Mandarin pruning: how to prune mandarin without making a mistake

Mandarin pruning: how to prune mandarin without making a mistake

The tangerine it is one of the most popular fruit trees both as an ornamental plant and for its fruits, rich in vitamins and with a very sweet taste.

If you are growing a mandarin plant or want to start doing it, it is worth knowing how to prune the mandarin to keep the tree always strong and healthy.

Before focusing on mandarin pruning, let's briefly see the basic rules for planting and cultivating a mandarin plant correctly.

The tangerine (Citrus reticulata Blanco, 1837) it's a fruit tree belonging to the Rutaceae family. The tree is a shrub, generally two meters high; only some varieties reach up to four meters, but they are not among the most widespread ones.

Of Chinese origin, it is currently grown in areas with a mild temperature, which oscillates between 15 ° and 30 °.

As for the varieties, under the name of mandarin are also generally grouped fruits other than the shape of the original mandarin, which is characterized by light orange skin, narrow peduncle, small size and smooth skin.

One of the most popular is the clementine mandarin; unlike the original, the pulp is more orange and the wedges are seedless.

Soil of the mandarin

Tangerines prefer a dry soil and medium-textured, with a pH between 6 and 7. It does not adapt well to clayey and calcareous soils, so well-draining soils are certainly the best choice for this plant.

Mandarin watering

The winter months, when they are not excessively cold, are well tolerated by mandarins. Rainwater is sufficient for good irrigation. Different speech, however, for the summer: in hot periods the mandarin plants should be watered regularly, always avoiding stagnation of water.

Mandarin manure

A organic fertilizer and rich in minerals it is the most suitable for fertilizing mandarin. An excellent citrus fertilizer is also sold at the nursery and in specialized shops, suitable for mandarin as well as for oranges.

The pruning of the mandarin, as a plant of the genus Citrus, has many points in common with the lemon pruning (you can learn more about the topic in this article: "The Lemon: when and how to prune ") and the orange pruning.

The three plants, in fact, are pruned in the same period, the tools used are similar and all types of pruning have the same objectives.

So let's see in detail these general rules, valid in principle also for the others citrus plants.

Mandarin pruning: when to prune mandarin

Citrus fruits can all be pruned between spring and summer. In fact, in cold periods, the plants are in the vegetative phase, so it is better not to damage them in any way.

Pruning must be carried out between the two blooms, therefore during the interval. For this reason it is practically impossible to say that citrus fruits must all be pruned at the same time: the natural life cycle of the plants must always be followed.

Furthermore, for crops in Italy, it is better to differentiate the ideal period between North and South. In the North it is better to finish pruning by July, since temperatures begin to drop already from the second half of August; in the South you can safely continue pruning throughout August.

Mandarin pruning: the tools

As a fruit plant, mandarin is very sensitive to attack by fungi and parasites. For this reason, pruning must never be excessive, and above all it must be carried out with clean cuts and disinfected tools.

The most suitable tools for pruning mandarin are therefore scissors is shears well sharpened. However, the use of saws and saws is not recommended, as they create trauma in the plant by fraying the branches and thus becoming carriers of pathogens.

Cultivation pruning of mandarin

Breeding or shape pruning allows you to create the preferred shape to the crown of the tree.

Two or three main gills are generally selected, from which the branches that will provide the fruits branch off.

In the case of cultivation in pots, four forms of cultivation are used for the mandarin:

  • free-form, with large space between the branches to allow light to enter and air to circulate;
  • shape circled with reeds, leaving the foliage empty inside to allow the passage of light and air;
  • sapling, with the typical globular crown that develops on a stem about one meter high;
  • espalier, convenient in small spaces since the branches remain flat and develop on a flat surface.

Production pruning of mandarin

Production pruning or fruiting is important because yes they eliminate dry branches and the transversal ones, giving way to healthy branches to grow fruits by receiving the necessary light and air.

It is important to be careful of suckers, those branches that grow at the base of the plant and become vigorous in a short time. They could drain the lifeblood of the highest branches, the fruiting ones. This is why they must be promptly eliminated as soon as they appear.

Green pruning of mandarin

Green pruning is necessary when dry or non-fruiting branches have to be eliminated in the summer, always far from the vegetative phase (therefore June-July).

The important thing is not to overdo it. Tangerines do not need excessive pruning; rather; aggressive pruning or canopy disposal could weaken the plant, damaging the crop. Better to focus only on the weak branches, without getting carried away.

Do you think the information in this article is incomplete or inaccurate? Send us a report to help us improve!

