How to Grow Tangerines from Seeds: Your Guide to Fresh and Juicy Delights

Have you ever dreamed of plucking sweet and tangy tangerines from your very own backyard? Well, dream no more! In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to grow a tangerine tree from seeds, from germination to caring for the young tree. Get ready to enjoy the satisfying taste of homegrown tangerines packed with balanced nutrition. Let’s get started!

Collecting and Preparing Tangerine Seeds

Step 1 – Collect Tangerine Seeds from a Ripe Tangerine

When tangerines are a deep orange and soft to the touch, they are ripe and ready to yield seeds. Simply cut the fruit in half and scoop out the insides. Look for tangerines that are free of bruises or other signs of damage. Collect more seeds than you need, just in case some don’t sprout. Remember to wash off the collected seeds to remove any fruit flesh and juices, which can cause rotting or mold growth.

Step 2 – Clean and Dry the Seeds

After gathering the seeds, gently rub them between your fingers to remove any remaining fruit flesh. Rinse them under running water to get rid of any debris. Spread the seeds out on a paper towel and allow them to air dry completely. Make sure they are completely dry before planting to avoid rotting.

Planting and Caring for Tangerine Seeds

Step 3 – Fill a Seed Tray or Pots with Potting Soil

Prepare a tray or pots for planting by using good quality potting soil or seed starting mix that drains well and is free of weeds, pests, or diseases. Add a bit of compost or organic fertilizer for an extra boost if desired.

Step 4 – Plant the Tangerine Seeds

Plant the tangerine seeds by placing them 1/4 inch deep in the soil, about an inch apart. Gently press them down to ensure good contact with the soil. Remember, tangerine seeds require light to germinate, so avoid covering them with additional soil.

Step 5 – Water and Provide Sunlight

Gently water the soil after planting to moisten it, being careful not to overwater. Once the soil is moist, place the tray or pots in a warm, sunny location. Tangerine seeds need lots of sun to sprout, so a windowsill or greenhouse is ideal.

Step 6 – Maintain Moisture and Sunshine

To ensure successful germination, keep the soil moist without making it waterlogged. Water the soil when it feels dry to the touch, but avoid providing too much water. Also, keep the tray or pots in a warm, sunny spot to encourage healthy growth.

Step 7 – Transplant the Seedlings

When the seedlings are at least 4 inches tall with several sets of leaves, it’s time to transplant them into larger pots or your garden. Take care not to disturb the delicate roots when transplanting. Afterward, water the seedlings thoroughly to help them adjust to their new environment.

Step 8 – Water and Sunlight for Healthy Growth

To ensure proper growth, water your tangerine tree regularly and provide plenty of sunlight. These trees thrive in sunny areas with well-draining soil. Water deeply once or twice a week, but avoid overwatering to prevent root rot. During dry spells, water more frequently.

Step 9 – Prune and Train the Young Tree

As your tangerine tree develops, prune it to remove worn or damaged branches and promote new growth. Additionally, it’s beneficial to train the tree to have one central trunk, which contributes to its overall strength. Consult a horticultural specialist or reliable gardening sources for guidance on pruning and training.

Step 10 – Enjoy Your Homegrown Tangerines!

Congratulations! With a little patience and care, you will soon be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor – literally! As the tangerine tree matures, it will produce sweet, juicy tangerines that you can enjoy fresh off the tree. These homegrown tangerines are perfect for adding a burst of flavor to salads, desserts, and other dishes. So sit back, relax, and savor the delicious taste of your own homegrown tangerines.

Potential Problems and Solutions

  1. Poor germination: If your tangerine seeds don’t sprout, they might be old, damaged, or not receiving enough light or warmth. Place the tray or pots in a warmer location or use a heat mat to provide more warmth.

  2. Pest infestations: Regularly inspect your tangerine tree for pests like aphids, mealybugs, or scale insects. Use organic pest control solutions like neem oil or horticultural soap to eliminate them.

  3. Disease: To prevent disease, provide your tree with well-draining soil, proper water and sunlight, and regular fertilization. If you notice signs of disease, consult a horticultural expert for guidance on treatment options.

Harvest and Storage

When it’s time to harvest tangerines, look for ones that are deep orange in color and soft to the touch. Gently twist them off the tree or use a sharp knife to cut them. Avoid pulling on the fruit, as it may harm the tree.

To keep your tangerines fresh and tasty, store them correctly after harvesting. You can keep them at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for longer periods. For extended storage, place them in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. You can also freeze tangerines by peeling and slicing them before putting them in a plastic bag or container. Frozen tangerines can be stored for up to six months and used in recipes or juiced.


Growing a tangerine tree from seeds is an exciting and rewarding experience. By following these steps and providing proper care and attention, you can nurture your tangerine tree to produce sweet, juicy tangerines that will delight your taste buds. So why wait? Roll up your sleeves, gather some tangerine seeds, and embark on this exciting gardening journey. Happy growing!