Tangelo (Citrus × tangelo), is a citrus fruit hybrid of tangerine and pomelo or grapefruit (C. reticulata × C. maxima or x C. paradisi). They are also known as honeybells because of their shape. There are two varieties of tangelo that are most commonly available: the Minneola and the Orlando. The Minneola tangelo is a hybrid of a “Dancy” tangerine and a “Bowen” grapefruit and the Orlando tangelo is a cross between a “Dancy” tangerine and a “Duncan“ grapefruit.
Tangelo vary in size between a tangerine and a grapefruit, but in general it has the size of a medium to large orange. This member of the citrus family is known for the juice that it provides as a ripe tangelo is filled with much more juice than pulp. Less acidic and sweeter than a pomelo, the flesh of the tangelo is juicy and tasty. The skin of the tangelo is more resistant than that of the tangerine, but they generally have loose skin and are easier to peel than oranges and the segments can be easily separated. Tangelo distinguishes from oranges by the characteristic “nipple” at the stem.
Tangelos grow best in a well-drained, light sandy soil. Evergreen in warm areas, tangelos are sensitive to frost so they will need winter protection if the temperatures in your area go under -6 Celsius degrees (20 F). Water young tangelo trees once a week during the first growing season and then as often as necessary to prevent the surrounding soil from drying completely. Fertilize tangelo trees annually in the early spring.
Tangelos have few to no seeds, depending on how it is grown. If grown in a block of just Minneolas, fruits will be seedless, but if grown near other tangerine or tangelo varieties it will have some seeds as it is exposed to cross-pollination. If the fruits are left too long on the tree, the next crop has a tendency to yield less fruit.
Tangelo fruits tend to be relatively more delicate and are more prone to damage when handling than oranges or grapefruit. A tangelo will keep a few days at room temperature but, for longer storage keep tangelos in a cool place or in the fruit drawer of your refrigerator. When buying tangelos, choose fruits that are heavy for thier size, with firm skin that is free of spots and bruises.