How to Care For Tangerine Trees in Your Backyard?

How to Care For Tangerine Trees
14 min reading time

If you’re looking to grow tangerine trees in your backyard, you’re in for a treat! Tangerine trees are low maintenance, and their fruit is a delicious addition to your diet. However, caring for tangerine trees requires some expertise and attention to detail to ensure their health and productivity.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with expert tips and techniques on how to effectively care for tangerine trees in your own home. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, this guide will help you enhance your green thumb skills and ensure the long-term health and productivity of your tangerine trees.

Main Highlights:

  • How to care for tangerine trees and their specific needs
  • Choosing the right tangerine tree variety for your environment
  • Proper planting techniques for tangerine trees
  • The right watering and fertilization practices
  • Tangerine tree pruning techniques for shape and health

Choosing the Right Tangerine Tree Variety for Your Home

Before starting with tangerine tree maintenance and how to grow tangerine trees, it is important to select the appropriate tangerine tree variety that’s well-suited for your home.

Some popular tangerine tree varieties include:

VarietyGrowth HabitFlavor
ClementineSmall tree, typically 10-12 feet tallSweet and juicy
SatsumaSmall tree, typically 8-10 feet tallSeedless and easy to peel
Blood OrangeMedium tree, typically 20-25 feet tallTart and flavorful

When choosing a variety, consider factors such as the tree’s expected size, cold tolerance, and flavor profile. Additionally, consider your location and climate as some varieties may not thrive in certain environments.

Once you’ve chosen your tangerine tree variety, it’s time to start preparing for planting!

Planting Tangerine Trees in the Right Location

Planting your tangerine tree in the right location is essential for its long-term health and productivity. When selecting a location, it’s crucial to consider factors such as sunlight exposure, soil quality, and drainage. Follow these steps to ensure your tangerine tree has the ideal growing conditions:

  • Choose a sunny spot: Tangerine trees thrive in full sunlight, so select a location that receives at least 8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
  • Test the soil: Tangerine trees prefer well-draining soil with a pH level of 6.0-8.5. Test your soil using a soil testing kit, and amend the soil with organic matter if necessary to improve its quality.
  • Prepare the ground: Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball of your tangerine tree, but no deeper than the root ball. Loosen the soil in the hole and mix in compost or other organic matter to improve drainage and fertility.
  • Plant the tree: Place the tangerine tree in the center of the hole and backfill it with soil, gently pressing it down to remove any air pockets. Water the tree thoroughly to settle the soil.
  • Mulch the area: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree, keeping it a few inches away from the trunk. Mulch helps to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

With the right location and soil preparation, your tangerine tree will have a strong foundation for healthy growth and fruit production. In the next section, we will discuss the importance of proper watering and irrigation techniques for tangerine tree maintenance.

How to Care For Tangerine Trees: Watering and Irrigation Techniques for Tangerine Trees

One of the most important aspects of tangerine tree maintenance is proper watering. Tangerine trees require regular watering, especially during times of drought or heat waves. Under-watering can cause leaves to wilt and drop prematurely and reduce fruit production, while over-watering can lead to root rot and other water-related issues.

When it comes to tangerine tree watering, the key is to find the right balance. Here are some tips:

  • Check the soil: Use a moisture meter or stick your finger into the soil to determine how much moisture it contains. Tangerine trees require moist soil but not waterlogged soil.
  • Water deeply: When watering, make sure to soak the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches, allowing the water to reach the roots.
  • Water early: It’s best to water your tangerine tree early in the morning to avoid evaporation and excess moisture on foliage, which can lead to fungal diseases.
  • Adjust watering frequency based on the weather: During hot and dry weather, increase the frequency of watering to prevent water stress. During cooler and wetter weather, reduce the frequency to avoid waterlogged soil.

By following these watering techniques and monitoring soil moisture levels, you can help your tangerine tree thrive and produce a bountiful harvest.

How to Fertilize Tangerine Trees?

Before fertilizing your tangerine tree, it’s essential to understand its nutrient needs. Tangerine trees require nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in a ratio of 2:1:1.

To fertilize your tangerine tree, follow these simple steps:

  1. Apply the fertilizer evenly around the tree’s root zone, which is typically located within the tree’s drip line.
  2. Water the fertilizer thoroughly into the soil to ensure it reaches the roots.
  3. Repeat the process every 6-8 weeks during the growing season.

It’s important not to over-fertilize your tangerine tree, as this can lead to fertilizer burn and other issues. Always follow the instructions on the fertilizer package and avoid applying too much.

