Author Topic: Recommendations on a mandarin tree  (Read 720 times)

Lemon Bob

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Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« on: March 09, 2021, 03:20:59 PM »
I will preface this post with the fact that I am a self-professed green thumb, but a relative novice to citrus. I got an improved Meyer lemon tree last year, grown in a container inside under a grow light, and really enjoy it so far. It has bloomed twice, pinched off the fruit to let it better establish. The older leaves are yellowing and dropping, but there are signs of new bud growth so figured this was just in preparation for spring growth.

I am now looking at getting a mandarin to accompany my lemon tree. However, given the wide temperature variations, and the fairly strong and frequent winds on the plains where I live, the plant would ideally be a primary indoor container-grown plant. There may be a few weeks outside in the summer months, but with winds routinely in the 15-20 mph range frequently, and lack of natural shelter in my backyard, I am nervous about keeping the plants outside for too long.

I have heard and read good things about Shasta gold, but didnít know how well that would do as a primary indoor plant under a grow light? Also, with it being primarily indoors, is rootstock as important, or just monitoring soil moisture? I have the lemon tree in the 5-1-1, and after some learning curve about the drop in moisture needs over the winter, it seems to be doing well.

brian

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2021, 03:58:24 PM »
Right now Shasta Gold is my favorite mandarin.   I don't think the growing requirements vary significantly between cultivars so you might as well pick the type you like. 

I have many trees in containers but haven't tried using grow lights.  Others on this forum seem to have success with grow lights.  I greenhouse my trees in winter and bring them outside in warmer months

I doubt the rootstock will make a big difference in your results with an indoor container tree.  The care you take of it will be the primary factor.

I basically clamp my container trees to each other and my deck so they dont blow over in the wind.  The wind itself hasnt really harmed them, just rollovers
« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 04:02:55 PM by brian »

Lemon Bob

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2021, 01:25:45 PM »
Thanks Brian! And nice to hear from someone growing citrus in zone 6 also! I am probably going to look at picking up a Shasta gold plant when they start shipping in the latter spring. I may venture out and try keeping my lemon tree outside a little more this summer if possible too, as I am sure it would appreciate the extra heat and sunshine, the wind has just made me nervous with such a young tree!

Ideally I would build my dream greenhouse and keep all of my citrus trees and orchids in there, but for now the hoa forbids the extra outbuildings, so will have to wait awhile...

brian

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2021, 01:39:32 PM »
When you can, move and build a greenhouse :)

You won't regret it.  No-HOA and good siting was a primary factor in house hunting for my wife and I.

lebmung

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2021, 08:23:12 AM »

I have many trees in containers but haven't tried using grow lights.  Others on this forum seem to have success with grow lights.  I greenhouse my trees in winter and bring them outside in warmer months

I doubt the rootstock will make a big difference in your results with an indoor container tree.  The care you take of it will be the primary factor.


Mandarins under grow light don't do well. They need 2-3 months of cold and rest.

Rootstock makes a difference. PT will be a very slow grower and expect a good crop 5 years after grafting in containers.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2021, 03:56:55 PM »
A lot of this depends on personal taste preferences.

I think you really need to taste a wide selection of different mandarin varieties, and give your opinions on them, before someone else can really help you decide which variety you will like.

Do you like the sweeter varieties, or the more sour and aromatic ones?

There are already a huge number of threads on different mandarin varieties, and the "best" mandarin varieties, in this Citrus General Discussion subforum, so it might be best for you to go try to find those.

Lemon Bob

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2021, 07:32:42 AM »
Thanks for the information! I had also heard that orange varieties really needed a colder period to ripen and sweeten up, didnít know if that also applied to mandarins or not in othersí experience. Has anyone successfully grown a mandarin tree indoors year round?

poncirsguy

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2021, 10:56:14 AM »
NO!  I hear the longest living citrus tree kept indoors only lived 362.571 days.  They really do better outside.

Lemon Bob

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2021, 04:06:13 PM »
Lol! Well I may get a little more adventurous this summer and see how much I can get them outside when not so windy. Thanks for all the input!

Millet

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2021, 06:26:42 PM »
Wind is what makes the tree's trunk and branches strong.  It is the flexing back and forth in resistance to the wind that accomplishes this.














« Last Edit: March 18, 2021, 05:56:41 PM by Millet »

850FL

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2021, 10:07:31 AM »
Not trying to hijack but what are yíallís thoughts on Shiranui, is it worth the 40 bucks for a sapling? I like tart, and donít mind sweet/tart. Minneola for example is one of my favorites (ovb not a mandarin)

brian

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2021, 12:00:59 PM »
I like shiranui, one of my favorites of the citrus I've grown myself.  And minneola is one of my favorite citrus taste wise, but I have been dissapointed that the flesh is so soft and mushy from the ones I've grown so far

850FL

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2021, 02:28:52 PM »
Does it have any tart or complex flavor, or just sweet?

sc4001992

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2021, 08:53:23 PM »
Shiranui is good, has both sweet/tart but flesh is firm. Better tasting to me than Minneola. Yes its worth the $40 bucks, it produces lots of fruits on the branches. I had to put a stake/post under the grafted branch because it had 14 fruits hanging and started to crack the 1" diameter branch.

It's one of my top 3 mandarins I have tasted so far.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2021, 02:32:29 AM by sc4001992 »

850FL

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2021, 11:57:47 PM »
Kicking myself for not snatching it while I had the chance. Iíll have to check out the other big box stores tomorrow..

