For an unusually fruiting tree, try Calamondin. It is a natural hybrid between a sour mandarin and a kumquat, originally from China but cultivated outdoors in Hawaii, Florida, southern Texas and southern and coastal California where the climate is mild. The evergreen tree has almost thornless branches and grows upright with a columnar habit. Fragrant white blossoms in spring give way to small, spherical fruits that start out green but have reddish-orange rind and bright-orange pulp when ripe. The sour fruits persist on the tree through-out the winter and can be used for marmalade, drinks, and flavorings. The tree is very ornamental in the garden but also makes a wonderful potted plant that will do well indoors in winter, unlike other citrus trees. Trees begin bearing fruits in one to two years and have a life span of five years.

Fruit Description: One-and one-half inch, spherical fruit; very sour; green maturing to reddish-orange with bright-orange pulp when ripe.

Fruit Availability: Winter to summer, with length varying by region.

Plant Size: 6-20’ x 6-8’ W

Light: Full sun for best fruit production

Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained

Fertilizer: Apply granular citrus food in late winter or early spring and again in early summer.

Hardiness: Zones 8-11

Care: Prune for shape and removal of dead wood between harvest cycles; water deeply in times of extended drought.

Pests and Diseases: Snails, aphids, mites.

Propagation: Soft wood cuttings in spring or semi-ripe cuttings in summer; bud-graft onto sour orange (Poncirus trifoliata) rootstock.

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By Karen