How to prune citrus fruits in pots

How to prune potted citrus fruits:pruning techniques and training methods for citrus fruits in pots. From lemon to orange, from Chinese mandarin to bergamot, all on the pruning of citrus fruits in pots.

How to grow citrus fruits in pots

The citrus fruits in pots they need special care to produce a good harvest. Among citrus fruits best suited to cultivation in pots we point out the bitter orange, bergamot, sweet Roman lime, lemon and grapefruit. Japanese mandarin (more rounded) and Chinese mandarin (smaller and oval-shaped) can also be grown in pots without much difficulty. Regardless of the species you are growing, generally citrus fruits are grown in jar with the sapling training system. There sapling shape, as well as the other popular forms for growing in pots, aim to maximize the yield and minimize the space occupied by the plant making it compatible with life in jar.

In this article we will talk about the breeding forms and the pruning applicable to any citrus cultivated in pot.

How to prune citrus fruits in pots

The citrus fruits in pots they must be “modeled” through pruning, in this way it is possible to obtain different forms of farming. The most widespread form of farming, as stated, is the sapling one which sees a more collected and rounded crown, however this is not the only possibility you have. The forms of pruning that you can use for your potted plants are:

  • free form
  • Circled with reeds
  • Sapling
  • Back

The sapling and espalier shape are the most suitable for those who have very little space available. The free form is the most "simple" to get while we of Green, for the cultivation of citrus fruits in pots, we recommend the training method circled with reeds as we consider it the most functional way to manage the growth of a plant of citrus fruits in pots. This is a more professional form of breeding and requires some more knowledge but… it's worth it.

Citrus pruning with free form

The free form has the advantage of allowing the sun's rays to penetrate inside the foliage, allowing the ripening of the fruits most hidden by the foliage.

Citrus pruning with circled shape with canes

The Circhiata con reeds provides for the inner part of the canopy to be empty so light and air can penetrate it. The development of the branches is horizontal so as to stimulate abundant fruiting even in young plants.

Citrus pruning with sapling shape

A citrus in pot raised as a sapling, it has a globular crown that develops on a more or less high stem, usually from 100 to 150 cm.

Both in the sapling and in the free form, it is advisable to keep from a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 5 branches so as to allow the light to reach every point of the plant. It is possible to leave a few more branches but you will have to deal more often with various diseases and parasites.

Citrus pruning with espalier shape

The espalier farming has the advantage of the circled shape and is also flat, therefore easier to grow in small spaces.

This type of breeding is suitable for those who intend grow citrus in pots in geographic areas with a cold climate: if placed close to a well exposed wall, even those in Northern Italy can enjoy the luxury of cultivate citrus in the garden.

Just as in the circled pruning form with canes, even in the espalier one, more branches are allowed to develop only, in this case, the branches must all be placed on the same plane

When to prune citrus fruits in pots, the ideal period

About two weeks after bringing the plant back outdoors (in Northern Italy this occurs in April), perform a light pruning to get the foliage back into shape by eliminating only those twigs that give the plant a messy appearance. Branches damaged by the cold must also be eliminated.

When to prune citrus fruits in pots?
In April, in the north and central-north of Italy.

When to prune citrus fruits in pots?
At the beginning of March, in the south and in areas with a mild climate.

The second pruning of potted citrus fruits

A second citrus pruning it should be performed between May and June (both in the north and in the south), when the first vegetative phase of the plants has ended.

In this case, about a third of the old branches are eliminated, as it will be one pruning of rejuvenation. During the second pruning of the year, all suckers - vigorous branches that develop from the trunk or from the main branches - must be removed as they do not produce flower and steal precious sap from the plant.

The third pruning of potted citrus fruits

The third pruning of the year is not always necessary. It should be done in September (both in the north and in the south) and any twigs that give the foliage a decomposed appearance are eliminated.

Scissors for pruning potted citrus fruits

There are many types of pruning shears on the market, from traditional ones with curved blade, to pneumatic or ratchet shears. Each type of scissors is well suited for pruning some tree species and others a little less.

Although many agronomists, for the pruning of citrus fruits, recommend the use of scissors with curved blade, for pruning lemon, orange and other citrus plants, the classic double-edged scissors is more suitable, which you probably already have in your kit of agricultural tools!

