Calamondin is an intergeneric hybrid between a mandarin orange and the kumquat.
Common name : Calamondin
Scientific name : Citrus microcarpa
Family : Rutaceae
Category : Fruit plants
Type of plant : Perennial
Calamondin is called by an incredible amount of names, including calamonding, calamondin orange, calamansi, calamandarin, golden lime, Philippine lime or Panama orange…
It is a shrub or small tree growing to 3–6 m (9.8–19.7 ft), characterised by wing-like appendages on the leaf stalks and white or purplish flowers. The fruit of the calamondin resembles a small, round lime, with center pulp and juice the orange colour of a tangerine with a very thin orange peel when ripe.
The plant is sensitive to prolonged and/or extreme cold and is therefore limited outdoors to tropical, sub-tropical and the warmer parts of warm temperate climates. In regions with cooler climates, potted plants are brought into a greenhouse, conservatory, or indoors as a houseplant during the winter periods.
Sowing & planting
100 - 200
6 - 7
Identify my calamondin
The calamondin - Citrus mitis or madurensis - is a small tree of the Rutaceae family.
It is bushy, sometimes slightly thorny, and it hardly exceeds 3 meters in height. This citrus of Chinese origin is probably a natural hybrid between mandarin and kumquat! It is lucky enough to endure much better winter in an apartment than its cousins.
Plant my calamondin
You will plant the calamondin potted, except in a really mild climate.
But otherwise, know that calamondin better withstands the warmth of apartments than other citrus!
Choose a large vat or a pot preferably made of terracotta pierced at its bottom to ensure proper evacuation of water.
Place in the bottom thick layer of gravel or clay balls equivalent to about 20% of the volume of the pot.
Make a mix of good soil, compost and medium-sized river sand. Spread a layer of this mixture at the bottom of the pot and place your plant so that the graft point emerge slightly above the top of the pot because it should never be buried.
Fill vacant spaces with the rest of the mixture and tamp around the foot.
Sprinkle copiously to remove any air pockets in the soil. Add some more mixture if necessary.
In the open soil, plant the calamondin in full sun, sheltered from the wind, ideally against a wall, in a light soil, a little acid and well drained.
Water my calamondin
Did you know? The calamansi tree has a particular language to explain to you if it is thirsty!
Leaves pointed upward signify that it doesn't have enough water. On the other hand, leaves pointed downward means that there's an excess of water!
That said, during good weather, an outside potted lemon is subject to a high level of evaporation: it therefore must be watered very regularly during this season for optimal growth. The mixture should never completely dry between two watering in summer, but water should never stagnate in the container.
In winter, water even more steadily as long as the tree is bearing fruit — after, you can reduce to just once a month, leaving the substrate slightly dry between two waterings.
Repot my calamondin
A calamondin grown in pot needs regular inputs, at the risk of not being at its best! Repot in the spring, every 2 to 3 years, changing medium for a special citrus quality soil or special planting.
Make sure the bottom of the pot has a drainage hole - add some pebbles to the bottom for a draining effect.
Shelter my calamondin
Starting in autumn, bring in the pots.
Have your plant spend winter in a bright frost-free spot: your living room can be suitable, but not too close from any heater.
During winter, keep watering your tree as long as it is still bearing fruit, then you can space out the watering, letting the substrate dry slightly between them.
Put outside my calamondin
Take out your calamondin in pot for the summer, from May.
Find a spot in full sun, but sheltered from the wind that dries its leaves!
Protect my calamondin
If your calamondin is in the open soil, and you fear a possible period of frost, do not hesitate to cover its base with a good pile of dead leaves.
Also surround the trunk with a thick doormat (braided rush, reed, rye straw or rice ...), maintained by links. You can also cover the foliage with a wintering cover!
Fertilize my calamondin
The citrus' love of water accelerates soil leaching: therefore, it really must be fertilized — especially for potted lemons!
For a plentiful harvest, regularly provide a fertilizer rich in nitrogen and lye — you can find fertilizers appropriate for citrus fruit in stores or try with a compost. In winter, reduce the provisions to once a month. In spring, start back up with a frequency of once every two weeks.
Prune my calamondin
Cut the calamondin to obtain more ramifications for a more compact and less spready habit.
In the early years, cut each new stem once it has finished growing - the new leaves are darker and hardened - leaving only 20 cm long.
One pruning is adviced per month, from May to September, until the calamondin has taken shape.
Subsequently, one pruning per year will suffice, at the end of the winter. Dead and diseased branches and overlapping branches should be removed to open the plant and allow light to go through it.
Check on my calamondin
Observe your calamondin in winter: if the leaves darken, it's a cold snap, and if they turn pale, it's a lack of fertilizer!
The calamondin can also have other troubles:
The aphids can be seen with the naked eye, under the leaves, near the veins. Spray on the leaves with soapy water, or a mixture of water and olive oil that will nourish your plant.
Mealybugs, however, lock themselves in a brown carapace or under white felting, on the back of the leaf against the main vein and excrete honeydew that eventually attract mushrooms.
The foliage of the calamondin is discolored, its green turns silver gray, small cobwebs are formed at the end of the leaves? Your plant is attacked by red spiders.
Against mealybugs and red spiders, you can preventively moisten the foliage by spraying it several times a week with non-calcareous and non-chlorinated water.
Mulch my calamondin
The calamondin likes a well drained fresh soil. Its roots are mostly superficial, and it does not appreciate the presence of herbs or other plants that compete with him. Mulch, to avoid having to weed, and to keep its base cool! Pine spines or cocoa barks will suit it perfectly.
Reap my calamondin
The harvest takes place from November to March. Thus, the fruits often ripen inside. Keep the ground slightly damp until you pick the last fruit.