How to care
for your Citrus Trees
Looking for a tree to bear indoor fruit? The Calamondin Orange Tree (Citrus mitis) is a favourite amongst indoor trees; it’s a perennial shrub that produces fruit that is a cross between a kumquat and a tangerine. Originating from China, they were brought over to North America’s shores in the 1900s. Calamondins are covered in oval, glossy green leaves and can also grow an abundance of fragrant white flowers at the tips of their branches, followed by small, tart, tangerine-like fruit. The fruit goes from deep green to bright orange and can be left on the tree for months at a time until you’re ready to cook with them (very acidic, tart and seedless – they’re a good substitute for lemons and a terrible substitute for lemon juice in your eye).
Care Level : Beginner, Expert or Somewhere in the middle.
Calamondin trees are somewhat in the middle. They’re shade tolerant and drought tolerant, but they’re most productive when they’re planted outside. When inside, you’ll have to keep an eye on it more than the average houseplant.
Try to give your Calamondin Orange Tree as much direct sunlight as possible – 4 hours at the minimum. We recommend you move it outdoors in the spring-summer months. You’ll want to rotate your tree periodically for balanced growth as it’ll grow towards the sun.
Check to see if the top 2” of its soil is dry before you water thoroughly. Let your tree dry out between watering. Calamondin Orange Trees are very susceptible to overwatering, so be careful not to overdo it.
Calamondin Orange Trees like moderate humidity, so you should put it on top of a tray of pebbles submerged in water. Pair it with a humidifier or mist frequently. Dry air will see its flowers drop off.
Calamondin Orange Trees thrive in year-round 18-24°C temperatures and can tolerate temperatures as low as 10°C in the winter. When it starts to get colder in the fall, you’ll want to slowly bring your tree indoor to allow it to adjust back to its indoor conditions.
Calamondin Orange Trees and their fruit have the same toxic components of citrus fruits to animals – so your citrus-averse pets will want to stay away from this tree.
Meyer Lemon Tree
Calamondin aka Mini Orange Tree
Other fun facts:
- The juice of the Calamondin can be used like lemon or lime to make refreshing beverages, to flavor fish, to make cakes, marmalades, pies, preserves, sauces and to use in soups and teas. Just call yourself Julia Child.
- The juice can be frozen in containers or in ice cube trays to make a cool, summer Calamondinade. Tastes better than it sounds.
- Some people boil the sliced fruits with cranberries to make a tart sauce.
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