Signs of Nutrient Deficiencies

If your tangerine tree is not getting enough nutrients, it may show signs of nutrient deficiencies. Here are some common deficiencies and their symptoms:

Nutrient DeficiencySymptoms
NitrogenYellowing of leaves (starting at the base of the tree), stunted growth
PhosphorusPoor fruit production, purple leaves
PotassiumYellowing and curling of leaves, weak branches

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s essential to address the nutrient deficiency promptly. A soil test can help you determine which nutrients your tree is lacking and how to address the issue.

By following these fertilization tips, you can ensure the optimal growth and productivity of your tangerine trees. Happy tangerine tree care!

Tangerine Tree Pruning Techniques for Optimal Shape and Health

Proper pruning is crucial for maintaining the shape and health of your tangerine tree. Here are some expert tips for pruning your tangerine tree:

When to Prune?

The best time to prune your tangerine tree is in late winter or early spring, before new growth appears. Avoid pruning during the summer or fall, as this can stimulate new growth that is vulnerable to cold weather.

How to Prune?

Follow these steps to properly prune your tangerine tree:

  1. Start by removing any dead, damaged, or diseased branches. These can attract pests and diseases and reduce the tree’s overall health.
  2. Next, remove any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other. These can create wounds that make the tree vulnerable to pests and diseases.
  3. Remove any branches growing from the base of the trunk or from below the graft union. These can sap energy from the tree and reduce fruit production.
  4. Thin out the canopy by removing some of the small, interior branches. This will improve air circulation and sunlight penetration, leading to better fruit production.
  5. Finally, shape the tree by removing any branches that are growing in the wrong direction or are too close together. Aim for an open, vase-shaped canopy that allows sunlight to reach all parts of the tree.

Pruning is an essential part of tangerine tree care, promoting proper shape, airflow, and disease prevention.

Following these pruning techniques will help you maintain the shape and health of your tangerine tree. Remember to always adapt these tips to your specific tree’s needs and seek the advice of a professional if you’re unsure about any aspect of pruning.

Dealing with Common Pests of Tangerine Trees

While tangerine trees can provide a bountiful harvest of delicious fruit, they are also vulnerable to several common pests that can damage or destroy the trees and their fruit. To ensure the health and productivity of your tangerine trees, it’s essential to identify and address any pest problems promptly.

The Most Common Tangerine Tree Pests

Some of the most common pests that can attack tangerine trees include:

  • Citrus leafminer – These tiny insects lay eggs on the leaves of the tree, and the larvae tunnel through the leaves, causing damage and making them unsightly.
  • Asian citrus psyllid – These pests are tiny insects that can spread citrus greening disease, which causes the leaves to yellow and fall off, and the fruit to become bitter and unusable.
  • Scale insects These insects can latch onto the branches and leaves of tangerine trees and drain the sap, causing damage and stunted growth.
  • Spider Mites These tiny pests can cause leaves to wither and curl, and can also lead to reduced fruit production.

Preventing and Controlling Tangerine Tree Pests

Fortunately, there are several methods for preventing and controlling tangerine tree pests:

  • Pruning Regular pruning can help remove any diseased or infested branches, helping to prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
  • Beneficial insects Encouraging beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, can help control pest populations naturally.
  • Organic spraysSprays made from natural ingredients like neem oil and garlic can help repel pests without harming beneficial insects or the environment.
  • Chemical spraysFor severe infestations, chemical sprays may be necessary. Always follow the instructions on the label carefully and avoid using them excessively.
  • Cultural practices Keeping the tree healthy through proper watering, fertilization, and pruning can help prevent pest problems before they start.

“Identifying pest problems early and taking steps to control them promptly is key to maintaining healthy and productive tangerine trees.”

By implementing these methods, you can effectively prevent and control common tangerine tree pests, ensuring that your trees remain healthy and productive for years to come.

Identifying and Treating Diseases in Tangerine Trees

How to Care For Tangerine Trees

Like any other living organism, tangerine trees are susceptible to diseases. Identifying these diseases early and taking proper measures to treat them is crucial for the health and productivity of your tree.

Tangerine tree diseases:

  • Citrus Canker This is a bacterial disease that causes lesions on the leaves, stems, and fruit of the tangerine tree. These lesions are round, raised, and have a water-soaked appearance. This disease is highly contagious and can spread quickly to other trees in the vicinity. It’s important to remove and destroy infected trees to prevent further spread.
  • Citrus Tristeza Virus This viral disease affects the growth and fruit production of tangerine trees. Symptoms include stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and reduced fruit size. Infected trees must be removed and destroyed to prevent further spread.
  • GummosisThis fungal disease causes the formation of gum-like substances on the bark of the tree. It can be caused by various factors such as injury, stress, or poor soil drainage. Pruning affected areas and proper irrigation can help in treating this disease.

