What is the best Mandarin variety for container growing?

caliloo(z6/7)March 11, 2012

I am still perusing the Four Winds site and my son would really like to try a Mandarin. What is the best variety that can be grown in a container? By "best" I mean best flavor. He loves the boxes of Clementines that are available around the holidays and I can only imagine how much better they would be from our own tree rather than boxed and shipped from afar.

Thanks in advance!


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I just ate my gold nuggets off my tree. They were amazing! Very sweet and very juicy. However as far as container, which mine is, I am also a newbie so it is sort of an experiment. Would love the answer too!


    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 11:14AM
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Out of my fairly limited data set, Owari Satsuma (4W), Gold Nugget (4W), and Kinnow (from Menlo Growers) are all fantastic choices. They're doing well in their containers and the fruit is sweet (as long as they're not picked too early.) Despite having seeds, the Kinnow might be my favorite (seems to have relatively large pulp).

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 6:31PM
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Thank you both for the responses. I am putting together my Four Winds order and they have all three varieties available. Now to make a decision! LOL!

Thanks again


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 10:05AM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Yes Cuties! Clementines or Algerians. People think they are tangerines but they are Mandarins. My friend has a dwarf Clementine that makes the sweetest most easy to peel Mandarins. I loved them so much I went out and bought a full sized tree. It is still in its #5 pot and has been for about 3 months now. It has flowers and marble sized fruit all over it! I live in Orange County CA where citrus seems to flower year round. But the Clementine/Algiers is all I have tasted for Mandarins but OMG it is sooo good :)


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 3:45PM
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Blaze - is cuties a variety? I can't seem to find that name as a tree I can order. More help please!


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 6:19PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

No, Alexia. "Cuties" is a marketing ply to market "cute" little mandarins that are small, sweet, seedless and have easy to peel skins. As blaze mentioned, there are several different varieties that get marketed as "Cuties", depending on the season. If you search for "Cutie" in our forum, you'll see several past postings either by myself or others that list the varieties marketed as Cuties.

Now, all the being said, I will again put in a plug for the Seedless Kishu mandarin. It will grow well in a container, and it is just the best mandarin variety going. They are small, but that makes them easy to pop into a purse or pocketbook. Or your computer bag. You can eat just one if you only want a little snack, or have 3 if you're really hungry. They are the best mandarin I've sampled, and I've sampled just about all the best varieties.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 7:18PM
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My first citrus was a Kishu, it's a pretty tree, does well indoors in winter, and I enjoyed the fuit! Compared to my Golden Nugget or Page, I'd get another Kishu. Unfortunately that was the tree I "learned the hard way" on, my first citrus, and I didn't know anything about insects or soil drainage. Thanks to this forum, I'm still learning all the time!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 7:56PM
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Thanks for the explanation. It seems Four Winds is currently sold out of them, I may have to wait to order so I can get them all at the same time. I hope they have them back in stock soon.

Thanks again for the info!


    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 8:26AM
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I prefer the one named "Page". It has nice green leaves and the fruit is juicy and delicious. I have not had any pests in three years while my other types attract all kinds of insects. I have this specimen in a large plastic pot. Presently, it has numerous marble size green fruit.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 9:33PM
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Carino, I have a 3 year old Page in a container, no fruit until this year. I recently read that you need to cross-pollinate them, and then I read elsewhere that you don't. I hand pollinated mine this year (no cross pollination) and I had 10 pea-sized fruit growing. Half have fallen off, but the rest seem OK. Are you cross-pollinating?

That's interesting, I also had no bugs on my Page. Lol, I gave myself the credit...hoped I had finally learned how to control pests!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 11:39AM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)


I got a couple of Page Mandarins because a friend of mine said he and his wife love the juice from them. They freeze the juice to have throughout the winter, not that we have a winter in South Louisiana.

I find it so confusing when people go round and round about the best tasting whatever, but they don't define what they like about it to where I can decide what to get.

I would like for people to more specifically describe the flavors and why they like them.

I love Satsumas because they are not only easy to peel, but they have such a pleasing balance between sweetness and a little tang in there and I can see how difficult it is to describe taste fully. I suppose I should just work with the Satsuma for eating and Pages for juice.

I was told about Four Winds Nursery on this forum, thank you whoever mentioned them. They are out of the trees I want, though, and I have to put them on a wish list. Very nice people.



    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 2:27AM
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RyanLo(NC 7B)

Although I have never tried kishu, I know Page is fantastic, It supplies everything you look for in a mandarin. I have had one in a container for 3 years and it has reliably fruited every year. Its a very nice looking tree, with dark orange fruit on the outside of large dark green foliage. fruit holds well on the tree. It tends to alternate bear though, some years lots of small fruit(this year) some years less but larger fruit. It will be seedless if you do not have a pollinator around.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 9:35AM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Hi Ryan,

The tree sounds very pretty. Down here foliage to cover the fruits better helps keep sun damage to a minimum. Thanks for describing the fruiting tendencies on the Page.

How easy are they to peel?

Satsumas are not large oranges, but they are my favorites, so I don't mind small oranges. Ya just eat more of them if they're small. :)

We do have some citrus trees scattered about our neighborhood, but I think they are mosty Satsumas and there are a few Meyer lemon trees, as well. Can Lemons pollinate orange trees?



    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 9:26PM
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RyanLo(NC 7B)

The fruit is easy to peel, not as zipper skinned as a satsuma but still an easy peeler. Page will be a little smaller then satsumas, but not much, they are a nice size I thnk. Satsumas an lemons will not pollinate Page.

Some of the fruit is held towards the outside of the tree so, sun damage might be an issue for you. The trees are very prolific so if you loose a few fruit here or there it should not be a problem.

I know they grow Page abundantly in Florida so, I would imagine it would be a good variety for you.

The flavor is unique its a cross between a minneola tangelo and a clementine, its got a nice balanced sweet flavor but some tangelo spike in there and very juicy. There are many citrus collectors that rate a good Page mandarin as there favorite citrus variety. Overall just a great tree to have.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 9:44AM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Hi Ryan,

I've had some Satsumas that didn't want to give up their skin over the years, but mostly they were more unripe, IMO.

Since my ctirus trees are, all but one, in pots, I can move them around if need be.

The flavor sounds real good. I'm looking forward to using them for juice more than eating, but will eat some, as well.

I didn't know if lemons could pollinate oranges because they have the tangelo that is from an orange and grapefruit, I think it is. I'm not real familiar with citrus yet.

Thanks for all the information,


    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 5:39PM
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