I was wondering if Satsuma and other mandarin require chill hours. I heard they do on a video but that seems contradictory as it seems like much less than that would kill them. Do they actually need chill hours?
They need cool weather to turn the fruit rind the orange color. But My Owari Satsuma fruits every year, regardless of chill. In cooler fall years they color up sooner. The flavor balance of sugar to acid might be influenced by cool temps.
Citrus ripen and sweeten in subtropical to tropical climates without much in the way of traditional chill hours. Rind color does correlate with cool weather but you get sweetness from partially/mostly green fruit even if it has not seen cool weather.
They just need time to rejuvenate.
I’ve heard the highest quality satsumas can’t be grown in the citrus belt. They do best here near Houston 500 miles north. Can’t comment whether they require chill.
Also how does it taste for someone who has not tried a Satsuma? I like cuties and I like Cara Cara oranges. I like citrus that is sweet but has some acid like those two.
If you like a bit of tanginess in your citrus, there is a good chance you will like most of the easy to come by satsuma varieties. The most common satsuma sold in nurseries around here in SoCal is Frost Owari Satsuma. In comparison to Cuties and Halos, which are sometimes the brand names that sell Tango or W. Murcott mandarins, a ripe Frost Owari Satsumas has more of a balance of acid and sugar, IMO. I also grow Tango mandarin and Gold Nugget mandarin and enjoy them, but in my opinion, Satsumas are superior for their tangyness and even easier to peel. But since they are also the earliest mandarin in my yard, I might be a bit biased after waiting 9 months for good citrus season to come back around. If you can grow Satsumas in your location, I highly recommend them.
Citrus doesn’t require any chilling.
I plan to grow them inside with a pot so I don’t think zone should be a factor luckily.
Good to hear they don’t need chill hours. I have also heard about hot hours. What are hot hours or whatever they are called?
Hot hrs would likely be growing degree days. Most citrus does like the heat. Or need it to produce sweet fruit.
Some citrus do like hot weather to get the outstanding flavor. I can’t grow excellent grapefruit living near the coast. The really good grapefruits grow best inland closer to the desert with higher heat and more hot days. If I want a grapefruit like citrus in my yard, I would have to stick with hybrids like Oro Blanco or Cocktail. But I can grow delicious limes that hate frost, often found further inland.
Texas grapefruit is supposedly the best in the US because it’s hot down there. Really hot in summer, both day and night. And winter is warm and sunny. Even my greenhouse doesn’t come close to their GDD. And they aren’t that far away just 4500ft lower elevation. Even Del Rio just 150 miles southeast is brutally hot in the summer, 100+ most days and dew points in the 70s.
Since citrus encompasses a broad range of plants/fruits, they have a range of requirements. Grapefruits need a lot of heat to sweeten up and they do best in parts of Texas. Oranges sweeten up with decent amount of sun in summer and cold nights in winter and Blood oranges specifically (with some exceptions) need cold to turn up red. Late Mandarins on the other hand, do better with milder sun.