Citrus mitis Calamondin Orange; 15°C/60°F; Philippines

One of the more choice of the potted plants, this ornamental orange has many attractive qualities. Small glossy green leaves are attractive in themselves, and the plant retains a reasonably compact habit if the growing conditions are fairly cool (about 13°C/55°F). White, heavily-scented flowers are mostly produced in the summer, but you may chance to have a crop of flowers at almost any time of the year for no apparent reason. Flowers are normally followed by small green fruits that will in time ripen to become perfect miniature oranges. These are bitter tasting but quite edible. New plants may be raised from seed or from cuttings about 8cm/3in in length – firm young shoots root fairly readily at any time of the year if a heated propagator is available. The best method of cultivation is to pot the plant on almost as soon as it is purchased if it is growing in a relatively small pot, which is usually the case. Two parts of loam-based mixture to one part fresh peat will do them well. To counteract the possibility of plants becom- ing top-heavy it is advisable to use clay pots. Another important requirement is that plants should be placed out of doors during the summer months, as they will need all the sunshine that is available to keep them in good condition. Watering should not be neglected, but by the same token it must not be overdone, as the Calamondin Orange has a comparatively weak root system that may easily be damaged by overwatering and equally easily by frequent and careless potting. Regular feeding of established plants with weak liquid fertilizer will do no harm. With watering and feeding with liquid fertilizers, it is very important that the water should drain freely through the soil and not lie on the surface-an open soil and provision of adequate drainage in the bottom of the pot will assist in this matter.

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