The Clementine is a lovely hybrid citrus between mandarin and sweet oranges that do not grow naturally in nature. In the spring, before the fruit matures, clementine trees produces gentle white flowers. The ripening season is between the months of November and January, giving it the nickname Christmas Fruit.
The fruit is a lively welcomed addition, with its vibrant colors and refreshing citrus aroma, to the winter season. It is a tropical citrus tree meaning residents of warmer climates, zones 9 through 11, can easily plant the tree outside. If there isn’t space to plant it or you live in a colder region, these trees can easily be potted and grown indoors. Potting and caring for these plants is very simple and worth the reward.
Sunlight and Temperature
Caring for the clementine trees is like caring for other citrus trees. It needs plenty of sunlight. If you’re going to grow your potted clementine indoors, make sure to place it in the brightest location possible. A lack of sunlight will result in yellowing leaves. If this occurs, simply move the tree to a sunnier spot. If it is difficult to maintain adequate sun exposure, it is perfectly acceptable to use a growing light.
If you live in a colder region caring for your potted clementine is as easy as bringing it indoors during the colder months. Clementine’s have been known to withstand 20°F temperatures but for best results, try to keep it in temperatures above 50°F. Persistent cold temperatures may prevent the tree from fruiting.
As a tropical tree, the clementine tree grows better in sandy soil. However, it will adapt to your soil. If you want to make your soil sandier, you can simply add a fine potting mix. The key is to ensure that it is well-draining. Feed your tree at least once a year around spring with a high acidic citrus fertilizer. You can also do this again in the fall before the tree fruits. The key is to keep the soil moist without overwatering.
To ensure the tree receives the right amount of water, monitor the top layer of the soil. If the top layer is dry, water the tree about 2 inches into the soil. You can test this by pushing down on the soil with two fingers. What you want is for the soil to pop back up after it’s been pushed. If a pool of water forms around your fingers, there is too much water. As a tropical plant, they can withstand humidity. However,you will want to keep it away from heaters to avoid it from drying out.
These simple steps will keep your clementine tree healthy and strong, bringing great joy all year, and anywhere you live.