In flower shops, even in winter you can see mini-trees of tangerines or oranges, on which the fruits hang. Many flower growers immediately light up the desire to have such a plant at home. However, you need to know that citrus plants are quite finicky and require special care at home.
How to care for a tangerine tree
Best of all, citrus plants grow and bear fruit in greenhouses or greenhouses, where there is good lighting, warmth and high humidity. Therefore, in the apartment they need to create approximately the same conditions.
The tree should be put to a well-lit place. In the warmer months, it can be a balcony or a loggia, and in winter - the southern windowsill.
Mandarin will grow, develop and bloom at air temperature from + 16 to +20 degrees. After flowering, the temperature can be increased to +25 degrees. In winter, the plant begins a relative dormancy period, in which it is recommended to keep it in a cool room with a temperature within +10 degrees.
The tree must be regularly watered, preventing the soil from drying out through the pot. Watering is recommended after the top layer of the substrate has dried.
If the soil is still wet, water the plant early. Overmoistening of the soil can lead to the appearance of fungal diseases. For irrigation used protected warm waterwhose temperature should be about +35 degrees.
Citrus trees require daily spraying, especially if the room is hot and dry. In winter, when heating radiators are working, you can increase the air humidity around the plant using a special humidifier or by placing a container of water near the pot.
Citrus tree nutrition
In the spring, when the plants begin the growing season, they begin to feed them. In the spring and summer, twice a month, special fertilizers are applied for citrus fruits, which are bred strictly according to the instructions and pour the solution into moist soil.
In flower shops can be purchased as organic and mineral fertilizers for citrus plants to be alternated.
In orange and tangerine trees, a crown should be formed. To do this, when the bush grows to 30–40 cm, it is necessary to pinch the crown of the bush so that first-order branches begin to grow.
Citrus fruits begin to bloom and bear fruit on shoots of the fourth and fifth order, so all branches after the fourth leaf must be cut. Thus, the formation of tangerines continues for three or four years.
In spring and autumn it is recommended carry out sanitary pruningremoving weak and broken twigs.
When the mandarin begins to bloom, in order to get aromatic tasty fruits, it is necessary to leave only a few flowers on the tree. Otherwise, all the forces of the plant will go to bloom, the flowers will be beautiful, and the fruits may not form or grow very small.
When the plant grows, it must be transplanted into a new, larger pot. Young bushes should be replanted every year, and fruiting plants - once every two or three years.
New pot must be in diameter 4-5 cm more than the previous. Old and large trees can not be transplanted. It is enough to clean the top layer of old soil in a pot every spring and pour new nutrient soil.
The soil mixture for citrus fruits can be bought in a specialized store or prepared independently. For young plants, the soil is prepared from the following components:
- humus - 1 part;
- sand - 1 part;
- sheet land - 1 part;
- turf land - 2 parts.
Mature trees are transplanted into the soil, which consists of three parts of turfy land, and the remaining components should be taken one by one.
Propagation of tangerine trees
There are three ways to propagate indoor citrus plants: by seeds; layering; cuttings.
How to grow mandarin from seed. In order to grow one tree, it is recommended to plant several seeds at once, since not all seeds can sprout. Planting material is pre-wrapped in a wet cloth for swelling.
Hatching seeds should be planted in a 200 ml container, which is filled with a soil mixture for citrus fruits. Pots should have drainage holes. Their bottom is first covered with expanded clay or another type of drainage, and then soil is poured into the tank.
Seeds are placed in moist soil. to a depth of 4 cm, sprinkled with soil and sprayed from the spray. To prevent the substrate from drying out, the seedlings are covered from above with glass or polyethylene. Mandarin seeds should germinate at a temperature of + 20 ... +25 degrees.
About in 2-3 weeks seedlings should begin to appear. At this time, the shelter is removed, and the plants put up in a well-lit place. Direct sunlight should not fall on young bushes. Seedlings should be regularly watered, but so that the soil is not wet all the time. Otherwise, seedlings can get sick with a "black leg" and die.
If the seeds were planted in one container, then when four real leaves appear on the seedlings, they need to dive. To do this, each bush should be planted in a separate pot. When the plants grow and their roots fill the entire container, young trees are transplanted into larger pots by way of transshipment.
Mandarin Aerial Rooting
For air rooting in the spring, a three- or four-year-old twig is chosen on a tree, on which several developed shoots should grow. Having departed from the last branching of 15 cm, a section of one centimeter long must be made on the branch.
The wound wrapped with wet moss and polyethylene. Until the roots appear and grow on the branch, it is necessary to ensure that the moss is always wet.
