Citrus reticulata (syn. C. nobilis)

Mandarin is another popular citrus plant grown in the home. The genus Citrus includes at least 60 species; many are the result of spontaneous cross-breeding or of cross-breeding in cultivation, but their origin is often unknown. Characteristic features of the mandarin are small spines and small leaves, only 3.5 cm (0.5 in) long, with short, practically unwinged stalks. The flavedo separates readily from the albedo.

However, if you cannot provide very cool conditions in winter – less than 10°C (50° F) – it is better not to try to grow it as a house plant. Limit watering in winter, but water liberally from spring until autumn. The mandarin grows best in a loam and peat substrate with a pH of 4-5.5. Feed the plant once a week during the growing period. In winter feed only at intervals of one to two months. More robust plants may be lightly pruned to the desired shape. Young plants are readily obtained from seed.

As a rule, the seeds germinate well and rapidly, but plants grown from seed bear fruits only after many years. If you want the mandarin to bear fruits the best method is grafting.

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