Back in December, my satsuma mandarin orange tree bloomed heavily for the first time. It's had quite the recovery since last winter when, by early spring, the branches were stripped bare of all leaves. In fact, all of my citrus trees were in pretty rough shape. I knew I was doing something wrong since they were receiving an adequate amount of light at our old place. I had kept them in a conservatory that received light throughout most of the day.
The inside of our current house, on the other hand, receives little to no direct sunlight because of the tall oaks and maples that surround our property. Admittedly, I wasn't very optimistic about their chances when I brought them inside to overwinter last November. To my surprise, they have tolerated being indoors fairly well thus far.
Aside from odd leaf that drops, all three trees appear to be healthy, which is surprising considering none of them have received any direct sunlight during the past 2 1/2 months. Instead, we have two skylights that provide our dining area (where they are) with a fair amount of indirect light. Two of my trees also have persistent scale issues, but nothing too major. At the moment, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that by the time spring roles around, they will still have most of their leaves.
About the flowers themselves, I have to say that they are fairly typical of citrus blossoms in appearance. However, the fragrance is unbelievable and much stronger than that of my meyer lemon tree. For three solid weeks, we were treated to the heady jasmine-like perfume of these flowers. The scent is so amazing that it would be well worth it to grow these trees for the flowers alone.
While about 90% of the young fruit dropped shortly after the petals did (which is absolutely normal for citrus trees), a few have hung on and are getting larger everyday. I figure I have about eight viable fruit at this point. Even if I only got one ripe orange this year, this would make me very happy. It would be a nice change from the ripe yet sour mandarinquats and meyer lemons I've grown thus far.
And here is a picture of my very healthy looking mandarinquat tree, which is looking more like a bush these days. It has several fruits on it as well. Recently, I've started giving both trees a very diluted liquid feeding every other week or so. I'm hoping this subtle feed will aid in fruit growth, but not so much that it stresses the tree. I've deduced that over-fertilization was my major problem last year. Going forward, I don't plan on feeding my trees at all beyond mid-summer.
My meyer lemon tree is also doing pretty well, but unfortunately, I didn't get any viable fruit from the mass of blooms produced last fall. I'm expecting it to bloom again this spring so I still have hope that we'll get a few ripe lemons by the year's end.