 2 to 3 cm long and vertical cut in the bark
  • At the end of the cut, make another horizontal cut, approx. 2 cm in width
  • Loosen both pieces of bark from the wood, this is called a pocket
  • Place the knife about 1 cm above the eye on the noble rice
  • Cut the eye completely out of the branch with a very shallow incision below the bud up to approx. 2 cm above the eye
  • The knife for the inoculation must not penetrate too deeply into the branch
  • Then insert the eye between the pieces of bark
  • All sections must have a tight fit
  • Cut away any protruding remnants of the eye
  • Tie the pieces of bark tightly around the eyes and wrap them with a finishing ribbon
  • It takes about 6 weeks to actually grow
  • The eye must always be green, if it turns dark, the refinement has failed
  • After the growth, it still has to be pushed
  • In doing so, the crown of the base / wildling is kinked
  • In this way, growth substances are transported to the noble rice and the eye starts sprouting
  • The noble rice shoot has to be tied to the rest of the rootstock for upright growth
  • The mat is thrown off sooner or later
  • The remaining tap has to be removed so that it is overgrown by the noble rice

Unwanted diseases and voracious pests

In the case of a mandarin tree, clinical pictures and pests appear in most cases with incorrectly carried out care. These include overwatering, a constantly wet soil and an unsuitable location. Diseases and voracious pests often occur in winter quarters in particular. Regular inspection of the tree can prevent extensive damage in advance.

Yellowing and discoloration of the leaves

  • Yellow to light green leaves
  • The reason is often deficiency symptoms, as the roots are unable to absorb the nutrients
  • The causes are: Excessive waterlogging, prolonged drought, rough soil compaction, mistakes in maintenance, cold temperatures
  • The plant now needs proper care and perfect conditions

Sticky scale insects

  • Infestation very common during the winter
  • The scale insects nest on the underside of the leaves and branches
  • To be recognized by sticky secretions that shine on the leaves
  • In the initial phase of the infestation, collecting the pests helps
  • In the case of advanced infestation, oil-based agents, with which the animals are coated, help

Netzartige Spinnmilben

  • Also occur increasingly in the wintering quarters
  • The thin webs of spider mites on the shoot tips are indicative
  • Treatment with a suitable insecticide

Greedy aphids

  • Aphids can occur in free-range as well as in protected winter quarters
  • Constant spraying and rinsing with water, alternatively wiping by hand
  • The plant can also be sprayed with a mixture of detergent and water, covering the soil for protection

Permanent leaf loss / yellow leaves on the mandarin tree

The yellowing of the leaves of a tangerine tree can have different causes. It is normal for individual sheets to be thrown off from time to time. However, if yellow leaves appear increasingly and these keep falling off the tree, the causes should be investigated.

  • The plant substrate is permanently too wet or much too dry
  • A high pH in the soil indicates too much lime
  • Old shoots with little force should be cut out
  • High temperature change due to setting in winter quarters
  • Insufficient supply of sunlight
  • If the leaf margins turn brown, too much fertilizer is being used

The mandarin tree is a beautiful and wonderfully fragrant container plant that is ideal for the garden or the terrace / balcony. The flowers of the mandarin tree are self-pollinating and do not need bees for this work, so you can wait long enough for the frosty nights to end in the winter quarters. After flowering, the tree only gets green fruits, which turn orange as the ripening process progresses. With the right location for summer and winter, the frost-sensitive mandarins can also survive our harsh winters. The tree is easy to cultivate if the care instructions are followed exactly. Excess water must always be able to run off, otherwise undesirable diseases and pest infestation can occur. Often the white flowers and the ripening fruits grow on the tree at the same time.

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