Where and how tangerines grow - garden and indoor

Elegant, delicious and very fragrant tangerine fruits are an indispensable attribute of the Russian New Year feast. This is one of the most common citrus fruits, widely grown in countries with a subtropical climate. Miniature tangerine trees are also popular as decorative indoor plants.

What are tangerines and where do they grow

Mandarin is an evergreen tree from the citrus group, which is part of the root family. It usually grows in the form of a tree 2–4 meters high in open ground or 1–1.5 meters in a potted room culture, sometimes it takes on a bushy shape.

Mandarin trees are grown in subtropical countries as an important fruit crop.

Mandarin originates from Southeast Asia, where it was cultivated several millennia ago and is no longer found in the wild. Nowadays, tangerine plantations are common in all countries of the subtropical zone.

Tangerine trees bloom in early spring, and the fruits ripen only in winter

Tangerines ripen very slowly, from flowering to fruit ripening, 8-10 months pass. On industrial plantations, the yield reaches 30-50 kilograms of fruit from one tree. In the subtropical climate, tangerine trees bloom in the spring from February to April, the crop ripens in November - December. In the tropics, multiple blooms are possible throughout the year.

Mandarin flowers can set fruit without pollination.

Mandarin flowers easily form seedless parthenocarpic fruits without pollination, especially in varieties of the unshiu group, therefore a single tree can bear fruit.

Tangerine trees withstand short-term frosts up to -8 ° C

Of all citrus crops, mandarin is the most frost-resistant. The most cold-resistant varieties of tangerines withstand short-term frosts up to -8 ° C.

The Black Sea coast of the Caucasus is the world's northernmost region of the mandarin industrial culture.

Varieties of tangerines

Mandarin has many varieties and varieties, among which the most famous are Moroccan mandarins (tangerines) and Japanese unshiu mandarins.

Tangerines - Moroccan tangerines

Mandarins of this type first appeared in Morocco. They are characterized by a rounded shape, a very bright red-orange color and a sweet taste with almost no acid. Tangerines are massively grown in China, the USA, Southern Europe and North Africa.

Mediterranean tangerines originate from Moroccan varieties

Japanese mandarin unshiu

Unshiu's traditional Japanese mandarin varieties are characterized by a flattened form, few or no seeds, a light yellow-orange color, a sweet and sour taste, and increased cold resistance. Varieties of this type are massively grown in Japan and the Caucasus.

The unshiu variety includes the majority of indoor varieties of mandarin and all Russian, Abkhazian and Georgian industrial varieties.

Unshiu Mandarin is grown in Japan and the Caucasus

In winter, Russian supermarkets abound in the fruits of both Moroccan and Abkhaz mandarins, which are easy to distinguish even by their appearance on the counter.

What is the difference between Moroccan and Abkhaz tangerines - table

Key featuresMoroccan Tangerines - TangerinesAbkhaz tangerines like unshiu
Fruit coloringBright reddish orangeMuted yellowish orange
Fruit shapeRound or almost roundOval flattened
Taste of PulpSweet with minimal aciditySweet and sour, and slightly matured ones noticeably sour
Fruit seedsAlmost always present in tangible quantities.Extremely rare
PeelVery thin, closely adjacent to the lobules, but easily detachedThick and loose, often lags behind the lobules, forming an air cavity

How tangerines grow in Georgia, Abkhazia and Russia

In the Black Sea subtropics of Georgia, Abkhazia and the Krasnodar Territory of Russia, in the vicinity of Sochi and Adler, mandarin is an important commercial culture. Mandarin plantations in open ground occupy significant territories here. Trees bloom in March - April, and the tangerine crop ripens in November - December.

On the Black Sea coast, a crop of tangerines ripens in November - December

In this region, mainly varieties of local breeding, created in Soviet times on the basis of unshiu mandarins imported from Japan, are now grown.

How is the collection of tangerines in Abkhazia - video

Opportunities for growing tangerines in the Crimea

Attempts to acclimatize mandarin in the Crimea have been ongoing for a long time, but without much success. There are no industrial mandarin plantations in open ground on the territory of Crimea and are not expected in the coming years. In Crimean amateur gardeners, tangerine grows and bears fruit only in a cover culture. To protect tangerine trees from winter frosts, they use the following methods:

  • With the onset of winter, you can bend plants to the ground, press them with arches or hooks and cover them with spruce branches or breathable agrofibre. This is the easiest and most affordable method.

