Clementine tree grow and care – tree of the genus citrus also known as Clementina or Clementines oranges, Clementine tree perennial evergreen plant, grow for edible fruits, can be used also as ornamental plant and can grow as dwarf tree or bonsai, can grow in tropical, subtropical or mediterranean climate and growing in hardiness zone 9+ and in the right care overwinter in hardiness zone 8b.
Leaves color green in elliptic, flowers color white with five petals the stamens color is yellow, some cultivars with thorns.
Fruit size ~4-6 cm’ and color is orange, it can be sweet, sour or something in between. The inner fruit divided by segments, the segment cover with soft thin layer, it containing the pulp (little cones covered with a thinner layer), some cultivars are seedless. Rind color orange sometimes green-orange, rind is edible but sometimes little bitter also used as flavor and fragrant.
How to grow Clementine tree – growing condition care:
Well-drained soil, better loamy soil, moist soil in the fruits season and better to put mulch
How to care: Design for easy to pick the fruits (when there are thorns it’s important but not all cultivars have thorns), add to the soil, organic matter, humus and fertilizer, in location with hot summer sun that the main trunk is expose to the sun better to better to whitewash (lime paint)
What is the best way to start growing: Plant / Seed / Cutting / Air layering
Propagate by cutting: Propagating require: sterilize knife, sterilize soil (put the soil in microwave), soil that will keep moist like: peat soil, coconut coir or peat moss, better to do it in in temperature of 25-28C (77-82F) possible higher, high humidity, moist soil (don’t let it dry), use root growth hormone and when growing from cutting it’s important, to give humidity that will be like fog
Is it necessary to graft or cutting? Yes, necessary to ensure the existent of the fruits and quality of the fruits and there are different parameters: size, taste (sweet, sour or something in between), juicy or dry, amount of seeds or seedless, season of the fruits (different cultivars have different dates for the fruits), better to graft more than one cultivar or more than on citrus.
Cutting need to use for the base of the tree for: disease-free, base that fit for different soils, resistance for drought, base that won’t resist for grafting or specific cultivar for the fruits.
Difficulties or problems when growing: When the tree young very sensitive to citrus leaf miner, fruits explode (mostly need to add water before the fruits)
Planting season – when to plant: Spring to summer in hardiness zone 8b-10a, spring to autumn in hardiness zone 10b, all the year in hardiness zone 11, better not to plant it in the hot summer days
How to plant: Dig a hole as deep as the current root ball plus extra 20-40%, put in the hole organic matter, hummus and dried leaves and mix it with some soil, put the tree and loos little bit the root ball above the hole, plant the tree and cover it and don’t push the soil too much strong but not too much lightly because it won’t be stable, after planting put mulch to keep moist on soil, put water, for the next two weeks put every day (better in the morning) , better to take that the tree will be stable, and if not support it with bamboo or a stick that it won’t fall.
Pruning season: End of the winter, beginning of the spring
How to prune: Dead branch, cross branch, density branch grown
Size of the plant – How big do clementine trees get: 3-6 m, 10-20 feet, but possible to grow it as dwarf or bonsai
Growth speed in optimal condition: Medium growing
Water requirement: Average amount of water, usually the plant need more water in the fruits season, but usually it’s when there are rains and if raining season delay need to increase the amount of water that the fruits won’t be dry and won’t explode.
Light conditions in optimal condition for growing: Full Sun and possible to grow in half shade in the right care but will produce less fruits
Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant? No, but when grow it on the window as dwarf tree, but it will take more time to get fruits
Growingalso possible in pots, planter, flowerpot, containers: Yes, when grow in container need to choose the desirable container if it’s small plant it directly if it’s a big container bigger than 30%-50% than the root ball, every time that the tree arrive to full capacity need to switch to bigger until arrives to desirable size, better to switch the soil once in few years soil lose the viability over time and it’s efficient of care for the tree, when it’s not possible to switch all the soil just part of the soil in the side of the roots (don’t afraid from root cutting), it will bear fruits also in 5-10gallon (40 liter) container (but bigger is better), drainage it’s important and need to make holes and to use peat soil and maybe some lava grit in the bottom or something like that, put a bottom for the container and when water the plant let it fill the bottom but also need to dry in the same day, better to grow as dwarf tree or to grow it as bonsai.
How long does it take to grow Clementines in container: 3-5, and need to graft it takes more time in container than in the soil, with the right care can be faster, when start from seeds it’s will take longer
When does bloom? Spring / winter
General information about the flower: Flowers are white with yellow stamen
Pollination is done by: Bees, self-pollination
Thinning the bloom: If the fruit exploding needed to thinning and also 2 first years should thinning the flowers,
When doesyield – harvesting season: Autumn to winter and possible in spring
Fruits pests or diseases: Citrus stubborn disease, citrus black spot, alternaria, fruit explode lace of water
What can be done with big quantities of Clementine fruits? Eat, juice, the rind used fragrant, fruit leather, sugary rind
Work requirements on the fruit: Add more water if the fruit exploding, pick up (sometimes cut branches that grow into the fruit)
How long does it take a clementine tree to produce fruit: 2-3 years, depend it will take more time to get fruits when start from seeds or not grafted tree
Ripening of fruit: Possible to pick up the fruit before and let them ripening them in the house
How to grow a Clementines tree from seed
Sowing requirement: Moist soil, well-drained soil, 20-27C temperature and better in sunny location
Saving and care seeds until sowing: Dry, dark location in room temperature
Sowing season: Spring to early summer (possible also summer to autumn)
How to plant: Planting in soil that keep moist, cover the seed lightly
Planting spacing: Better in separate pots, direct on the place 3*4m (10*13 feet), for transplant 5*5 cm (2*2 inches)
Depth of Sowing: 2cm (1inches)
Conditions for seeds germinate: Keep the soil and don’t let it dry, rich soil and sunny location
Watering requires for Seeds: Average amount of water
Germination time: 2-4 weeks, but can take longer
Condition of seedling: If there is Citrus leaf miner in one of the trees in the area, better to put it in greenhouse or indoor to protect the tree, young tree very sensitive to citrus leaf miners, better to cover the soil with mulch