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Satsuma

Citrus unshiu

Satsuma mandarin, Satsuma orange, Unshu mikan, Cold hardy mandarin, Tangerine (Eng.), Naartjie (Afr.)

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This easy-peeling manderin is a winter favourite in South Africa. A mild, sweet-flavoured citrus fruit with a thin, smooth rind and seedless flesh. The colorful orange fruit against the dark green, glossy foliage makes for a striking display in any garden. The satsuma mandarin tree is the most cold-tolerant citrus of commercial importance, only the kumquat is more cold hardy.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Summer, Spring
Fruiting time
Autumn, Winter, Spring

Harvesting

As blossoms fall to the ground, the fruits begin to form. During the fruiting stage, these small fruit will swell, becoming orange when they ripen and are ready to eat.

Propagation

Seed
Starting from seed, germinating Satsuma seeds will produce two seed leaves as they sprout. The seeds require loamy, well-drained soil for the best chance at germination. It will take about 8 years to get fruit on a tree grown from seed.
Cuttings
Citrus trees are made by grafting or budding the desired cultivar onto a suitable rootstock.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
Bees pollinate the flowers.
Pot plant
Manderin trees can be planted in pots but make sure they are well positioned in a sunny spot.

Geography

Origin
Japan
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Alkaline, Neutral, Acid
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Edible
The fruits are one of the sweetest citrus varieties. In Chinese cuisine the dried peel is also used.

Personality

Family
Rutaceae
Flower colour
White
Scent
Strong

Problems

The most common pest is citrus psylla, mainly affecting young trees. An infestation results in a swelling on the upper leaf caused by insects underneath the leaf. Less common are the orange dog caterpillars, which can be removed by hand and red and brown scale.
Red Scale
Red Scale
Aonidiella auranti

Companion plants

Citrus trees, fall prey to insects easily, thus some of the best citrus tree companions are those that either deter or draw away harmful bugs. Marigolds are an excellent companion crop for almost any plant because their smell drives away so many bad insects, petunias and borage will do the same. Nasturtium, on the other hand, draws aphids to it, they will choose the nasturtium rather than your citrus tree. Sometimes, companion planting under citrus trees has more to do with attracting the right bugs, some love to eat the things that love to eat your plants. Yarrow, dill, and fennel all attract lacewings and ladybugs, which feed on aphids. Lemon balm, parsley, and tansy attract tachinid fly and wasps, which kill harmful caterpillars. Another good set of citrus tree companions are legumes, such as peas and alfalfa. These plants leach nitrogen into the ground, which helps very hungry citrus trees. Let your legumes grow for a while to build up nitrogen, then cut them back to the ground to release it into the soil.

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