Sunday, January 27, 2008

New Calamondin Cutting

Lately, I have been day dreaming a lot about fruit trees. They always catch my eye when I see them, but they can be pricey, and well they can be tricky as houseplants. Not too many fruit trees can grow here, I think I am in Zone 2, maybe 3, but that is pushing A couple of my neighbours have a hardy apple tree, and one has a Nanking Cherry that is hardy, and I am going to try and take cuttings this spring of them. This requires a bit of research though, as I have found woody/tree cuttings to be hard to do.

Must be the season or something, but all these cute little Calamondin trees are everywhere around here. So I had to get a cutting, and try it out for myself.

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

So here is the cutting. It reminds me a ficus....kind of, with a mini orange rather than a fig?!? They are said to be able to grow to close to 24 inches over a ten month period, from cutting. They grow roughly a foot a year. I am told they can bear fruit in their second year from a cutting. So it is kind of like instant gratification (at least in the botanical world). I will probably end up buying one if they are still around in a month or so (or when they go on When they flower I hear they are highly fragrant. I love the smell of citrus, so this will be a much anticipated flower in my house. I do plan on putting it under a 400W MH once it has rooted quite well (My brugs under them love it!!). I love that I can simulate at least bright sun to a select number of my plants.

I rooted this cutting in some well draining coir and perlite. I took the fruit off "sniff", hoping it will focus on rooting and not fruiting. I put it in the window, close to a fluorescent light, in a baggie. So we will see what happens. I have never had success with tree cuttings, at least outdoor tree cuttings, but I am hoping this will be more of a ficus/woody hoya type plant that will root inside under houseplant conditions.

That last statement confused me little, so let me explain. I have rooted woodier type hoya's, as well as Ficus cuttings. I have even had some fuchsia cuttings survive (they were a bit trickier). But I tried last summer to take some cuttings from trees that were growing outside, and they all wilted and died within a couple days. I find outdoor plants harder to take cuttings of, unlike indoor plants, which are somewhat easier. So I am just hoping that this Calamondin will root as easily as a houseplant, and not be so difficult like my summer tree cuttings.

Last night when I was googling around with Calamondins, I read that they can root from leaf cuttings.....and now I am saying "DaMn", I threw three leaves out. I came home with the cutting, potted it up, and THEN did my googling. I guess I know for next time. I came across a fellow Canadian that has been growing these for many years. It was a nice article, I am glad I took the time to read it, I am posting the link in case it further peaks your curiosity.

Mostly an ornamental plant, the fruits are said to be quite sour and bitter. Compared more to a lime than a lemon. I would still love to try one, and I bet they are wonderful in iced tea, or on fish. YAY!!.....two more years!!! OMG I can't wait!! LOL

(photo courtesy of Sebastien Tricoire & Wikimedia)


Anonymous said...

filipinos use calamondin like others use lemons and limes. i myself am a filipina so I would know. you can make calamondin juice, equivalent to lemoade and or use it on chicken as marinade before you grill it.

Anonymous said...

I have a calamondin plant in my office. It seems to like it there. I use the fruit just to eat or to throw into a salad. One day, I ate one of the fruits and then threw the seed in a pot with a pepper plant. Next thing I know, I have another orange tree that it bigger than the original. The second one hasn't started bearing, yet.