How To Grow Your Own Clementine Oranges
Clementine oranges belong to the mandarin orange family and were given their own name in 1902. They have a glossy, smooth, deep orange exterior that is incredibly easy to peel, similar to a tangerine. Clementines rarely have a seed present which is another reason why they are so loved, aside from the unparalleled sweet taste that they offer. Their juice is also less acidic than a traditional orange and much more sweet, making them a real treat to eat by individuals who just can't tolerate the acid of most citrus fruits.
According to the USDA, clementine oranges are a hybrid from a traditional orange and a Chinese mandarin, making them completely full of nutritional benefits.
- Vitamin C – One clementine has 36 mg of vitamin C which is necessary for your body to produce collagen. This structural compound is needed throughout your body from your bones to your skin. It also transports fat into cells to be converted into energy and it changes cholesterol into bile, playing a huge role in protection against gall stones and heart disease.
- Calcium – 22 mg of calcium are in one clementine which is important for bone growth and muscle contraction. This is a vital mineral that your body needs a substantial amount of so eating clementine oranges can help with your needed daily intake.
- Potassium – Only one clementine has 131 mg of potassium. This essential element maintains the balance of water between body fluids and cells which lowers blood pressure and helps with muscle contractions.
- Other Benefits – These delicious pieces of fruit only have 8 grams of carbohydrates and 35 calories. Additionally, they also have 1.3 grams of fiber present which aids with weight loss and digestion.
Growing Clementine Trees
If you live in the warmer climates of zones 8, 9, 10 or 11, you can grow your own clementine oranges. The tree can be purchased from a nursery and you should be sure to choose one that has a larger trunk and dark leaves. It is also recommended to check how firm the roots are to make sure that the tree does not have root rot.
When choosing a location to plant your tree, it is important that the soil drains well and that the area receives full sunlight. The sun will maximize the growth of a citrus tree and ensure the quality of your clementine oranges.
- First you will want to test how well the soil drains in your chosen location by digging a hole about one foot deep. Fill it up with water and then observe how long that it takes to drain. Ideally, it will drain in under three hours to be a prime location for your tree.
- Dig a hole that is at least double the size of the root ball, if not larger. Place the roots into the hole and then work them so they spread outward into the soil.
- Loosely fill soil back into the hole until about half way and then water it so that the dirt will settle in around the roots. Fill the hole back up the rest of the way with soil.
- Add mulch around the tree but it should not be within about a foot of the trunk. This is not a necessary step if your soil is rich.
- For the first two weeks, the tree should be watered every two or three days and then over the next few months, decrease this to once a week and then to every other week.
It is a good idea to use a cold weather blanket to cover the fruit and leaves if the tree happens to be exposed to frost. Also, if you happen to start growing the tree indoors, you should only transplant it while it is resting and not bearing fruit. Clementine oranges should be stored at room temperature for maximum flavor and juiciness.