Mandarin Orange (Citrus reticulata) is a Citrus fruit belonging to the family Rutaceae. It is also known as ‘Loose jacket’ or Kamala orange or Santra.
Soil and climate: Mandarin orange grows well in frost free tropical and subtropical regions of 500– 1500 m above MSL elevation. It is a humid zone fruit and requires a rainfall of about 150 cm to 250 cm. The winter should be mild and there should be no strong, hot winds during summer. Deep well drained loamy soils are the best. Soil pH should be between 5.5 and 6.5.
Varieties: The Mandarin varieties in India are region specific while the exotic variety Kinnow performs well in semiarid irrigated areas of some Northern states. Coorg santra, Kodai Orange., Nagpur santra, Khasi mandarin, Sumithra and Darjeeling are some of the Indian varieties.
Planting material: Seedlings and budded plants. Vijaya Phyto Farms Pvt.ltd. produces ‘ready made’ (ready to bear plants) budded Mandarin orange planting material that are capable of producing commercial yield from II year of planting.
Spacing: 4.5 to 6 m x 4.5 to 6 m, pit size 75 cm x 75 cm x 75 cm. Planting is done during monsoon season.
Manures and Fertilizers : Apply twice in a year during June and October. Foliar sprays of micronutrients are also necessary.
After cultivation: Remove water shoots, rootstock sprouts, dead and diseased shoots. Remove laterals of the main stem up to 45 cm from ground level. Basins should be provided for each tree with gradient slope
Pests: Mandarin oranges need protection from the following pests namely Leaf miner; Sucking pests i.e. White fly, Black fly, Aphids, Rust mite, Fruit sucking moth; Shoot borer; Stem borer; Fruit fly; Green scales and Brown scales..
Diseases: The diseases affecting Mandarins are Powdery mildew and Sooty mould
Harvest: Trees start bearing from 3 – 5 years after planting in case of budded plants, while seedlings take 5-7 years.
List of references:
Handbook of Horticulture , Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Pusa, New Delhi, 2009, pages 109-399
Crop Production Techniques of Horticultural Crops, Directorate of Horticulture and Plantation Crops Chepauk, Chennai - 600 005 & Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Coimbatore - 641 003, 2004, pages 1-31
K. Manibhusan Rao, (1990) Textbook of Horticulture, Macmillan India Limited, New Delhi 110002 pages 248-258