Dwarf Minneola Tangelo (Honeybell) Tree

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

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The Dwarf Minneola Tangelo (Honeybell) Tree is an evergreen tree with shiny, dark-green foliage and white fragrant flowers is a great indoor tree that makes a fine accent to your patio or living room. The blooms have a high degree of fragrance, and the fruit is a beautiful color.

A true Dwarf Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Tree is a hybrid-cross between a Thompson tangerine and a pomelo, hence the name Tangelo. Both Minneolas and Honeybells are fairly large, typically 3–3½ inches in diameter. The Honeybells tend to be larger and sweeter. The peel colour, when mature, is a bright red-orange color.

This variety was released in 1931 by the USDA Horticultural Research Station in Orlando.

Honeybell trees are fairly cold-hardy and do well in USDA plant hardiness zone 8 thru 11 when planted in the ground. They can often survive in USDA growing zones 4 thru 8 which are colder regions if grown in a protected location against a south-facing wall.

Honeybell Tangelo trees are quite robust and when given enough space to develop. Dwarf Minneola Tangelo Honeybell Trees are small in stature and can only grow to up to 12 feet, even when planted in the ground. The Dwarf Minneola Tangelo Tree is normally grafted onto rootstock like Trifoliate orange, Swingle,or Cleopatra Mandarin to help keep it dormant during cold spells when new foliage may be harmed by cold temperatures. Although the tree is a dwarf, the fruit produced by dwarf Minneola Tangelo Honeybell trees are the same size as the fruit grown on standard size trees.

This evergreen tree with its shiny, dark-green foliage and white fragrant flowers is a great indoor tree that makes a fine accent to your patio or living room. The blooms have a high degree of fragrance, and the fruit is a beautiful color.

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Citrus Tree Care

When considering purchasing a  tangelo tree, tangerine tree, or honeybell tree, keep in mind these trees should be properly cared for in order to yield a multitude of tasty and good quality fruit.

  • Citrus trees like the Honeybell tree are ideally suited for a Mediterranean or subtropical climate and they flourish in mild winters and warm summers with high rainfall. They can also survive in coastal areas so long as they are protected from the salt-laden ocean breeze.
  • When selecting a location for your fruit tree, choose an area where it will get 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day; it can stand some shade but enjoys basking in the sun. It should also be sheltered against strong winds and cold temperatures.
  • Water your growing citrus trees slowly and deeply to efficiently moisten the soil once to twice a week during hot, dry summers. Citrus fruit trees planted in containers need to be watered more often during dry spells in the summer. However, if you have sandy soil, water in moderation but at shorter intervals.
  • Fruit trees like the Honeybell tree, Tangerine tree and other citrus trees are voracious feeders and must be given fertilizer for citrus trees three to four times a year with fertilizer rich in nitrogen and potassium. Use a slow-release 3:1:5 liquid fertilizers in September, January, April and July. If you applying a fertilizer that is planted in the ground, use 1 cup of ammonium sulfate (21:0:0 NPK) and spread it over the root area. After this application water it so the soil completely saturated. Increase the amount of fertilizer each year, according to manufacturer directions of tree size or age.
  • Just like with all dwarf tangerine trees, prune the Tangelo tree and remove broken, diseased, and dead branches in the later part of spring or early summer after anywinter damage becomes apparent. This will improve air circulation and allow more sunlight into the tree. Make sure to remove water sprouts and growths below the graft line called suckers that take away nutrients from the growing plant.
  • Avoid weeds and grass around your citrus tree Hand-pull the weeds or use herbicide to remove them. When using a weed-killer chemical, you can wrap heavy-duty aluminum foil around the trunk from the ground level to the first branches to protect the tree.
  • Examine your fruit tree regularly for pests like aphids, mites, scales, ants and thrips. Although you can get rid of aphids with a strong blast of water, you may need to use pesticides or horticultural oils to get rid of other pest infestations. Keep an eye on your citrus tree and take immediate steps to exterminate any pest or disease.

If you are living in an area where winter is harsh, make sure to protect your citrus trees by covering them with a tarp or plastic sheeting when a freeze strikes. You can also take it inside and or provide a continuous source of heat. If a frost or hard freeze is in the forecast, deeply water the tree, and then spray the Honeybell tree with anti-transpirant.

