Minneola Tangelo (Honeybell) Tree

Growing Zones in Ground: 8 - 11 / in Pots: 4 - 11


Size Height Price
5 Gallon 3 - 4 FT $109.95
AccessoriesEssential add-ons to ensure the health and growth of your trees. Accessories ship separately but at the same time as your tree.
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The Minneola Tangelo or Honeybell Tree is a natural cross of the tart Duncan grapefruit and the sweet Dancy tangerine. This citrus tree has shiny dark-green pointed leaves and fragrant blooms. These Trees produce large, juicy, sugary-sweet, easy-to-peel, seedless bell-shaped fruits that are called Honeybells.

Tangelo Trees are amazing evergreen citrus trees from the flowering family Rutaceae. They are in an entirely different class of their own and are neither pomelo (Citrus paradisi) nor tangerine (Citrus reticulata) but a natural cross of the tart Duncan grapefruit and the sweet Dancy tangerine. Because of its lineage, this citrus tree can grow to the size of the standard orange tree. It is also more cold hardy than a grapefruit tree but less so when compared to a tangerine tree.

One of the most popular tangelo trees released is the fabulous Minneola Tangelo Tree, which was released by the USDA Horticultural Research Station in Orland in 1931. This tangelo tree grows bushy and small, about 8 to 12 in height when planted in the ground and smaller when grown in a pot. This fruit tree has a rounded growth habit, shiny dark-green pointed leaves and fragrant blooms. The white flowers appear in spring making it a wonderful container subject or an accent tree. For the tree to reach its optimal size, it is best grown in USDA growing zones 8-11. If grown in other regions of the US, it can be planted in a container and brought indoors during winter.

The Minneola Tangelo Trees produce large, juicy, sugary-sweet, easy-to-peel, seedless bell-shaped fruits that are called Honeybells. Because of its large size – bigger than an orange and slightly smaller than a grapefruit – and refreshing flavor that is very similar to a tangerine but is more substantial and more flavorful, honeybell has made a name in the gift fruit industry. Honeybells are in season in spring and are typically pre-ordered online and rarely available in stores.

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Citrus Tree Care

If you are planning or have decided to grow tangerine trees, it is best to get them from a trustworthy nursery to ensure you will be getting healthy trees. Minneola Tangelo Trees are typically grafted on rootstocks like Cleopatra mandarin, Swingle citrumelo, or Trifoliate orange. Grafting gives Honeybell trees improved cold hardiness, higher disease resistance, and can create desirable dwarfing.

Once you have the tangelo tree delivered to your door taking care of it is simple, and will be worth your time.

  • Seasonal Information – Classified as a tropical fruit, the Honeybell tree is ideal for outdoor planting in USDA growing zones 8 through 11 and is best planted in spring through fall since this tree tends to be more sensitive to colder temperatures. On the other hand, if you experience harsh, cold winters, it is highly advisable that you grow your tangelo tree in a pot with casters so you can easily move it indoors before frost or strong wind moves in.
  • Selecting a Location – So you will not feel harried when the honeybell tree you recently bought arrives, it is best that you select the perfect planting location for it ahead of time. Choose a location where your tree can get as much as 6 to 8 hours of full sunlight per day. This tree can tolerate some shade but do better in full sunlight. If you are planting more than one honeybell tree you need to space them 8 to 10 feet apart. If you are to grow this tree in a pot keep in mind that it likes humidity and leaves need a daily dose of misting. You can place a tray of rocks filled with water under the tree to provide it with its much-needed humidity.
  • In Ground Planting Instruction
  1. Dig a hole as deep and twice as wide as the root system.
  2. Gently remove the tree from the container it arrived in and place in the hole you have prepared. Backfill the hole with sandy, well-draining, acidic soil while packing it lightly to avoid the formation of air pockets.
  3. Deeply water your tree for about 5 minutes then mulch around the area to insulate the roots and prevent weeds from growing. Don’t stack mulch upon the trunk.
  • Watering – citrus fruit trees, including tangelo trees do not like wet feet or standing water. To promote the formation of a healthy root system on young Minneola trees use deep watering techniques for water to penetrate the root system. Wait until the top 2-3 inches of soil dry out before watering your citrus trees You can also get an inexpensive moisture measuring tool from any local gardening store to help you determine when to next water your trees. If the tool measures less than 50 percent soil moisture then it is time to deeply water your trees again.
  • Fertilizing – growing citrus trees need a high dose of nitrogen to grow and bear fruit. For tangelo trees, you need to feed them specific fertilizer for citrus trees once every six weeks in spring and summer to keep the trees on a healthy growth cycle and at the same time replenish the nutrients in the soil. Cut back on citrus fertilizer in fall and spring to once every 2 to 3 months.

Fruit & Harvesting


Minneola Tangelos or Honeybells are large-sized fruits, almost the size of grapefruits, with a distinct elongated “neck” or protruded “nose” at the stem-end neck. They have a smooth, medium-thin, deep-orange colored rind that is smooth, finely pitted, and fairly easy to peel.

Honeybells are typically seedless, with few seeds if any. The flesh of this fruit is orange-colored and pulps are segregated in 10-12 segments. The flesh is tender, juicy, and aromatic.

Honeybells are as sweet as tangerines but with a burst of citrus tartness that came from their grapefruit parent.

