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Mandarin Orange Trees

Mandarin orange trees are wonderful citrus plants that have space on every terrace and every balcony. They live a little bit more in the shadow of the more popular orange and lemon trees. But the delicious fruits, which can be eaten directly off the tree, deserve more attention. Therefore, mandarin orange trees have a special place in Lubera’s citrus assortment.

For every collector of citrus plants, the group of mandarin oranges is particularly exciting. After all, the mandarin orange belongs to the "progenitors" of the citrus family and has influenced the orange, the bitter orange and the Meyer lemon. It is typical for a plant that has been cultivated for a long time to have a large number of varieties that have been grown or bred over time. This large number of mandarin orange varieties shows how rich the cultivation of mandarin oranges is. It’s no wonder: the name of the "mandarin" shows its origin and its relation to ancient China. There the delicious fruits were originally reserved for the influential court officials of the Chinese emperor, the Mandarins.

Today, of course, this is different; mandarin oranges are available for everyone. The fruit that you harvest from your own mandarin orange trees is particularly delicious. But if you want to buy your own mandarin orange tree, the choice is yours. There are different groups of mandarin orange trees. The most important is undoubtedly the mandarin oranges from the Mediterranean, which is the most widespread group. Furthermore, clementines are frequently found, which are particularly popular as seedless mandarins. The large-flowered satsumas are also attractive, which are botanically called Citrus unshiu and thus cannot conceal their South-East Asian origin. Finally, as a cross between tangerines and kumquats, the calamondin oranges can be counted as classic mandarin orange trees. They are particularly robust and can even thrive indoors. The second "parent" of the calamondin oranges, the kumquat, does not belong to the mandarin oranges. As a Fortunella, they even form a genus of their own, named after the English botanist Robert Fortune. The clementines also have a plant pioneer as their namesake: an otherwise unknown French Father Clement is said to have introduced this species of mandarin oranges trees in Algeria.

It is easy to harvest you own mandarin orange trees. In the middle to late spring, the first white buds develop and then many, very pretty, small flowers. As with all other citrus plants, the flowers fertilise themselves, but they can also be pollinated by insects. Fruit will develop from each flower, so that the mandarin orange trees are full of small, green balls by the end of the summer. If there are more fruits than the tree can feed, it will throw some off by itself. You therefore do not have to remove fruit from the mandarin tree. In autumn, the fruits grow and then they will be ripe in the winter. They get their characteristic colour when they are exposed to cool temperatures. It is therefore possible to harvest before the beginning of the overwintering period. Alternatively, the fruits can remain on the tree until the next spring. Then they can be taken directly off the tree at the beginning of the next outdoor season.

There are many reasons to buy a mandarin orange tree! Enjoy the great plants that Lubera has to offer!

Dr. Dominik Große Holtforth

 
 
 
 

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