How To Grow A Mandarin Orange Tree From A Seed.

Last year the baby decided he wanted to try and grow a mandarin tree from seeds he found in one of his oranges. He carefully collected all of the seeds from a couple of oranges and asked if we could grow them. Growing citrus plants from seeds isn’t as easy as growing other edible plants from seeds. I decided that this was a golden opportunity to show all of the children how to sprout and grow citrus plants from seeds. We had a lot of fun and as you can see we still have the trees, six of them in total. There how you can also grow these little cuties for your little chateau.

Step 1. Peeling The Seeds.

This is actually the most important and also the hardest step. If you don’t peel off the hard outer layer of the shell the seeds will not be able to sprout. The little seeds inside the shell that is. To remove the seeds it is best to do it when they are still wet from being inside the fruit but if you waited that’s ok you can soak them in water for a few minutes. I like to peel them open with my finger nails because one wrong move and you can damage the seed inside. Start for the pointiest part of the seed and pry it open carefully along the seam. You might break some seeds but you should still try to sprout them because sometimes one seed has the ability to make two plants so you never know which side will or could grow.

Step 2. Sprouting The Seeds.

Place the seeds inside a wet paper towel inside a ziplock bag or small glass jar or container making sure not to fully close it so the seeds can breath. You can want to make sure to germinate the seeds in the warmest spot in the house you can find. Citrus plants like heat and they will not sprout without it. Good places would be next to a warm fire place like a gas fireplace that is always slightly on, next to a water heater, dishwasher in a laundry room next to a dryer that gets use often, or on top of a refrigerator.

Step 3. Planting.

You can plant the trees indoors or outdoor if the weather is warm. They will service in any type of soil but if you are planting them indoor you could get a citrus plant mix of soil. If this isn’t available don’t worry they will grow just fine in regular potting mix. If you are planting them outside make sure they are in an area where the soil doesn’t pool because they like to dry out before being watered again and don’t like to sit in overly wet soil. Any size pot is fine when you first plant it but the smaller the pot the sooner you will need to transplanted it.

Step 4. Sun And Water.

Mandarin trees like full sun but can also handle some shade. If you want it to produce fruit them full sun with no shade is the way to go. As mentioned above mandarin trees do not like sitting in water and like an opportunity to dry out a little before being water again. When water especially with indoor trees make sure to fully soak the tree and wait until the soil dries about 2 to 5 inches down before watering again. It depends on the size pot you put it in.

Step 5. Fertilizing

For indoor plants you can use a liquid citrus tree fertilizer. You can also use this for outdoor plants but you can also use a slow release outdoor citrus plant fertilizer that will keep your from having to fertilize it as often.

Step 6. Transplanting.

If you plant your trees in pots it is a good idea to transplant them when you can see roots coming out of the bottom of the pot. You don’t want to wait to long once you see roots because it can become root bound or if you have it outside it can break out of the pot and root in the ground making it harder to dig up and transplant. If you get a pot made for trees you wont have to transplant as often. You can also turn it into a bonsai tree which would mean transplanting less often as well.

Step 7. Fruiting

Lastly mandarin trees take 2 to 3 years to start fruiting when grown from seed. There are some verities that can fruit within a year but the chances of store bought fruit carrying those kinds of seeds is a little rare. Either way it goes it is a fun garden project to try and it is well worth the wait because citrus flowers smell amazing when they are in bloom and the fruit is wonderfully sweet. Good luck and good growing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: