Calamondin, a nice indoor orange tree

Calamondin bearing red-yellow fruits.

Calamondin or calamondino is an apartment orange tree very well suited to living inside our heated homes.

Core Calamondin facts

NameCitrus mitis
FamilyRutaceae (Rue family)

Height – 3 to 6 ½ feet (1 to 2 meters)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – soil mix

Foliage – evergreen
Fruit formation – November to March

Planting and repotting, care, watering and pruning are all good practices that will help you to grow a very nice calamondin.

Planting and repotting calamondin

Calamondin planting for pots

It is recommended to plant calamondin in a blend of soil mix eventually enriched with fertilizer.

  • The pot must absolutely be holed at the bottom to avoid having the roots stagnate in water.

An ideal solution is to pour in a layer of gravel, clay pebbles or rocks to ensure that excess water drains well to the bottom.
Make this layer about 1 to 2 inches (3 to 4 cm) thick.

Anticipate re-potting in a pot that is slightly larger than the previous every 2 or 3 years on average.

Planting calamondin directly in the ground

It can only grow directly in the ground in Mediterranean-type climate (dry, warm summer and dry, mild winters), or tropical climates.

If this is the case, mix soil mix together with your garden soil. It’s very important to ensure that your soil drains well.

If it doesn’t drain well, dig a hole that is slightly deeper, and layer gravel, rocks, sand or clay pebbles along the bottom.

Propagating calamondino

Pruning and caring for calamondin

How to prune calamondino

It isn’t really necessary to prune it. However, to rebalance the silhouette of your calamondin, prune lightly after repotting, in spring.

The only rule for pruning is that you can give it the shape you want! More like a tree with a tallish trunk, or a bushy round shrub, the choice is yours! It can even be pleated or trimmed as a flat espalier, if need be.

Best practices are to:

  • remove dead wood and dying branches
  • if two branches are crossing each other, select one of the two and cut the other off
  • you’ll have more flowering, fruiting and less diseases if you clear the center of the calamondino from time to time. Just remove a little growth to make sure the center of the tree gets light.

Repotting and topdressing

It is advised to repot every 2 years. This helps replenish soil nutrients that are depleted as the plant consumes them. Watering often washes nutrients out, too.

  • Best to do this at the end of winter or in spring after the blooming and fruit formation.
  • Otherwise, summer is fine, too.

If ever the pot is too large for repotting, you can go for topdressing. It’s a good enough alternative, but remember to use a richer soil mix than for regular repotting.

How to have nice fruits and magnificent leaves?

Adding citrus-specific fertilizer will considerably increase fruit and foliage quality.

Fruit drop occurs pretty often at the beginning, when the plant is young. As it gets older, remember to always give it fertilizer, proper watering, and to avoid direct sunlight between 10 am and 4 pm. This all helps avoid stress to the plant, and it can hold on to its fruits until they’re ripe instead of dropping them on a whim!

Watering calamondin

Indoors, water, but not too much, as soon as the soil is dry.

  • You can increase the amount of water in spring and summer, especially in warm weather.
  • In winter, wait for the soil to have dried on a full inch (a couple centimeters) before watering again.

Learn more about calamondin

Calamondin is a small fruit shrub that produces edible fruits, but they’re so acidic that they’re hard to digest. However, if you like the tart taste, you can even eat the calamondin peel together with the flesh! They’re a bit like kumquat in that respect, but they aren’t as tasty.

As a matter of fact, the beauty and fragrant flowers are usually the reason it is often chosen as an indoor ornamental plant.

If you can, it is good to bring your calamondin out after any risk of freezing has disappeared, from spring until the end of summer.

Indoors, simply set it in a well-lit spot but avoid direct sunlight during the hottest hours.
Also avoid setting it right next to a radiator.

Diseases and parasites of calamondin

Smart tip about calamondin

Plan on adding fertilizer for citrus plants regularly in order to greatly increase blooming and fruit formation.

Calamondin on social media

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Picture related to Calamondin overlaid with the

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Calamondin by Michael Matera ★ under Pixabay license