Calamondin (Indoor) Orange Trees

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

If it smells like an orange blossom (candles, perfumes), I usually like it. I grew up in Arizona and can recall the smell of orange blossoms on command. It's one of my favorite scents - just smells like home.

So how could I resist placing an order for a calamondin orange tree yesterday when I read that the best part about the trees is they blossom and produce fruit year round? I can't imagine anything better than smelling real orange blossoms in your home all the time (though fresh homemade marmalade is a close second place).

Cliff notes on caring for calamondin orange, meyer lemon, or key lime trees (which all make great, hardy indoor plants):

- Plant in 1-3 gallon pots, depending on the size of your seedling.
- Keep in as much direct sunlight as possible and temperatures between 65 and 90 degrees (you might want to keep the tree outdoors in the summer and in for the winter)
- Fertilize in the cold months

- Water only when the top inch of soil is dry. Over-watering will quickly kill these trees.
-It takes a seedling 2 years or so to start producing fruit. So pay attention to the age of a tree when you're purchasing. You can buy one year old seedlings for cheap, but it will take a while before you get to enjoy the pretty fruits.


-It takes another whole YEAR for the fruit to ripen! Not so great for harvesting, but awesome for ornamental purposes.
- The flesh of the tiny fruit is super sour, but the peel is supposed to be pretty sweet, a lot like a kumquat. Perfect for flavoring drinks (frozen calamondin halves as ice!) or for jellies or cakes.

- Also, if you live in a citrus producing state like FL, AZ, CA or TX, you can't buy citrus trees online due to agricultural laws. You should have some luck at your local plant nursery though.

I'll be sure to report on how my little tree arrives and (hopefully) thrives. Do you have any experience with indoor citrus trees?

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