Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mandarin tree update

Look at my Texas satsuma tree (Citrus unshiu 'Miho')!! It's covered right now with blooms, and the aroma is intoxicating. A little like honeysuckle.

My favorite son, Patrick, gave me this tree as a Mother's Day gift (2004). At first, I just knew I'd kill it. But miraculously, it survived! I was even more amazed when it put on fruit for the first time in 2006 and a second time in 2008. Looks like 2010's gonna be a banner year for mandarins!

UPDATE ON CARE JANUARY 15, 2011–Garden writer Kathy Huber with the Houston Chronicle wrote about fruit trees today. Here's what she says about citrus trees:

"Containers are a popular option, especially for tender limes and lemons. Use a citrus mix for containers or a good rose soil mix. Apply a citrus fertilizer, and water in a handful of Epsom salt per pot in March and September.

"A plant sold in a 3- or 5-gallon pot can be moved to a 7-gallon container when needed and eventually up to a 15-gallon pot–at which point you'll root prune every other year, says Master Gardener Angela Chandler. Lay the plant and pot on a tarp. Use a sharp shooter to ease the plant out. Use a reciprocating saw to cut 2 inches off bottom of the root ball and 1 to 2 inches around. Refresh the soil and repot. Or skip the root pruning, and bump the plant up to a 20- or 30-gallon container if you have space."

Read more:

UPDATE ON CARE MARCH 19, 2012– David Rodriguez, a horticulturalist with Texas AgriLife Extension Service, said in Saturday's newspaper: "Patio-grown citrus plants that are flowering and producing spring growth should be fertilized every three to four months with an 18-6-12 container fertilizer. Also supplement with a liquid 6-12-6 analysis every third week."

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