The appearance of new leaves will mean that rooting has occurred. When the young leaves mature and the shoots stop growing, the rooted branch can be separated from the mother plant and plant in a separate pot. After this method of propagation, the young tree will bloom the very next year.
Propagation by layering
In this way adult trees with long branches propagate. For the lead, you need a twig with a diameter of at least 4 mm. The shoot should be so long that it can be bent and fixed to the ground.
For this, it’s best to put a new pot filled with soil next to it. On a branch make several incisions and process them with a root forming agent. After this, it is bent to a nearby pot and attached to the soil with a hairpin. The shoot must be covered with a substrate, leaving its top on the surface.
The soil in which rooting will take place is necessary constantly moisten from a spray bottle. When new leaves begin to grow at the top of the shoot, layering can be separated from the mother plant.
How to plant a citrus tree
Orange or mandarin can be inoculated with a budding method in which the scion kidney is placed in the rootstock bark. The graft will be the varietal cuttings of a citrus plant, and the stock will be a two- or three-year-old seedling.
Vaccination carried out in the period of sap flow. At this time, the bark is easily separated from the wood.
- 1−2 days before vaccination, put the stalk in a container of water, and the tree for rootstock is well watered.
- Ten centimeters from the ground on a stock should make a T-shaped incision. The longitudinal notch should be 3 cm long and the transverse notch 1 cm long.
- In the place of the incision, the bark is turned away and a peephole eye is inserted into this place, which must be cut from the scion. One and a half centimeter of the cortex should remain below the eye, and one centimeter above.
- The vaccination site must be treated with garden var and bandaged with polyethylene or PVC tape.
After vaccination on a plant, it is recommended put on a plastic bagto get a greenhouse. Every day, the tree needs to be ventilated and check the condition of the cuttings. The acclimated stalk should turn yellow. After that, you can loosen the bandage.
Difficulties in growing mandarin
Dry indoor air and maintenance errors can lead to pests on the plant. Most often, citrus plants are affected by red spider mites, scale insects, and whiteflies.
The appearance of these insects can be identified by yellowed leaves, which eventually begin to dry and crumble. Having found pests, the tree must be washed in the shower and treat with insecticide Fitoverm or Actellik. Insecticides may need to be used several times. They are bred strictly according to the attached instructions.
Why does a tangerine tree drop leaves. If leaves are crumbled from a citrus plant, this does not mean that it is sick. There may be several reasons:
- Bad light.
- Frequent waterlogging of the soil.
- The plant is in a draft.
- Lack of potassium in the soil.
- The tree has a too deep root neck.
- The tree is planted in an oversized pot.
- The room is too dry.
All these reasons for leaf fall are care errorsto be fixed. In addition, the leaves of a tangerine tree show off during the dormant period in winter, which is a natural process. Therefore, from October to mid-February, the plant must be placed in a cool room with an air temperature within +15 degrees. At this time, trees rarely water and do not feed at all.
Why leaves turn yellow
If the plant began to turn yellow leaflets, they should be carefully examined for pests. The harmful insects that settled on them feed on the sap of the plants, due to which the leaves begin to turn yellow.
Another reason for yellowing leaves is chlorosisat which young leaves turn yellow first, and then adult foliage. For the purpose of prevention, you can use iron chelate, which plants are processed once a month.
If at first the lower leaves began to turn yellow, and then the entire foliage, then most likely there is little nitrogen in the soil. You can fix the situation plant nutrition organic, ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate.
Two other causes of yellowing of the foliage are too small a pot and insufficient lighting.
If leaves and branches dry in a citrus tree, then, most likely, the roots of the plant began to rot. Such a problem can arise due to constant waterlogging of the soil. Transplanting to new soil will help save mandarin.
When transplanting, you must definitely inspect the root system. Rotten and damaged roots must be removed, and sections crushed with charcoal. A planted plant in new soil should be watered only as the soil mixture dries.
Mandarin leaves may also dry and discard due to complete drying of the soil in the pot. If the soil has been overdried once, nothing bad will happen. Drying of the leaves will result in a systematically dry substrate. In this case, the soil mixture must be saturated with water, putting the pot in a basin with water for about half an hour. When the air stops coming out of the soil, the tree is taken out of the tank and regularly watered in the future.
To restore plants as quickly as possible, they are recommended twice a week spray with Epin solution (1 ml per 2 liters).
Having studied the peculiarities of growing citrus trees at home, you can buy or grow tangerine or orange from the seed and enjoy your own tasty, fragrant and healthy fruits.