If you want to have an orange tree at home but you don’t have enough space, we bring you the solution: the calamondin . This small fruit tree will make a place in your house and surely also in your heart.
In this article we are going to explain everything you need to be able to have this striking tree in your house so that it is always healthy and beautiful. Keep reading and don’t miss a thing.
INFORMATION ON CALAMONDIN ( CITROFORTUNELLA MICROCARPA )
Before starting with all the recommendations, we always like to explain what the characteristics of the plant are so that you better understand its needs and know how to take better care of it.
- Kingdom : Plantae
- Division : Magnoliophyta
- Class : Magnoliopsida
- Subclass : Rosidae
- Order : Sapindales
- Family : Rutaceae
- Genus : Citrus
- Species : Citrofortunella microcarpa
Calamondín, whose scientific name is C itrofortunella x microcarpa, is a small fruit tree. Surely it sounds more like Chinese orange or dwarf orange tree , although it should not be confused with kumquat (Fortunella). Originally from China, it is a hybrid between the Citrus reticulata and Fortunella margarita genera .
As you may have already noticed, the main difference between calamondin and other fruit trees such as orange is its small size , which allows it to be grown in a pot. In addition, its fruits are a combination of orange and lemon . They are small and similar in appearance to mandarins, although they have the characteristic sour taste of lemons.
This little tree can reach a maximum height of 2 meters , with a dense crown and bright green elliptical leaves. Its flowers are small, white, located in the final axil of the branches.
The Calamondín grows quite fast and can live for many years (around a century), provided that it is given a series of care.
MAIN CARES OF THE CALAMONDÍN
Next, we are going to see in detail the different points that must be followed to properly care for your calamondin and that you can enjoy this curious little tree for many years.
LOCATION AND LIGHTING
It is a plant that needs to receive a high amount of lighting . Trees generally have to receive a lot of light in order to maintain their luxuriance. It is convenient for them to receive at least several hours of direct light, especially when the sun’s rays are weaker.
It is also a plant that resists the cold well , so the ideal is that it be outdoors most of the year. Our advice is that during the coldest dates in winter stay indoors and in summer be outside to benefit from the sun. This as long as you have decided to take care of it in pots.
As with the rest of fruit trees, it is very important that it receives a lot of light because otherwise it will not develop correctly and it will not grow robust.
As happens in the vast majority of plants, irrigation will depend on the time of year.
During the winter , you should water it in moderation between 1 or 2 times a week, especially in hot climates, where it develops best. In summer , it will be necessary to increase the frequency up to 3 and 4 times a week during the hottest days. Also remember to check how the soil is and water it in case you see that it has become dry.
If you have your calamondin in a pot, it is important that it has a good drainage system or holes to prevent it from puddling and the roots rotting. For this reason, we advise you to use terracotta pots, which is a porous material and also absorb water. If you use any other material, make sure it has multiple drainage holes.
To know the ideal amount of watering, you must provide about 1/4 or 1/3 of the volume of the pot. For example, if you have a 10-liter pot, you will add between 2.5 and 3 liters of water. On the plate, there should be at least 10% water left over.
It also needs a medium degree of humidity, for this we recommend that you spray its leaves daily, especially in the hottest months to help your calamondin stay hydrated and with the right degree of humidity.
CLIMATOLOGY AND TEMPERATURE OF CALAMONDÍN
The calamondin needs warm temperatures, ideally between 15-25 ºC . As we mentioned before, it is a resistant tree that can withstand higher temperatures as long as we water it more frequently.
On the other hand, although it can withstand low temperatures, it does not resist well frost or cold and dry climates throughout the year. Therefore, we tell you that if possible during the coldest days or moments of winter, protect your calamondin inside the house.
SUBSTRATE AND FERTILIZER FOR CALAMONDÍN
A common way to take care of your calamondin is to provide continuous organic fertilizers , especially in spring and summer. In any other way, you can also use dosed mineral fertilizers together with the irrigation water or choose solid fertilizers in the form of granules.
To improve the development of the roots, especially when we increase the frequency of irrigation, it is advisable to provide liquid organic fertilizer in the form of humic extract or liquid worm humus.
If you have your calamondin in pots, it is very important that the soil has good drainage. If you consider it necessary, you can mix the substrate with 20% perlite .
While if you have it directly in the garden , it is advisable to add between 2 and 3 kg of organic matter mixed with the soil. Each year, you will contribute between 1 and 2 kg contributed around the soil, in the form of mulch.
As is very common in citrus fruits, calamondin tends to suffer from various chlorosis, the most common being magnesium (loss of greenness in adult leaves), such as zinc and manganese (inverted v-shaped chlorosis) or iron (chlorosis of the new leaves, preserving the greenness in the veins).
The correction of the deficiencies is usually carried out as soon as we detect them, being the most advisable to anticipate and provide micronutrients and complete fertilizers with magnesium at the beginning of spring.
PRUNING OF THE CALAMONDÍN
The best time to carry out small pruning is in spring , once the risk of frost has passed. What you will have to do is eliminate those branches that you see are sick or weak.
This type of ornamental citrus is not usually pruned, except to give a specific shape to the tree or to eliminate twisted or deteriorated branches.
PLAGUES AND DISEASES
As we have commented several times, the calamondin is a fairly resistant tree but in the spring and summer seasons it can be affected by mealybugs (cotonet). Luckily, it is quite a lot to get rid of them and keep your little tree safe, using a brush dipped in alcohol.
The foliar applications with potassium soap applied every 5 days to eliminate the problem are also recommended and do not cause any negative effect on people and pets.
Regarding diseases, special care must be taken with having an excessively humid and oxygen-starved substrate, as well as avoiding excessive environmental humidity to avoid fungi such as anthracnose
Some last tips to take care of your citrus. It is a tree that gets used to a location very quickly, so it is advisable not to change it too much.
On the other hand, if you live in areas with a dry climate, try to place it next to other plants that also require medium levels of humidity, thus favoring the creation of a microclimate where the environment remains humid.
We hope we have helped you with all this information so that you are encouraged to make a little hole in your house for such a striking little tree. Sure you will not regret!