Yorgos

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2021, 05:15:03 PM »
How tall will a Minneola or Shiranui tree get?  Have a power line about 10' off the ground I need to plant under. 
Near NRG Stadium, Houston Texas. USDA zone 9a

EricSC

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2021, 05:56:45 PM »
sc4001992,
The Sumo fruits look beautiful.
What are those white spots on the leaves? Are they from the insecticides spayed on?

Millet

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2021, 06:01:33 PM »
Yorgos, the Shiranui tree would be OK, but the Minneola tree grows much taller that 10-feet.

850FL

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2021, 06:26:19 PM »
sc4001992,
The Sumo fruits look beautiful.
What are those white spots on the leaves? Are they from the insecticides spayed on?
Demodex mites. Gotta hit em with some neem

sc4001992

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2021, 07:30:56 PM »
Yes, I think it was the insecticide soap spray I used. It works really well for the white flies.


EricSC

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2021, 07:38:09 PM »
sc4001992,

Great. I just purchased it. 

One more question: For insecticidal soap vs minimal oil, what are the advantage and disadvantage?

sc4001992

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2021, 07:43:24 PM »
I couldn't answer that, maybe Millet can give you some details. I rarely use any sprays, this one is the only thing I have started to use once in a while.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2021, 02:35:51 AM by sc4001992 »

brian

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2021, 07:52:31 PM »
I think they are pretty much equal effectiveness.  I usually use soap, but I've used hort oil and it works the same.  Both smothering agents.  Seems possible oil might stick around longer but I dunno.

Yorgos

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2021, 11:51:02 AM »
Yorgos, the Shiranui tree would be OK, but the Minneola tree grows much taller that 10-feet.
Thanks Millet.  Now to find one...
Near NRG Stadium, Houston Texas. USDA zone 9a

EricSC

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2021, 04:39:16 PM »
Thanks both.   Fighting with the pests is one of the keys for growing citrus. 

850FL

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2021, 11:36:56 PM »
I used cheap soybean oil to smother a highly scale-infested peach while it was still dormant and that was very effective. It was runny though, so I tied a grocery bag around the trunk to catch the excess (so it wouldnít hit the roots). I should have added sulfur to the oil as a double wham to get any fungus. I was thinking also to use castor oil next time since itís a lot more viscous and wouldnít run, but castor may actually be too viscous and hinder budding nodes so maybe I should water it down with soybean or coconut oil or something. This could be an effective protocol for dormant trees.. perhaps even PT rootstocks.. in the rare event theyíd even get pests.. as for normal evergreen citrus I would probably not attempt it this way.. except this does bring up the question, why are we spraying with expensive horticultural oils when cheaper alternatives might do the trick?

brian

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2021, 10:07:51 AM »
I can't speak on the soybean oil vs hort oil subject, but I can say if you use pure oil or otherwise high concentrate oil it could kill your tree.  I accidentally did this when I was messing with a hose-end sprayer and let the mix get too strong.  I had a nice healthy guava tree that turned black and completely defoliated within a couple days of spraying it, and died shortly after.

For soap you can use Dr Bronners "pure castille soap".  I think it is cheaper than soap marketed as insecticidal.  You just want detergent-free soap, which is uncommon in grocery stores.

containerman

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2021, 10:33:28 AM »
I can't speak on the soybean oil vs hort oil subject, but I can say if you use pure oil or otherwise high concentrate oil it could kill your tree.  I accidentally did this when I was messing with a hose-end sprayer and let the mix get too strong.  I had a nice healthy guava tree that turned black and completely defoliated within a couple days of spraying it, and died shortly after.

For soap you can use Dr Bronners "pure castille soap".  I think it is cheaper than soap marketed as insecticidal.  You just want detergent-free soap, which is uncommon in grocery stores.
Agreed

Millet

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2021, 12:16:00 PM »
I certainly would not put horticultural oil in the category of expensive. Spraying a dormant leafless tree is one thing, but spraying a tree in full leaf is quite another.  I have used a horticultural oil (Brand name Ultra Pure) for control of mites, scale, aphids, thrips mealy bug, and white fly .  It works wonderful.  I apply in at the rate of 40 grams /gallon water.  There is a huge difference in leaf surface evaporation time between oils, and this is important for the life of the leaf, as Brian wrote above..  Whatever, horticultural oil one uses be sure it is a lite high quality oil.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2021, 12:22:40 PM by Millet »

850FL

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2021, 08:43:19 PM »
Lol.. I was more speculating than anything about the use of edible oils and such (and would NEVER spray an evergreen with such) and honestly I think I did suffocate a twig or two on the peach. BUT I have wasted quite a bit of money spraying all the trees down during summer, between the use of neem, sulfur sprays, piperonal butoxide + pyrethrins, etc.. itís kind of annoying.. rather would have a diy type of concoction that works well and is cheap..

brian

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2021, 12:08:22 AM »
I see no reason why canola or soybean oil would not work in place of hort oil... but the unknown is always a bit risky so you have to consider if it is worth a chance of damaging your trees.  If you try it, let us know how it works out :)

EricSC

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Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2021, 06:24:59 PM »
brian brought a good point.

I did see many articles or YouTube recommend vegetable oil, but some mentioned the vege oils may stay on leaves (due to high boiling point) so can catch dust or cause damage.