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PlantFiles: Satsuma Orange
Citrus reticulata var. satsuma

Family: Rutaceae (roo-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Citrus (SIT-rus) (Info)
Species: reticulata var. satsuma

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14 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Edible Fruits and Nuts
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
By grafting
By budding
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 10 photos.
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11 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive cavalrymedic On May 5, 2013, cavalrymedic from Newberry, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

The zone 10 restriction listed on this plant is wrong. This plant handles zone 8 like a champ. With no protection mine has lasted six winters with one of those winters hitting 12 degrees F. It gets some protection from growing under a bough of an Oak tree, but it still gets very cold during our hard freezes. The fruit is excellent and this is my favorite juicing citrus. Makes a dark orange juice that has no equal. Much better than any orange. Blooms in April and May, fruit ripens in November and December.

Positive amscram On Nov 15, 2012, amscram from Baton Rouge, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is definitely my favorite citrus. I have had one (Owari variety) planted in the ground here in Baton Rouge for 16 years - it does tend to bear in alternate years; one year I had literally hundreds of satsumas, then the next year I had 3 dozen. It made it through our nasty cold spell a few years back when it got down to 20 degrees three nights running, and didn't get above freezing during the days, although it did look a little ragged the summer after that. It fully recovered and now has about 300 or more satsumas on it as I write this. They keep well on the tree, too.

Positive coaster84 On Nov 8, 2012, coaster84 from Houston, TX wrote:

If your satsuma has not produced after 3 years in the ground it may be a seedling, satsuma as well as a lot of citrus will come true from seed. Check to see if you have a graft bulge at the base of the trunk. If not then it is a seedling and is on its own roots and may take up to 5 or so years to produce, give it a little more time. To the person that said the fruit was white and dry that will happen with young satsumas and age will fix that may also need extra water. The Japanese will not eat a satsuma until the tree is 10 years old. I have 4 satsumas Xie shan, miho, seto and owari and I pick the fruit off the first 2 years to let it develop a root system. They will not grow very much when carrying fruit. Satsuma fruit will get better every year.

Neutral glowery On Sep 10, 2012, glowery from Houston, TX wrote:

I have a Satsuma Orange Tree that I planted about 3 years ago. It is about 7 or 8 feet tall and a beautifull green tree; however, it has never had any blossoms or oranges. I am wondering if maybe it needs to be pollinated, or if I am doing something else wrong. I was told, when I bought it, that is produces well in Houston, and it does NOT need to be pollinated.

George, the Frustrated Farmer.

Positive CrispyCritter On Oct 17, 2011, CrispyCritter from Clayton, GA wrote:

I am successfully growing Owari Satsumas in the ground in the North Georgia mountains, but I did NOT add my zip code to the "can grow here list" as am sure my winter protection methods add a "zone" or two of hardiness.

That said, with a simple cold frame, and on some really cold nights, lamps for extra warmth- my two 3 year old trees have made it through 2 winters with NO damage here in zone 7B-8A
Coldest temperatures in winter are low teens on a handful of nights. Inside their protection they have probably seen temps in the mid 20's.

Right now in mid October my fruit are almost completely ripe.
I would have to say these are my favorite citrus fruit.

Positive ogon On Jun 30, 2010, ogon from Paradise, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

One of the hardiest citrus around, grows wonderfully in the north central valley of California. Fruit can be damaged by frost, but the tree itself is often fine. I prefer the flavor of the fruit around November or early December when it it still tart.

In response to the issues with the mandarin in Corpus Cristi, TX below, I think you have a case of rootstock takeover. Mandarins are not really oranges, and their fruit are not "huge" by any means. Rootstock is usually from a different species of citrus, selected for various reasons, depending on what is trying to be accomplished. If the fruit was white and dry, either the plant is not getting enough water, is missing out on some vital nutrients, or it's really something else like a trifoliate (are the leaves in groups of three), citron, sour orange, or any number of other citrus that are not really grown for their fruit as much as for their roots.

The best thing to do at this point is probably to start over. If you are interested in obtaining fruit sooner, I would also highly recommend going to a nursery and obtaining a more mature plant. Mandarins do grow fairly slowly, and a two or three year old on dwarf rootstock will get you fruit much sooner.

