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Who doesn’t love a good mandarin? Easy to peel, easy to eat and easy to grow! You can have fruit from autumn (depending on the variety) and you can even plant varieties with less seeds – perfect for kids! Mandarin trees can reach up to 4-5m, but you can buy dwarf plants that are ideal for growing in small gardens and pots. You do need a little patience though, as mandarins (and other members of the citrus family) need at least 2-3 years before the first harvest.

How to grow mandarins in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is clay based, add gypsum and fork in well. 
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Form a raised ring around the plant, creating a well so that water will go where it’s needed most. Water in well. 
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions. 
  6. Feed your citrus with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser three times a year, in early spring, summer and again in autumn. 
  7. When the tree starts to produce fruit (normally in its 3rd year), feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food. 
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How to grow mandarins in a pot

When the tree starts to produce fruit (normally in its 3rd year), feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food. 

  1. Choose a pot at least 600mm wide. Position in full sun and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter. 
  2. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Water in well.
  4. Water deeply, 2-3 times during the week, depending on weather conditions
  5. Feed your citrus with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser three times a year, in early spring, summer and again in autumn. 
  6. When the tree starts to produce fruit (normally in its 3rd year), feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.

Growing tips

  • Sometimes mandarins will produce fruit only every second year, which is called biennial or alternate bearing. To help minimise this, remove some of the fruit when it’s still small and green, which reduces the drain on the tree’s energy reserves. And don’t forget to feed, feed, feed!

  • Growing a range of mandarin varieties, including Emperor, Imperial and Honey Murcott can provide fruit from late autumn through to early spring.
  • In heavy clay soils, it’s best to put some extra effort into preparation. Before planting, raise the level of the bed as much as possible, dig in gypsum and plenty of composted organic matter, such as Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.
  • If you’re short of sunny spots in the garden, grow citrus in pots that can be moved to take advantage of changing patterns of sunlight.
  • Thinning excess fruit when they’re small will encourage larger fruit to develop.
  • Keep feeding citrus trees each week with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food while they are maturing their fruit. It contains the nutrients phosphorus and potassium, which play an important role in fruit quality.

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