The mandarin orange has you covered when looking for a sweet and healthy treat. But, as the produce on our grocery store shelves become more expensive, it’s hard to keep up with our healthy snacks.
What if I told you you could skip the overpriced mandarins with the cutesy names and grow some in the backyard? It sounds a bit more appealing, doesn’t it? Keep reading to learn everything about the W. Murcott Mandarin and why you need one today.
History of the W. Murcott Mandarin
One common trend amongst citrus varieties is some of their lineage and information are missing or incomplete. And unfortunately, with the history of the W. Murcott Mandarin, this is also the case.
In 1913 Walter Tennyson Swingle handed over a tree he produced to the US Department of Agriculture in Safety Harbor, Florida. It was a tree that was partly produced by a cutting from a man named Murcott. This is what is believed and now documented as the W. Murcott Mandarin, a merge of both of the possible founders.
We know this is likely a hybrid fruit from the King Tangelo (a tangerine and orange hybrid) and an unknown citrus variety. Researchers still look into what the other parent pollinator could be but to no avail.
Characteristics of the W. Murcott Mandarin
You may see these mandarins labeled as Honey and Murcott for short, especially if you come across this variety in Florida.
The W. Murcott Mandarin trees are moderate in size and grow with upright and flowing branches. A fully mature tree can reach about ten to fifteen feet tall.
The leaves on the tree are a small waxy dark green that is more narrow in size. The tangerines are medium round and have a smooth rind that easily peels.
The W. Murcott Mandarin tastes similar to the small mandarins you can find at your local grocery stores. They are extremely sweet and juicy, with tiny edible seeds that are primarily white in color.
Uses and Recipes
Besides being a fantastic snacking mandarin variety, these also go well with different recipes. You can even substitute them for other citrus fruit in recipes, such as this Grapefruit Meringue Pie.
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly snack, these are a great go-to since they are so sweet and easy to peel.
Easy Mandarin Cake
This amazingly easy-to-make cake is filled with fresh mandarins and topped with whipped cream making it an incredible treat. You can find the recipe here at Love Foodies.
Mandarin Orange Curd
Of course, you have heard of the classic orange curd but why not add some mandarin to the mix? This creamy curd is ready to be put on anything you can think of and is a dessert prepared in no time. You can find the recipe here at Home Cooking Memories.
Sweet Mandarin Orange Scones
I think scones may be one of the best baked goods on this planet. Drizzled with fresh mandarin glaze, these tasty scones will be eaten in no time. Of course, making them with fresh mandarins is one hundred times better. Find the recipe at One Hot Oven.
Pro Tip: Leftover Peels
After making and baking these amazing recipes, do not just toss the peels into the trash. Instead, here are a couple of ideas to reuse the peels.
There’s nothing like lighting a candle after a good deep clean of the house, almost like the cherry on top. But many candles are full of fake fragrances and harmful waxes. So place your leftover peels in a small stock pot with two cups of water and two cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil, then turn it down to low to let simmer away. Trust me, your house will be filled with the most fantastic aroma, all-natural, and dirt cheap too.
Garbage Disposal Freshener
Is a stinky garbage disposal driving you crazy? Not anymore. Place the mandarin peels into the sink with a generous sprinkle of baking soda. Boil a small stock pot filled with water, and once at a nice boil, carefully pour the hot water down the drain with the peels and baking soda while running the disposal. All those stinky smells will be a thing of the past.
Health Benefits of W. Murcott Mandarins
So as we know, mandarins are one tasty snack but did you know they are also incredibly good for your health?
The W. Murcott Mandarins are filled with essential vitamins and minerals. Mandarins contain very high levels of vitamins C, A, and B. Mandarins are also a great source of fiber.
Mandarins also contain calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Even more essential vitamins that our bodies crave. Mandarins also have something called synephrine, a natural decongestant that helps curb cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Because of their super high levels of Vitamin C mandarins help fight off common colds and keep you feeling in tip-top shape.
Even though the W. Murcott Mandarin may not be called a superfood, it should be with all these fantastic benefits.
Growing the W. Murcott Mandarin
The W. Murcott Mandarin grows outdoors in zones eight to eleven. It cannot tolerate temperatures under twenty degrees Fahrenheit, so if you get chilly winters, you may need to pot the mandarin tree.
Soil and Sunlight
Most citrus trees can grow and thrive in any soil, but it must be well-drained soil. If the soil has clay or other naturally occurring tough spots, make sure to break it up before planting the root ball.
If you plan on potting your new mandarin tree choose a slightly acidic, well-drained potting mix.
W. Murcott Mandarins thrive in part sun to part shade ratio, so sun exposure is a good thing to keep in mind when deciding where to plant the tree.
The Murcott Manderians is a self-pollinating type of citrus tree, meaning you do not need another kind of plant or tree to help it pollinate. However having more Murcott Mandarin trees nearby does drastically increase the crop size and harvest.
Bloom Time and Bearing Age
You can start to see this mandarin tree bloom during late spring, and if you are lucky, you may be able to get your first fruits in the very first year of planting, but it could take three to four years to see large harvests.
Watering and Fertilizing
Citrus trees such as the W. Murcott thrive off moist, well-drained soil, so watering is vital – especially when establishing a newly planted tree. Once the tree is established, water every ten days or so.
Pests and Diseases
When planting outdoors, not too many creatures seem to be tempted by this mandarine tree. But if you see some insect or rodent activity, it is easily treated with tree paint such as Plant Guard.
One disease that tends to strike is called citrus scab, a fungal disease that can affect the leaves and fruit. To treat or prevent this, try spraying the tree with a copper-based fungicide.
From December till March, you are bound to get a ton of fruit from the Murcott Mandarin trees. That makes this one productive citrus tree.
Purchasing the W. Murcott Mandarin Tree
Now that you know all there is to know about the amazing W. Murcott Mandarin Tree, you have to get your hands on one. At Nature Hills, you can purchase your very own healthy Murcott mandarin tree.
Nature Hills is known for well-known for their wide selection of plants, including some lesser-known varieties, like the Murcott mandarin. By following the best care and growing practices, you’ll have an abundance of mandarins to enjoy.
Wrapping up the W. Murcott Mandarin Tree
The Murcott Mandarin tree is an easy-to-care-for and beautiful citrus tree that rewards you with high yields. These tasty mandarins are great for snacking, baking, preserving, and cleaning. Not only delicious and useful, these mandarins are full of health benefits and keep our bodies healthy and happy.
Excited for more orange content? Check out our orange trees page to start learning everything there is to know about your favorite citrus!