If you do not have a double-edged blade scissors, you can buy one at your trusted agricultural consortium or by taking advantage of the online purchase. On Amazon there is no shortage of good product proposals for a few tens of euros. Among the best scissors with a double-edged blade, I point out one made in Italy, with interchangeable blades and with ergonomic handle. The scissors in question can be bought on Amazon at a price of 30.30 euros with free shipping costs. For all information you can visit "This Page“.

You will notice that it looks different than other double-edged scissors because of the handle .... however, still on Amazon, there is no shortage of much cheaper models that can be bought for less than 10 euros.

Cultivation of citrus fruits in pots

For curing diseases, fertilizing and repotting citrus fruits, I refer you to the guide: How to grow citrus fruits in pots.

Published by Anna De Simone on November 1, 2017

the kumquat, or Chinese or Japanese mandarins (plant of the genus fortunella) is a fairly particular citrus fruit, with slightly different needs than the others.

Consider that in China it is grown in tea growing areas, so it likes climatic conditions that are not entirely dissimilar to those of camellia, that is, it does not fear frost, and can resist up to -10 -10C, because its development is purely spring and summer, and during the winter it goes into vegetative rest.

For this reason, during the cold months, it requires less watering, and fertilizations are provided starting from spring, when the first new shoots are seen, until autumn, but not during the very cold months, during which the plant does not grow. .

In addition to this, it prefers slightly acid soils, and does not particularly like the excessive presence of limestone in the soil.

therefore these small trees are grown outdoors, on a terrace or in the garden, possibly in a sunny area, very bright, and not affected by strong winds if in the area where you live the winter should be very cold, you can cover the plant with some grass plastic sheets, which do not allow the plant to breathe, and which often become covered with condensation inside, and which do not let the water of the weather reach the pot of your plant.

Watering must be regular, from March-April to September, then you can thin it out, watering only sporadically. The fertilizations will also be provided in the same period.

The reason for the curling of the foliage can be a lack of environmental humidity, or an excess of water in the pot (or even a lack) citrus fruits in general prefer a fresh and moist soil, but not soaked with water, so they must be watered every time the soil п dry, they tolerate short periods of drought, but do not like water stagnation.

The leaves also curl when they are hit by insects, such as aphids, cochineal or mites so if you notice small insects below the leaf page, do an insecticide treatment on your sapling, or dissolve a systemic insecticide in the water of the next watering.

In principle, I believe that the fertilizations should not have disturbed the plant, even if in vegetative rest for safety avoid fertilizing for a couple of months, until the leaves have recovered.


Kumquat (also called Chinese mandarin) is a citrus fruit belonging to the Rutaceae family. The real botanical name is actually Fortunella (from the English scholar, Fortune, who introduced it to.

Kumquat - Fortunella margarita

Kumquats are citrus fruits of Chinese and Japanese origin, grown in Italy often only for ornamental purposes, the botanical name пїЅ fortunella, and the genus has some species, even if in Ital.


Hi, I live in Rome and I have a potted kumquat plant placed on a balcony with exposure to the sun and protected from winds. For a few months I have noticed that the tops of the leaves, even the youngest ones, have taken.


The kumquat пїЅ a citrus fruit, of Asian origin was once classified under the citrus genus, in the japonica species further researches have moved the kumquat into the fortunella genus today.

Citrus fruits: general information

The trees and shrubs they produce are citrus fruits lemons, cedars, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits etc.
All species have bright leaves, dark green and shiny that grow on short petioles almost all have thorny stems and branches e fragrant flowers.

The flowers, which are usually white and about 2 cm wide, have five petals with a rounded tip and prominent stamens can be single or in small groups of five at most. The normal season of flowering citrus it is late spring and summer, but occasional flowers can appear at any time of the year.

In good condition, some plants, especially those of lemon, they can bloom almost continuously. Fruits remain green until fully developed and as they ripen they slowly turn yellow, yellowish-green or orange depending on the species. The ripening process can take three or more months and the ripe fruit can remain on the branches for several months. You can expect an edible fruit from lemon andsweet orange. It is not unusual for all of these plants to bear flowers and fruit at different stages of development at the same time. To ensure a good flowering and a remarkable yield of the plants, it is necessary to make one citrus pruning corrected, so as to increase the development of the specimens. However, to get truly excellent results, you need to follow some basic guidelines.

How to prune citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are plants that have significant differences compared to other fruit trees, each with its own characteristics and which it is essential to take into account. So, before delving into how to prune citrus plants, let's analyze the main characteristics in question, which are:

  • Fruit production occurs on the branches that have formed in thelast year, as is very often the case for various fruit trees.
  • In citrus fruits it vegetative development is divided into three specific periods: spring, early summer and autumn.
  • The habit of citrus fruits, with the exception of some cases, is of type assurgent, that is, the foliage always tends to grow upwards. Due to their own weight, later on, the branches tend to curve downwards and this condition is exploited for productive purposes.

