How to Grow Satsuma Orange Trees in Zone 7


USDA climate zone 7 can get mighty cold in winter. In Oklahoma, the mercury can dip to below 5 degrees F. Even in warmer Little Rock, Arkansas, occasional temperatures of 10 degrees occur. Because the Satsuma mandarin orange can die if it's exposed to long hours of 18-degree weather, you must protect your tree when the weather is cold. One way of ensuring that your orange tree is safe is to grow it in a large container. It will thrive outdoors from spring until fall, and then when the weather forecast is for temps in the teens, move it indoors.

Step 1

Plant your semi-dwarf Satsuma orange tree in spring, using a large pot with a drainage hole. To ensure good drainage, use a light potting soil mix without peat moss. If you cannot find a mix without peat moss, add redwood shavings to equal about 1/4 of the amount of potting soil you need.

Step 2

Move your tree to a sunny spot in your garden where it will receive eight hours or more of direct sun every day.

Step 3

Water your Satsuma once or twice a week, but only when the potting soil is dry. If you use a plant saucer under the pot to protect a wooden deck or other area, be sure to empty it after you water your tree so the roots don't develop root rot, which can kill a citrus tree.

Step 4

Fertilize your tree with a special citrus fertilizer according to label instructions. Start fertilizing in spring when active growth starts, and repeat two or three times, at regularly spaced intervals, until fall.

Step 5

Move your tree under cover, into your house or into a greenhouse before your first fall frost. Make sure that it receives adequate light, either natural sunlight or light you provide through use of a fluorescent light or grow light. Cut back on the amount of water you give your tree during winter and do not fertilize it during the colder months.

Things You'll Need

  • Large container
  • Potting soil
  • Redwood shavings (optional)
  • Plant saucer
  • Citrus fertilizer
  • Greenhouse or other protected space
  • Fluorescent light


  • Four Winds Growers: Growing Citrus in Containers
  • Four Winds Growers: Citrus Variety Information Chart
Keywords: Satsuma orange, mandarin tangerine, citrus care, zone 7

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hiā€˜iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, and She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.