Skip to Content

The Dwarf Brown Select Satsuma

Originally grown in China over 2000 years ago, the dwarf brown select satsuma tree is a flowering mandarin evergreen that produces sweet, seedless fruit. It made its way to the United States in the late nineteenth century and has since become popular in homes and gardens across the country.

Satsumas on a tree, similar to the dwarf brown select satsuma tree.

Read on to learn more about the different ways you can enjoy the fruit and how to grow your very own dwarf brown select satsuma tree.

Eating Dwarf Brown Select Satsuma Fruit

Dwarf brown select satsumas are sugary and juicy, mandarin-like citrus fruits. Seedless and easy to peel, they make great on-the-go snacks, but are also easy to make into a jelly that you can spread on toast. Nola has a great recipe on their site. Bakers might consider making Satsuma, Ginger, and Oat scones using this recipe from the Bojon Gourmet.

Overhead view of freshly baked orange scones.

On the savory side, satsumas are an easy addition to salads. Try pairing with cranberries and blue cheese. Or, for those on a juice cleanse, try a Strawberry Satsuma smoothie recipe from HealthyHappyLife. Another savory option is this recipe from My Recipes for Salmon with Satsuma-Soy Glaze.

Satsumas are quite easy to store. They can sit for up to a week at room temperature on your counter (or placed decoratively in a bowl!), and when refrigerated can last up to a month. This means your harvest won’t go to waste, and you’ll have time to try out many different recipes before your fruit gets overripe.

Health Benefits

Dwarf brown select satsuma fruits are very healthy. Like most citrus fruits, they improve immunity, detox your body, help regulate blood pressure, stimulate hair growth, improve skin health, and are good for digestion.

Woma holding peeled mandarin orange.

These fruits are rich in A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 (Folate), C, and E. They are also a source of the following nutrients: calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and dietary fiber.

Low in calories and high in health benefits, satsumas are an ideal addition to your diet.

Growing Dwarf Brown Select Satsuma at Home

You can grow dwarf brown select satsuma trees at home, both indoors and in your garden. Outdoors, USDA Zones 8-11–or zone 7 if you move the plant indoors during the coldest times–are recommended for this cold-tolerant plant, which can grow to between six and eight feet tall depending on how you trim it. They grow slowly, so it can take about 8 to 13 years before they reach maturity. They bear fruit in the late fall and early winter.

A satsuma tree with fruit on it.

Growing From Seed or Sapling

Though it’s possible to grow from seeds, it is easier to grow from a sapling. If you do choose to start with seeds, read on to learn where we recommend you buy them. Or, pluck seeds directly from satsuma fruits and plant them, though this might be difficult, as most fruits from this satsuma variety have very few seeds!

Note that if you plant seeds from the fruit, the tree might not directly resemble its parent. That’s because these plants are often grafted to become fruit-bearing like their predecessors.

If you do choose to go ahead with this method, plant the seeds in a small pot with moistened potting mix and then tie plastic bags around the pots to seal them. Leave the bags for a month or two in indirect sunlight at a warm temperature, stirring occasionally to keep the mixtures damp.

Once the seeds sprout to a few inches tall, move them outdoors to a sheltered, shaded location and leave them there until repotting them in the fall. It will be particularly important to shelter them during that first winter. It might be several years before you can safely plant them in the ground.

Basic Planting and Growing Instructions

Dwarf brown select satsuma trees require well-drained, sandy loam soil that’s rich and moist, with a pH level ranging between acidic and neutral. When planting, place mulch around the circumference of the plant to help retain moisture and prevent weeds from sprouting. You can add a balanced 8-8-8 fertilizer to stimulate growth, such as Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor from Amazon.

After planting in the early summer, water the seeds every 5 to 10 days with a regular garden hose. In dryer summers, more water might be needed, which you can check by placing a finger three inches into the soil, where the soil should still be damp. Citrus trees are particularly prone to root rot, so be sure not to overwater.

A dwarf brown select satsuma requires eight to ten hours of full sunlight daily.

Closeup of a satsuma tree with fruit.

Pests and Diseases

Common pests include citrus thrips, aphids, spider mites, snails, and slugs, but all of these can be prevented with an insecticide soap. Citrus trees are generally not too susceptible to pests.

The most common disease is sour orange scab. It does not impact the quality of the fruit, but the rest of the plant might develop lesions. To prevent this, use a fungicidal spray.

Pruning Your Dwarf Brown Select Satsuma

Pruning will happen the following spring after you plant when you might notice sprouts along the trunk of the plant. You should eliminate these because they are too weak to later produce fruit. You should also prune any parts of the plant that might have been exposed to frost during the winter.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Dwarf Brown Satsuma Tree

Can I eat the skin?

No, it’s best to peel the loose, leathery skin off. Luckily, it’s quick and easy to peel.

Can pets eat satsumas?

Yes! They are safe for dogs and even healthy, as they are high in antioxidants. It might be best to peel them before giving them to your pet since the peel is harder to digest. Cats are unlikely to be interested in this tangy, sweet treat.

What happens to the plant during the first winter frost?

Dwarf brown satsuma trees are particularly sensitive to freezing temperatures during their first two to three winters. It’s important to protect them from frost by covering the tree trunk with newspaper secured by duct tape. Also, be sure to keep the tree hydrated and remove mulch to allow the soil to warm in the sunlight as much as possible prior to a frost event.

When do the trees bloom?

White blossoms on a satsuma tree.

Before bearing fruit, these trees bloom with lovely white flowers in March and April.

How long do these trees live?

The answer depends on how you grew the plant. Potted trees are more prone to diseases that will shorten their lifespans, but properly protected outdoor dwarf brown select satsuma trees live an average of fifty years, with some making it to a hundred years!

Isn’t it a wonderful thought that your grandchildren might enjoy the fruit and shade of the tree you’re currently planting?

Where To Buy Dwarf Brown Select Satsuma

Person preparing to plant a satsuma tree in a garden.

You can buy the tree from Nature Hills online, or you can head to your local plant nursery. You can buy a sapling or buy seeds to plant.

If you aren’t able to grow your own tree (or you just really want to get to the eating part), the fruit is usually available at your local Whole Foods supermarket.

Grow Your Own Dwarf Brown Select Satsuma Today

Closeup of satsuma fruit with water droplets on them.

Now you’ve learned all about the Dwarf Brown Select Satsuma, including how to eat it, tips on growing it, and where to buy it.

To learn more about the wide variety of citrus fruits out there, be sure to visit our Orange Trees page!