Fruit & Harvesting


Minneola Tangelos or Honeybells are a large citrus fruit (3 – 3 ½ inches in diameter) almost the size of grapefruit. It is oblate to obovate and is characterized by a pronounced neck that makes the fruit appear like a pear or bell. The peel of Minneola Honeybell is smooth to slightly pebbled with no deep dimples and is very easy to peel. Once ripe, the rind turns a deep orange color which can be characterized as almost red.

This virtually seedless fruit is as aromatic and sweet as a tangerine with a burst of its grapefruit parent’s tartness. Minneolas are normally very juicy to a point that you need to lean forward while eating it or use a bowl to catch the dripping juice. If squeezed, the juice can be refrigerated and tastes good when blended with other citrus juices.

The fruit and peels of Tangelos can be used for recipes calling for oranges and will produce a slightly different tasty flavor.


Just like fruit from tangerine trees, the Honeybells’ rind turns orange when ripe with a reddish hue. They are also firm yet slightly soft to the touch, with smooth skin and no deep grooves.Make sure to select fruit that has thin, finely-textured skin and avoid those with soft spots, faded coloring or wrinkled skin.The best way to know if your Honeybells are ready for harvesting, is to do a taste test to check if there is ample juice inside and to be sure the taste is full of flavor.

Keep in mind that Tangelos should not be left for too long on the tree because the next time the Honeybell tree bears fruit, the crop will decrease.Harvested fruits can be eaten fresh, used to make fruit salads, green salads, and smoothies. You can blend it with yogurt or make marmalades out of these incredible luscious fruits. You can also use it to add zest to pumpkin pie, cheesecakes, poultry stuffing, and sauces.

Growing Zones


Minneola Tangelo Honeybell trees can grow up to 8’-12’ when planted in the ground but tend to be smaller when planted in a container or pot. The usual bloom/fruit season for this citrus tree is in spring. Although hardy in zones 8-11 it can be planted in pots in USDA zones 4 thru 7. When temperature drop to 30°F or below, trees should be protected from cold and frost.

Minneola Tangelo trees can produce fruit when grown alone but yield more when cross pollinated with Dancy, Clementine and Kinnow mandarins.

Pests and Diseases

Citrus trees have various pest and disease problems that home growers should be aware of so that they can take immediate and proper action.


  • Aphids are minute bugs that feed on newly, emergent succulent leaves that suck the sap from plants. Infestations and sustained feeding may result in distorted or stunting growth, and low fruit crop yield. You can control aphid infestations by using beneficial bugs like beetles and lacewings or applying insecticidal soaps.
  • Citrus Psyllid is a sap sucking bug that is a carrier of a serious citrus disease called citrus greening. They exclusively breed and excessively feed on young tender trees and new growths causing leaf distortion and curling. Oil sprays can be used to control psyllid infestation and effective when sprayed frequently.
  • Citrus Canker is a serious disease caused by a bacterial pathogen that creates necrotic lesions surrounded by yellow halos on leaves, stems and fruit. It can cause defoliation, fruit dropping from the citrus tree,and tree decline. This disease can be prevented with a copper fungicide.
  • Citrus Greening is caused by systemic phloem-inhabiting bacterium. Symptoms include yellowing of leaves along the veins or development of blotchy-mottle. This disease causes heavy leaf drop, out of season flowering, and dieback. Infected fruits become small and lopsided with a bitter taste. There is no cure for citrus greening and infected trees eventually decline to a non-productive state. Although there is no cure, this problem can be prevented by proper irrigation, weed control, applying citrus tree fertilizer, and psyllid control.


Can a 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 a seed to produce fruit.

How long will it take for a Dwarf Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Treeto grow fruit?

Grafted Dwarf Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Treeswill 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, planting or 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 typical.

Will a dwarf tangerine tree pollinate my Dwarf Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Tree?

Dwarf Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Treeswill 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 Dwarf Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Tree.

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

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

Will squirrels eat the fruit on a tangelo or other 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 Meyer Lemon tree already planted. Will that cross-pollenate with this tangelo tree or do I need to plant more?

Both are self-fertile, but will produce a better yield if each has a mate. Each tree would need another tree of the same type to cross-pollinate.

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

The Dwarf Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Treeswill 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 Dwarf 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 Dwarf Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Tree in a container?

Yes. Start by potting the new Dwarf Minneola Honeybell Tangelo Tree in a 5-gallon sized pot that has holes in the bottom for drainage. Repot the Dwarf 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 Dwarf 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; seven to ten years is common.