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Care of Satsuma Orange Trees

By Monica Patrick

The orange-red fruit called the satsuma looks like an orange, but it actually belongs to the mandarin family. It has a loose skin that has a leathery texture, which makes it easier to peel. With few seeds or no seeds and a good citrus flavor, the satsuma is a popular choice among growers.


Proper care of the satsuma begins at first planting. In order to have a healthy, fruit-bearing plant, avoid planting during the cold months and don’t put satsuma trees in the cold ground. If you must plant during January or February, put the plants in pots and place them in a place where you can control the temperature. Employ methods Gulf Coast greenhouses use, like placing space heaters in the greenhouse to add needed warmth. At the very least, bring potted satsumas into a shed or garage during frosts. These citrus trees require constant full sun, and like any orange tree, their fruit production can be affected by the lack of it. Take your new plants out in the sun for at least half a day when the temperature allows.


Pruning isn’t necessary to promote growth on this orange tree; you’ll find it grows quite well whether you prune it or not. If you find the tree becoming too large or growing in a manner you don’t like, you can prune it back for aesthetic reasons. To produce fruit, your satsuma orange tree will need nitrogen in the soil, so cultivate your tree’s soil with a nitrogen-rich soil mixture as often as required. Soil acidifiers also can be mixed with water and applied to the soil around the tree. Potted trees will need special attention. They are limited to the nutrients in their pots, so adding nitrogen nutrients is essential. Organic fertilizers are safe for satsuma orange trees, whether they are being grown in the ground or in pots.


According to a report by Henry Fadamiro of Auburn University’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, the satsuma has 28 common pests. Some of these pests are the leaf miner, the white fly, grasshoppers and several types of mites. Besides typical pesticides, petroleum-based oils are sometimes used to control an orchard's pest population. Prevent root rot by keeping your irrigation system off the trunk of the tree. Don’t overwater your orange tree, as that promote fungus growth. If you notice your satsuma tree’s leaves yellowing or your tree losing leaves out of season, you may have root rot. Water less frequently.


About the Author


As a former senior sales director with Mary Kay and the co-owner of a renovation company, Monica Patrick has firsthand knowledge of small business operations. Besides start ups, she has extensive skills in recruiting, selling, leadership, makeup artistry and skin care.