Every December, you probably notice citrus hitting the shelves of supermarkets at low prices. This is because winter is citrus season, so there’s an abundance of fresh oranges, lemons, and limes. One of the most popular seasonal citrus fruits? Clementines! So, we’ve decided to review facts and helpful care tips for this delicious little fruit.
1. Clementine Trees are hybrids between Mandarin Orange Trees and Sweet Orange Trees.
2. Some sources say that a French monk by the name of Marie-Clement Rodier created the hybrid tree. Other sources say that the Clementine Tree existed in China years before Rodier made his hybrid. Either way, Clementines made it to America in 1909.
3. Although Tangerines and Clementines are both linked to Mandarins, Clementines taste very sweet while tangerines taste sour.
4. Tangerines have seeds, but Clementines are seedless. Sometimes Clementines are referred to as ‘Seedless Tangerines.’ Due to their ripening season from November to January, they’re also known as ‘Christmas Oranges’.
5. You can recognize a Clementine by its small shape. They’re wider than they are tall and have smooth, glossy skin.
6. The skin on Clementines is extremely easy to peel. Also, Clementines can very easily be broken apart into 8 to 14 different sections.
7. The nutrients found in Clementines include fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.
Tips and Tricks for Clementines
1. Clementine Trees flourish in full to partial sunlight. Even though they prefer full sun, they can tolerate shade.
2. Sandy soil is best for Clementine Trees, but they will adapt to your natural soil. To make your soil sandier, mix in sand or a fine potting mix. Just make sure that your soil is well-draining.
3. Don’t overwater your tree. Check on your soil every few days, and only give your trees water when your soil is dry to the touch, down to about 2 inches below the surface.
4. In the early spring and early fall, give your trees some citrus fertilizer that’s high in acidity. However, wait until your tree has had one year of growth before you fertilize it.
5. Clementine Trees produce white flowers in the spring before their fruit begins to grow. Your fruit will be ripe and ready to be harvested towards mid-November when its skin fully turns orange. If you see green on the skin or around the stem, then your Clementines aren’t ready to be harvested.
6. Clementine Trees are recommended for growing zones 8 through 11 and are cold hardy down to about 20 degrees.
7. If you live in an area that gets colder than 20 degrees, plant your trees in containers and bring them indoors when it gets cold. These trees do extremely well in pots and indoors. Just place them by a large, sunny window and watch them take off.