Tangerine tree maintenance:

Prevention is key to maintaining the health of your tangerine tree. Proper watering, fertilization, and pruning can strengthen the tree’s resistance to diseases. Regularly inspecting the tree for any signs of disease and promptly treating them can also prevent the spread of infection to other trees.

“Identifying and treating diseases early is crucial for the health and productivity of your tangerine tree.”

Harvesting Tangerines: Knowing When They’re Ready

Harvesting tangerines at the right time is crucial to ensure the best flavor and quality. It’s important to note that tangerines don’t ripen off the tree, so they need to be picked at the optimal time. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Check the color: Tangerines should have a bright orange color when they’re ready to harvest. If they’re still green or yellow, they need more time on the tree.
  • Gently squeeze: Tangerines should be slightly soft to the touch. If they’re rock hard, they’re not ready yet. If they’re too soft and squishy, they may be overripe.
  • Smell: Ripe tangerines should have a sweet, citrusy aroma. If they don’t have any smell, they may not be ready yet.

When harvesting your tangerines, use a pair of sharp pruning shears or scissors to cut the fruit off the tree. Make sure to leave a small piece of stem attached to the fruit, as this can help prolong its shelf life. Try to avoid pulling or twisting the fruit off the tree, as this can damage the branch and reduce fruit production in the future.

Once you’ve harvested your tangerines, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. They should last for several days to a couple of weeks, depending on the variety and how ripe they were when picked.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Tangerine Trees

Despite your best efforts to care for your tangerine tree, problems may still arise. Here are some common issues and how to address them:

Yellowing Leaves

If your tangerine tree’s leaves are turning yellow, it may be a sign of nutrient deficiency or over-watering. Check the soil moisture level and adjust watering accordingly. If the problem persists, consider fertilizing with a citrus-specific fertilizer.

Poor Fruit Production

If your tangerine tree isn’t producing fruit, it could be due to several reasons. Check for pest infestations and ensure proper fertilization. Additionally, make sure you’re pruning your tree regularly to promote healthy growth and fruit production.

Fruit Drop

If your tangerine tree’s fruit is dropping prematurely, it may be due to over-watering or under-watering. Check the soil moisture level and adjust watering accordingly. Additionally, make sure your tree is getting adequate sunlight and fertilization.

Branch Dieback

If your tangerine tree’s branches are dying back, it may be due to disease or lack of sunlight. Prune affected branches and ensure proper watering, fertilization, and sunlight exposure.

Pest Infestations

Common pests that can affect tangerine trees include aphids, mites, and scale insects. Use organic or chemical pest control methods, such as horticultural oil or insecticidal soap, to prevent and control infestations. Make sure to read and follow all product instructions carefully.

By addressing these common issues, you can help your tangerine tree thrive and produce an abundant harvest of juicy, delicious fruit.


There you have it, the ultimate guide on how to care for tangerine trees in your own home. By now, you should have a good understanding of the different types of tangerine trees, the ideal location to plant them, and how to water and fertilize them for optimal growth.

Remember, consistent care is essential for the health and productivity of your tangerine trees. Make sure to prune them regularly to promote proper shape and airflow, address any pest or disease issues promptly, and harvest them at the right time for the best flavor and quality.


What are some common pests that can affect tangerine trees?

Common pests that can affect tangerine trees include aphids, citrus leaf miners, and citrus scale insects.

How often should I water my tangerine tree?

Tangerine trees should be watered deeply once a week, ensuring that the soil is moist but not waterlogged.

When is the best time to prune my tangerine tree?

The best time to prune your tangerine tree is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.

How do I know when tangerines are ready to be harvested?

Tangerines are ready to be harvested when they are fully orange in color and easily detach from the tree with a gentle twist.

What are some common diseases that can affect tangerine trees?

Common diseases that can affect tangerine trees include citrus canker, citrus greening, and root rot.

How should I protect my tangerine tree during winter?

During winter, you can protect your tangerine tree by covering it with frost blankets or providing additional insulation around the trunk.

What do yellowing leaves on my tangerine tree indicate?

Yellowing leaves on a tangerine tree may indicate nutrient deficiencies, over or under-watering, or pest infestations.

How often should I fertilize my tangerine tree?

Tangerine trees should be fertilized three times a year, in early spring, early summer, and early fall.

What should I do if I notice fruit drop on my tangerine tree?

Fruit drop on a tangerine tree can be caused by environmental stress, lack of pollination, or nutrient imbalances. Ensuring proper watering, fertilization, and pest control can help prevent fruit drop.

Can I grow tangerine trees indoors?

Yes, tangerine trees can be grown indoors, but they require sufficient light and a suitable container with well-draining soil.

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