    Shelter with lapnik and agrofibre - the easiest and most affordable method

  • Trench culture is a very effective method, but very laborious and expensive. Plants are planted in pre-prepared trenches of a meter deep, which for the winter are covered from above with boards and reed mats.

    Trench culture is the most reliable way to protect against frost

  • A simple unheated greenhouse made of glass or polycarbonate in Crimea is quite enough for wintering tangerine trees. The greenhouse can be permanent or collapsible, collected only for the winter.

    The polycarbonate greenhouse can be permanent or collapsible

Propagation of mandarin and age of onset of fruiting

Tangerines are propagated by seed or grafting on seedlings of any type of citrus crop. Mandarin cuttings practically do not take root even when using modern root formation stimulants. It is very difficult to root by the method of air layering, sometimes used for other types of citrus. The first flowering and fruiting of seedlings occurs in 5–7 years, and in grafted plants after 2–3 years.

Prickly deciduous trifoliate - cold-resistant stock for tangerine in the open ground

In the Black Sea subtropics, trifoliate is often used as a stock for mandarin - the only deciduous species of citrus. Such plants are more cold-resistant in the open ground and are often sold in the markets of southern cities, but are categorically not suitable for indoor culture due to the fact that in winter the trifoliate goes into a state of deep dormancy.

How to grow tangerine at home

The easiest way is to get a tangerine tree from seeds, it is better from a plant grown in the room, but ordinary purchased tangerines from the store will do. Bones removed from the fruit should be washed with clean water and sown in pots with moist and loose nutritious soil.

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Indoor tangerine can be grown from seeds

When shoots appear, plants must be put on the lightest window sill. Daily care for a tangerine tree consists in regular watering as necessary, preventing the soil from drying out, and spraying the leaves with boiled water. If the leaves become dusty, they must be carefully wiped with a damp sponge.

Evergreen mandarin leaves should be sprayed regularly with water and wiped with a damp sponge.

For winter, indoor mandarin is best left in a cool room with a temperature of +5 .. + 10 ° C and hardly watered. If the plant remains to hibernate in a warm room, watering should only be slightly reduced compared to the summer time of the year, and additional illumination with special phytolamps 12 hours a day is necessary.

Indoor tangerine is very photophilous

It takes 5–7 years to wait for the flowering of seedlings; therefore, to quickly obtain fruits, it is recommended to purchase ready-made fruit-bearing trees in pots grafted onto an evergreen stock.

Mandarin on deciduous trifoliate is not suitable for the room!

Indoor tangerines have both flowers and fruits at the same time.

Indoor tangerines often have both flowers and fruits at the same time. The homemade crop is quite edible, but its taste can be different, it’s how lucky.

How to grow mandarin at home from seed - video

Once upon a time, my grandfather tried to grow tangerines from seeds from fruits bought in a store. They ascended and grew into small trees standing on a windowsill. Harvest we did not wait. The room was a bit dark, and the illumination from ordinary incandescent lamps (others in those years was simply not available for sale) was not enough for tangerines. The leaves on them were pale and often fell, despite daily spraying with water.


Hello everyone, I am from Sevastopol, for the second year I've been trying to grow tangerines (seedlings) in the open ground, last winter they froze to ground level and now they have grown by 15–20 centimeters over the summer. In winter there was a greenhouse shelter from the film, this winter I plan to wrap it with agrofiber several times.


When wintering in a trench, citrus light is almost not needed at all, if the temperature is about 0. This is correct. And the optimum temperature for citrus fruits in winter is +5 +10 degrees Celsius.


In my room, mandarin grows ... regularly bears fruit - a very ornamental plant. One trouble - the fruits, although edible, but not tasty.

Alexey Sh

Mandarins are practically not rooted by cuttings (a very small percentage, and then with the help of various super-rooting agents - cytokinin paste, zircon, etc.). Mandarins are perfectly grafted onto all types of citruses.


The cultivation of tangerine trees in open ground is one of the main directions of subtropical gardening. And if the climate does not allow you to plant mandarin directly in the garden, you can grow this beautiful exotic tree in a pot on the windowsill and even get a small crop of fruits from it.


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