Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) belongs to the family of rutae and is a small branchy tree with evergreen foliage. Leaves leather lanceolate. A distinctive feature are small wings attached to the petioles of large leaves. It is interesting that the life expectancy of each leaf is 4 years on average. The height of an adult mandarin, at the age of a quarter of a century, can reach up to 3.5 m. The same size is achieved by a mandarin crown formed in diameter. Citrus reticulata flowers are bisexual, large in size, have a fragrant smell.
The fruits of mandarin are formed on short branches and are characterized by small sizes (about 60-80 grams), flattened or slightly elongated shape, bright coloration, pleasant aroma and refreshing taste, absence of pits. Compared to orange, mandarin peel easily separates from the pulp. There is no difficulty in separating the flesh from each other.
Types of indoor tangerines
The most common mandarin is the seedless Unshiu variety, propagating vegetatively (by air layers or vaccinations). The leaves of the plant have a characteristic corrugation. There is no apparent period of rest for this mandarin, leaf renewal occurs gradually throughout the year.
Care of the plant
Temperature and light. The key to success in the cultivation of mandarins is the temperature. The indoor plant mandarin is quite demanding both for lighting and for warmth. So the optimum temperature for the emergence of buds, flowering and successful fruit setting is 15-18 ° C. In winter, it is necessary to lower the room temperature to 12 ° C with good lighting. At higher degrees of "wintering" the plant ceases to bear fruit.
The Mandarin plant prefers bright scattered light. However, in hot summer periods it is better to hide the plant from direct sunlight. Favorable will be the placement of mandarin on the west or east window.
Watering. In summer and in the spring it is necessary to water this house plant abundantly with warm water; In winter, moderate watering is sufficient 1-2 times a week. It is necessary to avoid the dryness of the earth even in winter, which can lead to premature fall of fruits and leaves. Excessive watering will also destroy the plant. Reduce the number of irrigation needs from October.
In addition, in the summer months mandarins require regular spraying. The same procedure should be carried out in the case of dry air in the room in winter, otherwise the plant is populated by pests such as scabbards and mites.
Transfer. Young plants must be transplanted every year, and only when the roots of the plant are well covered with an earthen lump. If this has not already happened, it is sufficient to replace the upper and drainage soil layers with fresh ones.
Adult fruiting trees are transplanted rarely - nbsp; not more than 1 time in 2-3 years. Transplant should be before the beginning of the period of growth, and after the end of growth, this is not recommended. An earth lump should not be completely destroyed when the plant is transferred to a new dish. Make sure that the root collar is approximately at the same level as in the old dishes.
Recommended soil composition for young mandarin plants: leafy soil, humus from cow dung, turf and sand in a ratio of 1: 1: 2: 1. In the case of adult Mandarin plants, the ratio of soil components should be changed - 1: 1: 3: 1 - and add a bit of greasy clay.
Reproduction. Mandarin is a plant that is propagated vegetatively, by grafting, by cuttings and cuttings, rarely by seeds. At home, the most suitable method is cuttings. However, in order to fully adapt the plant to room conditions, it is necessary to plant the seed and grow it in a room. Note that a bitter taste of fruit appears in the room crops. To avoid this, it is necessary to feed the plant with fertilizing watering in June-July, thereby increasing the sugar content of the fruit. Old trees need more fertilizer, especially if they have not been transplanted for a long time. In winter, mandarins should also be fertilized, but this must be done with caution. The most suitable are combined mineral fertilizers and organic fertilizers in the form of cow dung.
Special difficulties. It should be noted that the soil for young trees is recommended to be light, and for adults it is heavy. The optimum acidity level of the soil is 6.5-7.
Do not transplant the plant at the time of flowering or fruiting, this will lead to a premature dropping of both flowers and fruits.
In the case of a shortage of nutrients in the soil, the mandarin leaves become tiny, yellow and quickly fall off; flowers are not formed, fruits - no. Then it is recommended to transplant the plant and make fertilizer.
It is necessary to comply with the irrigation regime, as with excessive watering, the leaves of the trees can turn yellow at the edges and fall prematurely.
The appearance of shriveled dry leaves speaks in favor of sunburn or planting pests.
Excess moisture and nutrients in the soil, lack of lighting in the winter and watering with cold water and drafts are fraught with rapid loss of leaves.
Pests. The most common citrus pests are scabbards. About their appearance speak brownish plaques on the surface of the stems and leaves. Shields feed on the cell sap of the plant, while the leaves wither, twist and fall off.
Save the mandarin tree can be a thorough spraying of the plant with an insecticide. It is recommended to use a 0.15% solution of the actinic (1-2 ml per 1 liter of water), decis or carbofos.
In the conditions of very dry air, a spider mite settles in the interstices of the plant. It can be easily determined by the presence of spiders in these places. The plant becomes sluggish, the fruits fall prematurely. An effective remedy in case of severe damage is spraying with a 0.15% solution of the actinic. However, in the initial stages of the disease, it is sufficient to wash the plant with soapy water.