How to Grow a Tangerine Tree


A tangerine tree (citrus reticulata) is an evergreen fruit-producing tree that is also grown for its attractive, glossy green foliage and sweetly scented flowers. Tangerines belong to the class of oranges commonly referred to as mandarin oranges. They are typically smaller than oranges, easy to peel and a good source of Vitamin C. Tangerine trees will grow in a wide variety of soil types but for best fruit production make sure they are provided good drainage and full sun.

Step 1

Dig a planting hole for the tangerine tree that is twice the size of its growing container. Texas A&M University suggests planting a tangerine tree on the south or southwest side of a house for maximum protection from the cold.

Step 2

Amend the soil you extracted from the planting hole by mixing in approximately 1 cubic foot of leaf mold, peat moss or compost.

Step 3

Remove the tangerine tree from its growing container by laying the container on the ground. Place a finger into one of the container's drain holes. Use a trowel or any stout object to tap along the rim of the container. Once the container starts to loosen, pull it off the root system. Wash off about 1 inch of the soil from the root ball to help expose the peripheral roots of the tangerine tree.

Step 4

Scoop the amended soil mixture back into the planting hole until the hole is approximately the same depth as the root ball of the tangerine tree. Set the tangerine tree into the planting hole. Make sure that the bud union is sitting about 1 inch above the level of the garden soil. The bud union is usually indicated by a slight bulge where the top of the root ball meets the trunk of the tree.

Step 5

Scoop in soil in and around the tangerine tree to fill the hole approximately 2/3 full of soil. Ensure the tangerine tree is still sitting vertical in the planting hole while you fill the hole full of water. Scoop in soil to fill the planting hole after the water has drained away.

Step 6

Create a watering basin of dirt that is about 2 to 3 inches high and about 24 inches in diameter. Make sure the watering basin is kept at least 6 inches away from the trunk of the tangerine tree (to help prevent any fungus or rot from forming). Do not use soil from the planting area when creating the watering basin. According to Texas A&M, to do so will likely kill the tangerine tree.

Step 7

Water the tangerine tree thoroughly. During the summer growing season make sure you water at least twice a week, allowing the basin you created to fill up fully with water. During the first year of growth, fertilize the tangerine tree three times a year using 1/3 cup of 21-0-0 fertilizer. Fertilize in April, August and a final application in September. The following year fertilize using two cups, and the third year use three cups. After the third year, give one cup of fertilizer for each year of growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Tangerine tree
  • Shovel
  • Leaf mold, peat moss or compost
  • Trowel
  • Fertilizer


  • Texas A&M: Home Fruit Production
  • Purdue University: Tangerines
Keywords: planting a tangerine tree, growing a tangerine tree, planting a citrus reticulata

About this Author

Katelyn Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She also has extensive experience in botany and horticulture. Lynn has been writing articles for various websites relating to health and wellness since 2007. She has been published on She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.