The Q&A Archives: Care Tips For Calamondin

Question: I purchased a patio citrus today at a local flower show. The tag identifies the botanical name as calamondin, could you please send care tips. The plant is approximately 2 1/2 feet high, very hearty. I will be able to move it outside to a sunny porch when weather permits but want it to stay as beautiful as it is now.

Answer: In cold winter areas citrus trees can be grown indoors from September through April and then taken outdoors a placed in a sunny spot. Indoors, citrus trees need average warmth, freedom from drafts, ample water, and well draining soil. You may need to supplement natural light with fluorescent or gro-lites especially made for plants. Turn the light on for 12-14 hours each day and turn it off at night. Citrus trees need ample moisture, so water often enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy, and feed in the spring and summer months with a diluted liquid fertilizer, especially if the leaves are yellowish instead of glossy deep green. Watch out for scale, aphids and mites, and use insecticidal soap or light horticultural oil according to label instructions if they do show up.

Be sure to give your trees a gradual transition from indoors to outdoors, and vice versa, so they have time to adjust to the changes in the environment.

The flowers are very fragrant and with any luck at all you'll be able to harvest oranges as your tree matures.

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