Bumper Satsuma MandarinCitrus reticulata 'Gremoy8'
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Citrus reticulata 'Gremoy8'
Outdoor Growing zone
The Bumper™ Satsuma lives up to its name and delivers a massive crop of beautiful golden-orange fruits, from November to February. They are seedless and the skin just pulls away with no effort, like opening a zipper. The flavor is sweet but tangy, with that distinctive citrus aroma. This tree grows to about 12 feet in the garden, but only 6 feet in a pot, and with its huge crop it is perfect for indoor/outdoor growing in any part of the country. The glossy, dark-green evergreen foliage is always beautiful, and the white flowers in spring have that classic orange-blossom fragrance.
Grow the Bumper™ Satsuma in full sun, and plant it in the garden in zone 9. In cooler zones grow it in a container, keeping it in a bright, cool place when outdoor temperatures are below 40 degrees. Use a well-drained potting mix, preferably one designed for citrus trees, and feed regularly with a citrus fertilizer. Pests and diseases are usually minimal and can easily be dealt with. No pruning is needed, and no second tree for pollination is necessary. Simple hand-pollination is advised for trees in containers.
All too often we put work into growing a fruit-bearing tree, only to end up with just a handful of fruits, that are gone in a day or two. If you want big crops, that you can eat, store, bake with or turn into preserves, then you need trees that carry heavy crops. That’s why there is the Bumper Satsuma, with a crop of delicious bright-orange fruits so heavy they weigh down the branches, creating a weeping tree, laden with fruit. Oh, and let’s not forget that these are delicious sweet-tangy satsumas, the most prized of citrus fruits, with skin that peels off so easily it is often called ‘zipper skin’. Completely seedless too, and loved by children, you will find plenty to do with the heavy yield you get when you grow the Bumper™ Satsuma Tree.
The Bumper Satsuma is a small to medium-sized citrus tree, reaching about 12 feet in height when grown in the garden, and around 6 feet when grown in a container. It has attractive evergreen foliage, with oval glossy leaves of a rich, dark-green color. It grows quickly and develops a dense canopy of branches and leaves, and outdoors it makes an attractive small tree on a lawn or in a bed. In spring a profusion of white blooms appears at the ends of the branches, around the time when new shoots are also emerging. These flowers have 5 recurving petals, and they make an attractive display, giving off a wonderful orange blossom fragrance that fills the air around. As the flowers fade and fall they become tiny green fruits, about the size of a pea. These mature over summer, and by November or December they are 2 to 3 inches across, with a slightly flattened round shape. They turn rich orange, and they hang in large bunches of fruits all over the bush.
The crop can be so heavy that the branches are pulled downwards, making your tree appear weeping. A tree laden with ripe fruit is a beautiful sight. Once the fruit begins to color it is ripe, and you will find its ‘zipper skin’ and lack of seeds makes it so easy to eat. Once peeled the segments fall apart in your hand, and they have a delicious sweet and tangy flavor and a beautiful fragrance too. You can leave the fruit on the tree until you need it. It will slowly become sweeter, and still be perfect to harvest in January or February. A few weeks later the Bumper Satsuma will be back in bloom.
The Bumper Satsuma is hardy in zone 9, but if you live in a colder region you can easily grow it in a large planter or tub. Keep it outdoors in full sun, and water regularly, whenever the soil becomes a little dry for the top inch or two. Make sure your planter has drainage holes, and don’t leave it standing in a saucer of water. Fertilize regularly, and keep it into a bright, cool place while temperatures are below 40 degrees. Fruit will continue to ripen inside. This tree is self-pollinating, so a second variety does not need to be grown nearby – perfect for a smaller courtyard or urban garden. Plants in the garden will be pollinated by bees, but in a pot it is best to do it yourself. Take a soft artist’s brush and ‘tickle’ each open flower, moving on to another one randomly. Do this every day or two during the flowering period. It’s easy and fun, and this will give you the biggest possible crop from your tree.
The Bumper Satsuma is a special form of the mandarin, Citrus reticulata. This tree is the ancestor of all other citrus fruits, and it has been cultivated for many centuries. The Satsuma is a special form of mandarin, which has existed in Japan for at least 700 years. They are the easiest of all citrus to peel, they are seedless, and tender, so they are easily damaged. They are the rarest and most expensive citrus in shops and their season is very short – so growing your own makes a lot of sense.
The variety called ‘Gremoy8’, and sold with the trademark name of Bumper™, was bred by Dr. Ying Doon Moy. A Chinese immigrant, he worked at the San Antonio Botanical Garden in Texas for 20 years, breeding more than 150 new varieties of fruit trees and flowering plants. A special tree caught his attention among his many seedling citrus trees, and he noticed its huge crop – a bumper harvest – and the high quality of the fruit. This tree was released in 2012 by Garden Debut® as part of their Great New Plants™ range. They specialize in making the work of smaller breeders available to a wider gardening audience, and all their plants are thoroughly tested before release. If you want a citrus tree, but aren’t sure which one, take our advice and go with the Bumper Satsuma – but order now, because our limited stock will soon be gone.