Minneola Tangelos are best eaten fresh out of hand or squeezed for juice. It can also be used when baking cakes or pastries, tossed in a salad, or as an ingredient in recipes requiring an orange. You can also use this great-tasting fruit to make smoothies, shakes, and other cold goodies like gelatos or granitas.


Honeybells are in season in spring. Ripe Minneola tangelos are juicy and heavy for their size. The rind color is also orange when ripe with a tinge of red hue on it. The fruit is firm but slightly soft as is typical of ripe fruits.

When selecting your Minneola for harvesting select one that is firm and heavy in your hand for its size and one that does not have soft spots or wrinkled skin. Check the scent and pick one that smells particularly good and not fermented. Do a taste test to check if the juice and flavor has reached its peak. If satisfied pick the rest of the fruits on the tree as leaving the fruits on the tree for a long time can reduce the crop the following year.


Growing Zones


Minneola Tangelo trees are bushy trees suited for outdoor growing in USDA growing zones 8 to 11. These trees grow up to 8’-12’ upon reaching maturity. The flowers are in bloom in spring and fruits are in season in spring the following year. These trees are cold-hardy but need to be protected when temperatures go below 30º.

Minneola Tangelo Trees are not strongly self-fruitful and produce more fruit when planted beside suitable pollinators like Temple, Fallglo, or Sunburst.

Pests and Diseases

  • Citrus Rust Mite – It is a citrus pest found in humid areas suitable for growing citrus trees. It attacks leaves, twigs, and fruits causing leaf drop and smaller fruits.

Horticultural oils are effective when controlling rust mites. You can also use beneficial insects like ladybird beetles to minimize the citrus rust mite population.

  • Citrus Psyllid – It is an Asian sap-sucking bug that feeds on young tender growth and causes leaf curling and distortion. Although it will not directly kill the citrus tree it can transmit Huanglongbing disease that can kill growing citrus trees.

Oil sprays are effective in controlling the citrus psyllid population when applied frequently. When there is a major infestation professional pest control may be needed.

  • Alternaria Brown Spot – This fungal disease infects young shoots and leaves and causes dieback, heavy defoliation, and severe fruit drop. Infected fruits will have sunken black spots with a yellow halo.

Prevention is the best way to control this disease. Trim trees away from the ground and increase circulation to avoid standing water. Remove any debris or fallen fruits under the tree’s canopy.

You can also use copper fungicides to control this disease. The first spray must be done when new growth has expanded to ¼ or ½. The second spray must be applied when the leaves are near to full expansion to reduce the risk of fruit infection. Another spray should be done 4 weeks after the petal fall. Additional spray applications may be needed depending on the frequency of rainfall in the months of April through June.


Can a Minneola Tangelo Tree be grown from a seed?

Yes, you can grow a tangelo from a seed but remember that the fruit may be different in size, quality, or taste as compared to the parent tree. Also, while growing a citrus tree from a seed is possible and can be a fun project, remember that it can take as long as seven to ten years for a citrus tree grown from seed to produce fruit.

How long will it take for a Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Tree to grow fruit?

Grafted Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Trees will begin to consistently produce fruit after two to three years in the ground or in a good-sized container. Differences in fertilizer schedules, water frequency, sunlight, climate, growing location, and other environmental factors can all affect citrus fruit yields. Citrus trees grown from seed will always take longer to reach full fruit-growing age. Seven to ten years is a typical time period for a new tree to grow fruit.

Will another type of tangerine tree pollinate my Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Tree?

Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Trees will grow fruit with only one tree but they perform best when pollinated by bees, so trees grown outdoors will produce more fruit. Two cross-pollinating trees grown outside will grow more fruit than a solitary citrus tree. If you want to grow more fruit in this manner, a second tangelo of any type will work to cross-pollinate an existing Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Tree.

Is this Minneola Honeybell Tangelo tree genetically modified (GMO)?

No. The Minneola Honeybell Tangelo trees we sell are all NON-GMO.

Will squirrels eat the fruit on a Minneolatangelo variety of citrus tree?

For the most part, squirrels do not disturb or try to eat citrus. It is possible that some squirrels may attempt to eat citrus in the most sever cases of drought.

I have a mature lemon tree already planted. Will that cross-pollinate with this tangelo tree, or do I need to plant more?

It is self-fertile but will produce a better yield with a second pollinator tree. The second pollinator tree would have to be a type of tangelo for them to properly cross-pollinate.

Does a minneola tangelo tree need a second tree of the same type near it so they can cross-pollinate?

The Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Trees will grow fruit with only one tree but they perform best when pollinated by bees, so trees grown outdoors will produce more fruit. Trees grown inside can be pollinated by hand. Two Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Trees, (or even two tangelo trees of different types) growing near each other outdoors will produce more fruit than a single tree.

Can I plant a Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Tree in a container?

Yes. Start by potting the new Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Tree in a 5-gallon-sized pot that has holes in the bottom for drainage. Repot the Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Tree in a bigger container after one year. Repot each year into a larger pot until you get to a 17 to 20-gallon sized container. A wider, shallow pot is better than a tall narrow design. All pots must have adequate drainage. Once in the largest container, you can prune the roots and repot the tree every two years to encourage good growth and fruit production.

How long will it take a Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Tree to produce fruit?

Grafted citrus trees will begin to grow fruit after two to three years in the ground or in a suitable container. Variations in fertilizer, water, sun, temperature, and other environmental factors can all affect how soon and how much fruit a given citrus tree grows. Citrus trees grown from seed will take much longer to mature to fruit-growing age, such as seven to ten years.