Citrus fruits, like all other tree species, must follow precise pruning times, which are essential to ensure good productivity to the plant and to avoid causing irreversible damage.

Prune citrus plants

The best time to start citrus pruning is the one between end of spring and theearly summer. This means that it is necessary to intervene in the period preceding flowering.

Obviously equip yourself with the appropriate tools.

Citrus fruits are plants that do not need extensive intensive pruning.

Indeed, in the case of citrus fruits the rule is: the less you prune, the better.

Despite this, it is important to specify that selective cuts must still be made.

Prune with selective cuts

For example, it is important to remove the portion of vegetation that is found more close to the ground in such a way as to allow the right circle of the area in the area where the canopy is located.

By doing so, in this way the possibility of developing fungal diseases that could attack the tree at any time is avoided.

During the production pruning phase it is also necessary eliminate the branches that have already produced their fruit, in addition of course to the branches that are buckets, weak or sick people.

Contrary to many other species of agronomic interest, suckers in citrus trees are not always a negative element to be removed as soon as possible.

THE suckers, in fact, they result very useful when there is a need to freshen up the crown of the plant, and are used to replace branches that have a declining productivity.

In citrus fruits it is very important that the vegetation that is too dense is thinned out, in order to allow the passage of light and air.

This is the information that is essential to know in order to proceed correctly with the cultivation and pruning of citrus fruits. These are trees with an intense but delicate scent which, in addition to being an excellent natural resource, are also a good way to decorate the garden or vegetable garden.

There are three most used techniques for pruning the almond tree, even if during the first years the intervention is limited and aimed above all at defining the shape of the plant. In this case you can choose between vase, paddle and free-growing shape.

  • Vase shape: To grow an almond tree giving it a vase shape, you need to start from a sturdy stick, more or less than 50 cm from the ground. The plant is allowed to grow freely for a year and then, with the arrival of spring, the 4/5 most luxuriant branches are chosen, which protrude outwards and the excessively vigorous branches sprout.
  • Palmette shape: to create the palmette shape, on the other hand, a rod 80 cm from the ground is used and the main branches are selected, while the other branches are pruned and thinned. After one year, the vertical branch is also shortened and two other lateral branches are selected, so as to create a second level of branching. In this way, the plant has a main stem and four lateral branches, arranged in two rows.
  • Free growth: this technique is used, especially by those who cultivate the almond tree at an amateur level. The purpose is precisely to leave the plant in its natural form, but this does not imply that it must be forgotten. The stem must reach 150-200 centimeters in height and 4 or 5 sturdy branches must be kept above the cut to be pruned to 40 centimeters in length. Sprouts will form on these branches, which will give the almond tree its final appearance.

The right time for citrus and orange pruning

Farmers and gardening enthusiasts disagree in deciding which is the best time to carry out the pruning of the orange plant. Some experts, even in web forums specifically dedicated to the topic, believe that the period changes depending on the type of plant to be pruned. Others, on the other hand, who make up the vast majority, believe that citrus fruits, including the orange tree, should be pruned in the same time interval.

The period most indicated by experts and not the one that runs from spring to summer. In winter, as well as in autumn, it is not possible to carry out this intervention as the citrus plants, during these seasons of the year, are in a vegetative phase. In order to achieve the desired effects, the pruning of citrus and orange, therefore, it must be carried out between one flowering and another. Depending on the area in which you live, you can postpone this intervention until the end of August.

The pruning period, in fact, is different due to the different climatic conditions that characterize the geographical areas of our country where orange trees are grown. For example, in the North, pruning must be done within the month of July, due to the temperatures that drop earlier than in other areas of the country. In the regions of Central Italy and throughout the South, however, it is possible to carry out the works until the end of August, as temperatures drop later.

The most suitable tools to do an effective job

There orange pruning requires the use of a couple of suitable scissors for this type of processing which, in order to perform a perfect intervention, must be sterilized. The sterilization of the scissors is very simple: all you have to do is wet the scissors with alcohol. Experts, in order to make decisive cuts, without smudging and with minimal effort, recommend using ratchet scissors, especially if there are very hard and particularly thick branches to be cut. You can easily buy this gardening tool even in major online stores at fairly affordable prices.

Choose one of our best professionals!