How to Care for a Mandarin Tree

From Root to Fruit: How to Care for a Mandarin Tree

From Root to Fruit: How to Care for a Mandarin Tree

As far as citrus trees go, the Mandarin tree is relatively easy to maintain. Continue reading below for more info about how to care for a mandarin tree.

Mandarin oranges are the sweetest members of the orange family. We love them!

They boast many health benefits. You can also make plenty of zesty citrus recipes with them. And they are just so cute!

If you love mandarins as much as we do, you might decide to grow a mandarin tree. But how exactly can you maintain a mandarin orange tree?

Read on for a juicy guide on how to care for a mandarin tree and turn your garden into a citrus wonderland.

Mandarin Orange Tree Maintenance

Mandarin orange trees are low-maintenance. You don't have to spend a lot of time pruning and caring for them. But they may need some help in those chilly winter months.

Follow these 3 simple tips and you can start growing mandarin oranges.

1. General Care for Mandarin Plants

At least three feet around the tree you need to make sure there are no weeds, grass or mulch. This is because mandarin trees are susceptible to tree rot.

You don't need to prune your mandarin tree until it's more than three years old. Only remove dead or diseased limbs. After a hard winter, you may need to cut back frost-damaged branches.

As the tree grows, you may also need to provide support for the branches. Because mandarin trees tend to grow in an erect shape, the branches may droop and even break. Prop them up with boards or poles to keep them upright.

2. Make Sure it's Fed and Watered

You need to water mandarin plants a few times a month. In dry climates, you should water the mandarin tree once or twice a week.

When your tree is in its early stages, build a "watering ring" around the tree to help keep it hydrated. This should be about 2 feet across and 3-4 inches deep. Slowly fill the water ring slowly and allow the young tree to soak up the water.

But, when building a water basin, do not remove the soil directly around the tree. This could cause foot rot and other diseases.

Use fertilizer three times year. February, May, and September.

For young mandarin trees, use one cup of fertilizer. In the second year, use two cups, then in the third year, use three cups. From the fourth year onwards use only one cup per year.

Keep Your Mandarin Tree Cozy

Mandarin trees are the most cold-tolerant of all the citrus trees. This means they can make it through harsh winters. But they may need a little help.

Make sure you plant your tree on the southeast or south side of a building. According to research, this is the best place for a citrus tree. The plant is more likely to survive and thrive.

Protect your mandarin tree from frost by wrapping a blanket or tarp around it overnight. If the weather is unusually harsh you could use a portable heater to give it some warmth. Or create a frame around three trees, drape a tarp and hang in a lightbulb.

If the weather warms up in the day take off the cover to let it breathe.

Time to Try Your Green Thumb

As you can see, caring for a mandarin tree doesn't take a lot of work. If you want to start growing mandarin oranges, we hope the tips above help!


Growing Trees is fun, and every tree we send comes with a 20-page care guide.



  • I’ve just started a mandarin tree by seed
    When should I plant in ground? It’s about a inch tall. 2 beautiful leaves. And when should I fertilize this tiny plant?

    Tracie LaValle on

  • Does a couple of old mandarin trees need to be watered in the summer?

    Bonnie Garcia on

  • My Mandarin tree (dwarf) is now in its third summer and has not yet bloomed.
    It planted in partial sun not full sun It gets 4-5 hrs per day.
    When do they start blooming and are they critical to more sunlight?
    Please reply to my e-mail.
    Thank you.

    Gordon Wilson on

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