Negative PACO3802 On Nov 26, 2009, PACO3802 from Corpus Christi, TX wrote:

I've had one dwarf Satsuma Orange in the ground with drip irrigation in Corpus Christi, Tx. for two years. With irrigation, regular fertilization, and occasional dormant oil spraying, the tree looks very healthy and has very large fruit.
This is it's first bearing with about fifteen huge oranges on a tree which is now about ten feet tall. I've had some trouble with a knat-like bug boring a single hole in the orange and damaging it, making some fall. Although they all look ripe now in November, when I remove one, the meat is very white and dry? Whats up?

Positive perkite On Nov 11, 2009, perkite from Houston, TX wrote:

I have successfully grown satsuma orange and key lime trees outside year round here in Houston, but I have a comment. I often see people on this website from colder areas claiming to be able to grow a tropical plant in their area (referring to the area where you enter your zip code and click "Add"). Don't say that you have successfully grown it in your area when you have to bring it inside during the winter. When click that you have successfully grown an orange tree in Gainsville TX, for example, it is misleading to those living in north TX. Texas is a big state. Several plants grown outside year round in Houston and Corpus Christi cannot be grown in Dallas. You should only claim to have successfully grown a plant in your area if you leave in the ground outside year round. I'm not trying to be a big a-hole here, but people come on here trying to figure out what they can successfully grow outside in their area. They need as accurate information as possible.

Positive telosphilos On Sep 27, 2009, telosphilos from Little Elm, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

In northern Texas, it's best to keep these babies in pots and move them inside in October or November when it starts dropping down to 40F at night. I've had one for nearly a year and it's been remarkably easy to grow. It just needs lots of hot sun in the summer, protection from the cold in the winter and regular watering. Basic fruit tree care is about all it really seems to need although several people recommend some citrus tabs for fertilizer.

There is an insect that does particularly like to try to chew off the fruits. It looks like a fat inch worm in white, black and orangy-red and it likes to munch the stems of the leaves. Watch for that little pest, but nothing else has really tried to cause mine problems.

Positive tonyatthebeach On May 16, 2009, tonyatthebeach from Orange Beach, AL wrote:

Satsuma Orange trees grow extremely well here in Orange Beach, AL (zone 9a).

Positive bamagirl35973 On Jul 30, 2008, bamagirl35973 from Cedar Bluff, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

I love this tree!! It has been one of the easiest citrus trees that I have ever grown. It blooms and produces fruit profusely.

I keep it outside in the summer and bring it indoors for the winter. It does loose a few leaves when it is first brought in but it recovers quickly and starts putting out new leaves.

Neutral tcfromky On Oct 26, 2004, tcfromky from Mercer, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

These are the largest fruit of the Mandarin family. It is super sweet and very juicy. Fruit ripens early in the season. It is more cold tolerant than many citrus trees, growing as far north as GA and SC.

Positive suncatcheracres On Jun 21, 2004, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

Is this variety different from Satsuma mandarins? Satsuma mandarins grow all over my area of Northcentral Florida, zone 8b, and I've picked them off of very old trees North of Gainesville, Florida. All of the nurseries around my place near the Suwannee River carry small trees simply labeled "Satsumas" to plant locally in the ground, and all of the locals say that Satsumas do very well here, so I think that the range for Satsumas can be expanded to at least zone 8b, if these are the same trees.

My excellent booklet called "Fruit and Flowering Trees for Florida" says Satsuma mandarins are very hardy down to 18 degrees Farenheit, and are excellent, sweet and seedless.

I plan on planting some Satsumas and Meyer lemons here when I get a sunnier location cleared for them.

Positive trois On Jun 17, 2004, trois from Santa Fe, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

We have 3 Satsuma Orange trees that produce the most delicious oranges. The trees are now 4 years old and are covered with fruit, which ripens in November, December, and January. The early spring blooms sometimes are killed by frosts, but then they bloom again. These very sweet and extremely easy to peel fruits have become a neighborhood favorite. At this time there are several hundred fruits on the trees which will be more than we can eat. We do not have well drained soil so I have installed an automatic sump pump to keep the water level at least a foot below the surface. The trees are thriving. The fruit has few seeds, and reach sizes as large as full sized or large Oranges.



This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Gaylesville, Alabama
Orange Beach, Alabama
Long Beach, California
Paradise, California
Spring Valley, California
Newberry, Florida
Orange Park, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Quincy, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Savannah, Georgia
Warner Robins, Georgia
Kurtistown, Hawaii
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Denham Springs, Louisiana
Mermentau, Louisiana
New Iberia, Louisiana
Natchez, Mississippi
Kure Beach, North Carolina
North Charleston, South Carolina
Bluff Dale, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
Driftwood, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas (4 reports)
Little Elm, Texas
Manvel, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Santa Fe, Texas

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