Did you accidentally stumble upon a photo of indoor tangerines and want the same for yourself? Or have you had the idea to start growing them for a long time, but did not get around to it? In any case, it will be interesting and very useful for you to read an article on how to grow indoor tangerine at home. Readers of pmayg.org blog may have previously seen articles about oranges and lemons. Now the indoor tangerine tree is in the spotlight!
This culture has long been grown in special greenhouses and greenhouses. You say: why is a window sill or a balcony worse? And in many ways, you will be right. But still there are some pitfalls. In order not to stumble upon them while traveling the world of citrus fruits, you need to study the information: what are mandarin indoor plants in general, how to care for indoor tangerine, and many, many other interesting nuances. Let’s explore this topic in more detail.
What are the best indoor varieties of tangerines?
Breeders are not asleep and are constantly working on breeding new varieties, which number in dozens. Of course, that mandarin in room conditions should not be too high. On average, the height of an adult plant starts from 50-70 cm and stops at around 120-130 cm. For example, the Miagave-Wase variety has a compact crown, about 80 cm in diameter, which is a very modest indicator, but Satsuma is considered vigorous.
Among the relatively undersized, Clementine is popular. Despite the not too impressive dimensions, such trees bear excellent fruit. Yes, at room conditions, not everything happens with a crop and not always smoothly, but more on that later. It should be understood that growing indoor tangerines is primarily an aesthetic pleasure and enjoying the wonderful aroma of fresh citrus leaves.
How to grow mandarin at home: what are the conditions for successful cultivation?
Even experienced gardeners say that a fruit-bearing room mandarin is a rarity. The fact is that the plant needs certain conditions: good and stable illumination, as well as temperature conditions in the first place. The lack of sunlight turns into a big problem from autumn to spring. Even if you put a tree in the most illuminated place in the house, there is very little ultraviolet radiation on cloudy days. There is a way out – artificial lighting, but there is a catch. You need to connect additional lighting gradually so that the plant does not experience unnecessary stress.
Sharp drops (sometimes dark, sometimes light) are one of the reasons why the leaves of indoor mandarin curl. As for the temperature, in summer it is optimal 22-25°C. During the budding period, it is desirable a little lower, and in winter, the mandarin needs a temperature of up to 10 ° C in order to observe a dormant period.
How is indoor tangerine watered?
Despite the fact that modern varieties are bred artificially, they, like their ancient ancestors, have the ability to tolerate severe drought. If you do not water the indoor tangerine for a relatively long time, the leaves fall as a last resort. A much worse scenario is expected, on the contrary, with excessive watering. First of all, fungal infections begin to develop.
In the cold season, the plant should be watered solely to maintain life, using a minimum of water. But here, too, there is a catch. Dry air in an apartment or house has a bad effect on the tree, so you have to periodically resort to spraying with water. This helps the usual fine spray, which allows you to gently moisten the leaves. During flowering, it is advisable not to allow water to enter directly onto the flowers.
What fertilizers are needed for indoor mandarin?
Even if you use a universal substrate for citrus fruits, the nutritional value of the soil decreases significantly over time and the plant feels a lack of life-giving substances. An increased need for useful trace elements is felt in the spring, when soluble mineral complexes for citrus fruits should be used (preferably dissolved in settled, not cold water). The main thing is that phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen are present in their composition – the optimal combination.
During the warm season (from March to September), feeding sessions should be carried out quite often – once every 2-3 weeks. As an alternative, dry fertilizers of a longer duration will also work, but they must be applied very carefully so that there is no overdose. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions for use. From organic matter, cow dung is in priority, the concentration of which in water should be no more than 10%.
Indoor tangerine: home care
Yes, unfortunately, in addition to a good choice of location, compliance with light and temperature conditions, ensuring proper watering and regular fertilization, other care procedures must be performed. For example, plant a room tangerine. The best time for this business is spring, when the most active sap flow is observed. There are two ways: in a split and a peephole. The first is most often chosen by beginners, as it is simpler. A common mistake is not to use a sharp knife, and since the bark of a tangerine tree is much more delicate than that of garden fruit trees, even slight damage can be fatal. Therefore, it is important to use quality tools.
What else does a room tangerine need? Pruning! As soon as the seedling reaches 30-40 cm in height, the first pruning can already be carried out. Thereafter, it is carried out every year. It has both sanitary and decorative character.
Diseases of indoor tangerines: what should be feared?
Even the most experienced and responsible gardener is not immune from infecting a tangerine tree with a variety of infections. A sharp temperature drop, high humidity and an excessive amount of nitrogen in the soil can become factors that provoke leaf spot, plaque, etc. Of course, a tangerine grown from a seed and affected by a fungus will not bear fruit.
Often the salvation is the timely removal of diseased branches, so it is important to regularly inspect the plant. The most common reasons why a tangerine does not bloom and does not bear fruit are considered to be a variety of leaf spots: ascochitosis, septoria, phyllostictosis, dark brown spotting. It happens that the tangerine tree suffers from scab and wart. Late blight and gommosis are no less dangerous. Yes, the words are scary, and if you don’t react in time (you can buy special tools), then there is a high probability that the plant will die.
What are the main pests of indoor mandarin?
Two enemies should be distinguished: the scale insect and the spider mite. The appearance of the first infection is evidenced by characteristic sticky spots on the leaves. Parasites stick to the plant and multiply rapidly. One female is capable of laying several hundred eggs, so pests occupy the tree as quickly as possible. As soon as you notice something is wrong – you need to act!
A folk method demonstrates good effectiveness against scale insects: a solution of laundry soap. You should arm yourself with an ordinary toothbrush and carefully process each leaf of the plant. Occupation is very troublesome. Similar procedures should be carried out every week. Among store preparations, you can choose systemic insecticides. As for the spider mite, it most often affects young animals. The methods of dealing with it are described in detail in a separate article.
How long do indoor tangerines ripen?
We must be aware that a lot of time passes from planting a plant to obtaining fruits, and it is not guaranteed (given the nuances described above) that this path has a logical conclusion. It is not always possible and not for everyone to grow a fruit-bearing indoor tangerine from a stone, but it is definitely worth a try. If you order high-quality planting material, then you will greatly increase your chances of success.
It happens that the first flowering occurs as early as 5-6 years of tree life. If you prune, vaccinate and lower the air temperature in winter, then it is likely to achieve debut flowering in 2-4 years of cultivation. When indoor tangerines bloom – the soul rejoices! The fruits are tied without artificial pollination, and the direct process of their ripening lasts several months, depending on the chosen variety and conditions.