Want to plant fruit trees in your garden? Try satsuma trees. Also called a mandarin orange, the satsuma trees (Citrus reticulata) provides both deep orange fruit in the fall and glorious white blossoms in the spring. Used in both outdoor gardens and containers, this versatile orange tree grows to 20 feet if allowed to spread, but can be trained within a pot to stay about 6 feet tall. If you plan to plant a satsuma tree, you need to pay careful attention to the time of year and the climate. They can grow outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8b to 11. Early spring, or near the end of March, is the best time for satsuma tree planting. Although mature satsumas are hardy in cold weather, young trees do not have the resilience yet, so planting the young tree during the winter can easily kill it because it cannot overcome the stress of the new location and the cold. Choosing late March allows the tree to acclimate to the mild weather before the onset of the summer heat.
Satsuma garden trees require full sun to be their most productive. Eight to 10 hours of daily sunlight during the growing season is best. Trees that are in partial shade during the day will survive but at the expense of productivity. Satsuma garden trees must be on a regular watering schedule during dry seasons, but in times of wet weather may not need to be watered. If you’re not sure if the tree needs water, check the soil with a water meter or stick your fingers 1 inch below the surface of the soil. Soil that measures wet on the meter, or that feels wet 1 inch below the surface of the soil, does not need water.