The botanical name of tangerine is Citrus reticulate, known for is deep green foliage. Tangerine is actually an attractive tree that grows well indoors in cool climates and also outdoors in USDA hardiness zones eight through eleven. Actually growing a tangerine tree from seed is really an interesting project, most especially for children as the seeds germinate easily and develop into very attractive trees. On the other hand most tangerine trees that are grown from seed never grow large enough to blossom and develop fruit. The following are the steps on how to grow tangerine tree from seed;
Step one: Buy the tangerine seeds from a garden center or nursery. Another option, save the tangerine seeds from a fresh tangerine. Then wash the fresh tangerine seeds thoroughly as the sweet juices may cause the tangerine seed to mold.
Step two: Fill a small pot or container with commercial potting mixture. Make sure you use a fresh mixture that contains materials like compost, peat moss and perlite. Make sure the pot or container has drainage holes in the bottom, as poorly drained soil can easily rot the young seedlings.
Step three: You have to water the potting mixture and then set the pot or container aside to drain until the mixture is lightly moist, but not soggy.
Step four: Plant 2 or 3 tangerine seeds in the pot. Then cover the tangerine seeds with ½ inch of potting mixture.
Step five: You need to cover the pot with clear plastic, or you can slide the pot into a plastic bag. The plastic will actually promote the germination by keeping the potting mixture warm and moist.
Step six: Place the pot or the container in a warm location such as the top of a refrigerator or other appliance. Light is not really important at this stage.
Step seven: Water as needed in other to keep the potting mixture moist, but not soggy. Don’t allow the mixture to become dry. Just watch for the seedlings to develop in about 3 weeks.
Step eight: You can easily remove the plastic covering as soon as the seedlings emerge. Move the pot or the container into a location with bright, indirect sunlight and room temperatures of about seventy degrees Fahrenheit. Try and avoid direct sunlight, which can easily scorch the tangerine seedlings.
Step nine: You can repot the seedlings into individual four to six inch pots when the seedlings have a pair of true leaves, which are the leaves that will appear after the initial seedling leaves. Make sure you continue to keep the potting soil lightly moist.
Step ten: You can feed the tangerine tree monthly throughout spring and summer by using a liquid, acid-based fertilizer for rhododendrons or azaleas. Make sure you mix the fertilizer at half the strength suggested on the container.
Step eleven: You have to repot the tangerine tree into larger containers as it grows by using a pot only slightly larger each time. The moisture in a too-large pot can easily cause the plant to rot. Another option, you can plant the tangerine tree outdoors in spring if you live in a warm climate.
Furthermore, the following are some of the things you will need to get started;
- Individual pots 4 to 6 inches in diameter
- Commercial potting mixture
- Clear plastic or plastic bags
- Small pot with drainage hole