Clementine tree and mandarin orange, how to grow them

Clementines hanging from a fruiting branch.

Both the clementine tree and mandarin orange tree are amazing citrus.

Clementine & Mandarin orange facts

NameCitrus reticulata
Family – Rutaceae (Rue family)
Type – fruit tree

Height – 16 to 20 feet (5 to 6 m)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – rich enough

Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – November-December
Harvest – November to February

Care, pruning and watering are practices that increase tree growth  and clementine or mandarin fruit formation.

Planting mandarin orange

Planting clementine trees in the ground

It is recommended to plant mandarine trees in fall or in spring.
You may plant it in a sun-bathed spot, sheltered from wind, so that it may have the highest possible productivity.

Growing directly in the ground is only possible in areas where winter is mild.
Farther North, you should plant it in pots so that you may bring it indoors to a cool but non-freezing place during the cooler months.

Potted clementine tree

For potted growing of mandarin oranges, refer to our page on potted orange trees because it is exactly the same thing.

Pruning and caring for mandarin oranges or clementine trees

It isn’t really a requirement to prune.

  • Remove dead wood and clear out the center of the tree after fruit formation.
  • Clementine trees resists freezing temperatures rather well, down to 17°F (-8°C) depending on the variety, but take note that extended frost spells could be fatal.

Clementine tree, mandarin orange tree in winter

In Mediterranean-like and warmer climates, you can grow it and keep it outdoors in winter.

When outdoors, remember it can hold to temperatures as low as 17°F (-8°C).
What is best is to use horticultural fleece which will let it cope with these low freezing temperatures best.

If you are growing it in a pot, the best thing to do is to move it to a greenhouse or an unheated lean-in so as to protect it from freezing, while letting it feel the cool it needs over its winter dormancy.

Pests and diseases of clementine and mandarin orange

A pest that will spread quickly across clementine trees is red spider mite.

Learn more about clementine and mandarin orange trees

A beautiful tree of the Citrus family which also includes the orange tree and the lemon tree, clementine trees tend to be slightly more resistant to cooler temperatures and to various diseases.

A French missionary priest called Father Clément supported the development of this fruit in France at the beginning of the XXth century, and the fruit was named after him.

It is mainly grown in the Mediterranean area, but it does tolerate harsher climates, especially when well protected from wind and winter cold.

Smart tip about the clementine tree

Light mulch in summer will retain moisture and reduce water needs.

Read also on citrus

Mandarin orange on social media

Click to open posts in a new tab. Follow us there, comment, and share!
Also nice: create or join a topic on our gardening forum, too.

Picture related to Mandarin orange overlaid with the Pinterest logo.

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Cluster of mandarin orange (also on social media) by Андрей Цветков ★ under Pixabay license