Oranges, Mandarins, and Tangerines
Cara Cara Pink Navel: The Cara Cara produces a deep orange skinned fruit of medium size with a pink flesh. It offers the delicious flavor of a navel oranges, but tends to be seedless. This is a full sun plant, meaning it needs at least 6 hours of sun daily. While getting established, be sure to keep a regular watering schedule. Once established, it will need less water, but it isn't necessarily drought-tolerant. The tree blooms in spring with sweet-smelling, white blossoms and is evergreen. Try pairing your Cara Cara trees with hibiscus or lavender for added perfume and color.
Clementine: The Clementine produces a small, juicy, sweet fruit with vibrant orange peel and flesh. The fruit holds to the outside of the tree for months and makes it excellent an excellent ornamental. They are a full sun tree, requiring regular watering even after established, more during extreme heat. The tree blooms with small, white blossoms in early spring offers a slightly earlier harvest than many other citrus. It makes an excellent patio plant. Since the foliage is slightly weeping, plant with some spikey blue Bird of Paradise or burgundy flax for contrast.
Fisher Navel: The Fisher navel is a mutation of the Washington navel with many of the same characteristics. Like most citrus it is a full sun plant, requiring regular watering until established with slightly less later on. It produces moderate smelling white blossoms in early spring and fruits a few weeks earlier than its Washington "cousin." Expect fruit in November in the lower Central Valley. The flesh is a dull yellow-orange, sweet, and good for juicing.
Owari Satsuma: This mandarin is a beautiful tree. The fruit is small to medium sized, sweet and juicy if picked promptly. If allowed to stay on the tree too long, they tend to lose their flavor. Young transplants of Owari Satsuma can be temperamental about water, fertilizer, and soil quality. For beginner gardeners, older trees are recommended. It is a partial to full sun plant and needs regularly the first year after transplant with well-drained soil. This tree is prone to root rot and it won't thank you for wet feet!
Tahoe Gold: One of the newer varieties of mandarins, the Tahoe gold is very juicy (nearly 48% juice content!) It is rich and sweet when fully mature, but is less sweet if picked too early. It is a full sun tree, requiring well-drained soil and regularly watering to establish. Most of the fruit is borne inside the crown of the tree, improving the color of the fruit. Tahoe Gold mandarins do not hold well to the tree and should be picked promptly upon ripening. Fruit can be seen between January and March.
Tango Tangerine: The Tango Tangerine is juicy, sweet, and mostly seedless. Typically ripening from February to April, the Tango offers a "late harvest" that can interupt production. Fruit should be removed from the tree before new flowers open to prevent alternate fruiting. It is a full sun plant requiring regular watering during its first year after transplant with less in subsequent years. It needs well-drained soil. For larger fruit, some thinning is required as Tango produces a large harvest in relation to its tree size.
Valencia Oranges: One of the most common cultivars of oranges, the Valencia offers a larger, juicy, sweet-tasting fruit with few seeds. The rind is golden orange like the flesh. Valencia orange trees require full sun and watering 2 to 3 times per week until established. Once established, you can cut back to once per week (more during hotter climates.) The tree prefers sandy, well-drained soils. It can be fertilized with citrus fertilizer if necessary. The tree is quite fragrant while blooming. Fruiting and harvest times vary with variety.
Washington Navel: This tree has a rounded top but is somewhat drooping. It produces large, juicy, sweet-tasting fruit and are seedless. The blossoms do not produce viable pollen and thus cannot pollinate other orange trees (resulting in seedless fruit.) It lacks the vigor of other citrus and is a moderate grower. It is a full sun tree requiring regular watering until established. Plant in well-drained soil and protect from heavy frost. The tree is heat sensitive during blooming and fruiting periods.