Grow Your Satsuma Tree With These 5 Top Tips

Grow Your Satsuma Tree With These 5 Top Tips

The Satsuma Tree is one of Japan’s most legendary trees. Its fruit is the national fruit of Japan and has been loved and admired for generations. Satsuma is a mandarin orange that was first discovered in Japan more than seven centuries ago, and there are more than 100 species of the fruit. Satsuma is harvested from December every year into January in parts of California and the Japanese islands.

If you want to plant Satsuma in your garden, you must know how to take care of the plant. Here are five practical tips on how to tend to a Satsuma tree, so it continues to provide for you.

How To Take Care of A Satsuma Tree – 5 Top Tips

Positioning & Insulation

Also called Owari Satsuma, if you want to plant the tree in your compound, make sure you plant it on the southeast side. Positioning the tree in a perfect location is vital if you want it to grow well. The southeast side is the best place to protect it from the weather. Satsuma is a weather-tolerant tree that is accustomed to cold weather and can tolerate weather temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Besides planting it in the right corner, you can protect the branches from frost by covering the trunk with weather insulation material like cardboard or palm fronds. This will ensure that the underground soil doesn’t freeze over but stays moist at low temperatures.

Another way to mitigate severe temperature is to keep an outdoor lamp close to the tree or several small Christmas tree lights on it. However, these measures are not required if the temperature is moderate.

Quality of Soil

Another way to care for your Satsuma tree is to ensure that you plant it in the right soil in the first place. The best kind of soil is loamy soil because it takes longer to dry up. Satsumas only need a small amount of water but needs constant access to such water. This is why soil with poor drainage, like loamy soil, remains the best for Satsuma. If you buy a very good stock like Trifoliate orange, your tree will not suffer a root rut when it begins to mature.

Quality Drainage

Besides choosing the right kind of soil to plant the tree, you also need to ensure that the quality of drainage around the tree is conducive for it. This goes back to the location you planted the tree initially. Experts advise against planting Satsuma trees in low-lying areas. The hole in which you plant it must be at least wide enough to accommodate the root so it doesn’t die out in infancy.

After placing the root in the soil, water it so the soil will settle before covering it with one inch of soil. Maintaining quality drainage around the root is key because your Satsuma tree will die without proper drainage before it reaches five years.

The proper drainage method is to allow the soil to drain water naturally. The key is to keep the soil moist for as long as possible. You can build a watering ring around the free several inches high and wide, then fill it with water. Keep the watering routine for a week or about ten days in the plant’s first years. If you can go beyond that, then do so. When the soil around the root has absorbed enough water, the tree will not suffer a root rut but continue to grow.


Another way to take care of the Satsuma tree is to fertilize it properly. It is wrong to start fertilizing it at infancy. Instead, wait for the plant to start growing first. By the first year, you can deposit 1 cup of sulfate ammonium into four applications; that is ¼ cup every three months. Getting the measurement right is not the only thing to be concerned about; you also need to apply it correctly.

The fertilizer should be scattered around the tree. After applying it, water the soil enough. You can use 2 cups of ammonium sulfate in the second year and 3 cups in the third year. This will ensure steady and unhindered growth.


Satsuma is a very rugged tree that can withstand extremely harsh weather. So it doesn’t need constant pruning. However, if you need to prune it at all, make sure you only remove damaged limbs and nothing more. As you prune it when required, the tree will begin to produce more fruit since it will be in better shape to handle the weight of an abundance of fruit.

Pluck The Fruit Carefully

Ensure that you handle the ripe fruit carefully, especially when plucking it from the branches. When you pick the fruit also matters. If you pick it days or weeks after it is ripe, you will have difficulty removing it neatly without injuring the exterior.

The best time to pick satsumas is as soon as they are ripe; pull or twist them to avoid skin tears. If you must cut with a knife, wipe the blade with alcohol to sterilize it, so the disease is not transferred to the root to cause a root rut.

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