Push the seed below the soil, about 1/3 inch deep, with your finger. Backfill the hole with soil to cover the seed and lightly firm the soil in place.
Fill a shallow container, like dishpan, with 3 inches of water and place the pots in the water. Allow the pots to soak until the top of the soil is visibly moist.
Check the soil every day for moisture. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. It can take two to eight weeks for the seeds to germinate. Remove the plastic when the seeds have germinated.
Dry the tangelo seeds on a paper towel and then place one into the center of each pot.
Cover the pots with clear plastic and place them in a warm, bright location. Don’t place them in direct sunlight, this will be too hot for germination.
‘Minneola’ –a hybrid of ‘Bowen’ grapefruit and ‘Dancy’ tangerine; oblate, faintly necked; medium-large, 3 1/4 in (8.25 cm) wide, 3 in (7.5 cm) high; peel deep red-orange, thin, firm, not loose; pulp orange, with 10-12 segments, melting, sweet-acid; of fine flavor; 7-12 small seeds, green inside. Late in season. Ships well. If crop is left too long on tree, the next crop will be light. Bears better if honeybees are provided and if ‘Temple’ tangor is interplanted as a pollenizer, but the ‘Temple’ is not as cold-hardy as the ‘Minneola’, and the trees tend to crowd each other. The ‘Minneola’ needs fertile soil, irrigation and adequate nutrition. Effects to increase production of seedless fruits include spraying the blooms with gibberellic acid, or girdling during full bloom. The former reduces fruit size and the latter may induce virus outbreaks causing scaling and flaking of the bark.
‘Thornton’– a tangerine-grapefruit hybrid created by Dr. Swingle in 1899; oblate to obovate, a little rough and lumpy, puffy with age; medium-large, 3 1/4 -3 3/4 in (8.25-9.5 cm) wide, 2 7/8-3 1/4 in (7.25-8.25 cm) high; peel, light-orange, medium-thick, almost loose, easily removed; pulp pale- to deep-orange, with 10-12 segments, soft, melting, juicy, of rich subacid to sweet flavor; seeds slender, 10-25, green inside. Matures from December to March. Tree vigorous and high-yielding, large-leaved, well adapted to hot, dry regions of California. Fruit is a poor shipper.
‘Nova’ –a ‘Clementine’ tangerine and ‘Orlando’ tangelo cross made by Dr. Jack Bellows in 1942, first fruited in 1950, and released by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Horticultural Field Station, Orlando, Florida, in 1964. Fruit is oblate to rounded, of medium size, 2 3/4-3 in (7-7.5 cm) wide, 2 1/2-2 3/4 in (6.25-7 cm) high; peel is orange to scarlet, thin, slightly rough, leathery, easy to remove; pulp dark-orange, with about 11 segments, of good, sweet flavor; seeds numerous if cross-pollinated; polyembryonic, green inside. Early in season (mid-September to mid-December). Does very well on ‘Cleopatra’ rootstock. The tree resembles that of the ‘Clementine’ tangerine, its twigs are thornless, and it is more cold-hardy than ‘Orlando’. This cultivar is self-infertile and trials have shown that ‘Temple’ tangor is a good pollenizer.
‘Seminole’– a hybrid of ‘Bowen’ grapefruit and ‘Dancy’ tangerine; oblate, not necked; medium-large, 3 1/4 in (8.25 cm) wide, 2 3/4 in (7 cm) high; peel deep red-orange, thin, firm, almost tight but not hard to remove; pulp deep-orange with 11-13 segments, little rag, melting, of fine, subacid flavor; seeds small, 20-25, green inside. Early in season but holds well through March. Tree vigorous and high-yielding, scab-resistant; leaves with faint or no wings, tangerine-scented.
An evergreen with fragrant white flowers, the tangelo tree produces fruit looking much like an orange but with a bulbous stem end, smooth to slightly bumpy rind and an easily removable peel. The fruit is prized for its extremely juicy flesh, slightly acidic to sweet and aromatic.
The tangelo tree will need to be protected from temps below 20 F. (-7) by covering with a blanket or landscape fabric. Tangelos are also prone to infestation by whiteflies, mites, aphids, fire ants, scale, and other insects as well as diseases like greasy spot, citrus scab, and melanose. Keep a close eye on your tangelo and take immediate steps to eradicate any pest or disease.
About Tangelo Trees
Propagating tangelo trees is best done through disease resistant root stock, which can be obtained online or through the local nursery depending upon your location. Minneolas and Orlandos are two of the most common varieties, although there are many others to choose from.
Propagating Tangelo Trees
Feed tangelo trees as soon as new growth appears on the tree with a fertilizer specifically made for citrus trees for optimal production and general tangelo tree care. Early spring (or late winter) is also a good time to prune out any diseased, damaged or problematic branches to improve air circulation and general health. Remove any suckers at the base as well.