Most gardeners grow Calamansi outdoors because they live in a conducive climate for growing this gorgeous Citrus tree. However, Calamansi is very popular due to its health benefits and ornamental effects. Thus, many people started growing this plant indoors. Growing Calamansi indoors is highly recommended especially if you live in a cold area. But you should keep in mind these vital tips for growing Calamansi trees indoors.
1. Choose the right variety
There are large, small and dwarf varieties of Calamansi. Since you are growing this citrus tree in a limited space, it is best that you choose a dwarf variety. Dwarf varieties are perfect to grow in containers. You could either start your plant from seeds or from a cutting.
If you don’t want to wait too long to see your Calamansi giving fruits, you should grow it from a cutting rather from seeds. Buy a 3 years old healthy cutting. The most recommended varieties to grow indoors are:
2. A large container promotes the growth
The is one of the most important tips for growing Calamansi indoors. Even the smallest Calamansi varieties require a large comfortable pot to grow. The ideal container for small varieties should be at least 10-15 gallon (40-60 L) and it contains a lot of drainage holes. Good drainage is necessary to avoid rot and many other diseases.
For a good drainage, you should add a layer of gravel or pebbles at the bottom of the container. This will allow the soil to drain well and prevent rot.
Calamansi Trees prefer acidic soil. The recommended soil pH levels are between 6 and 7. They also need a warm soil to grow. The ideal temperature degrees for optimum growth should range between 55-85 degrees F (13-30 C). 65 F (18 C) is the perfect temperature degree.
3. Sunlight Exposure is vital
Citrus trees, in general, need to receive a lot of indirect sunlight to grow. Calamansi trees make no exception. These trees need at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight. Therefore, place them in a south facing position near a window. The window will protect them from getting burnt by direct sunlight. You can also replace the sunlight with grow lights. The best grow light to use on Calamansi is a 40-watt fluorescent.
Keep your plants indoors until the last frost ends then you can take them outside. However, since your tree is used to indoor growing conditions, you help it to acclimate to the outdoor growing conditions gradually. First, start taking it outside only for a couple of hours and leave it in a partially shaded spot. Then, increase the time your plant spends outdoor in direct sunlight gradually. This transition is extremely important in order not to shock your tree and hinder its growth.
4. Humidity is important
All citrus plants need moist air especially Calamansi. Calamansi requires a humidity range that is 50%. Otherwise, your tree will start to drop its leaves. Therefore, it is essential that you keep your plant in an environment where the air is moist.
One of the best ricks to increase the humidity for your Calamansi tree is to place a tray filled with a lot of tiny stones and little water under the Calamansi containers. The water will evaporate increasing the humidity levels for the sake of your tree. Don’t refill the tray with water because it will be automatically refilled when your water your Calamansi. The excess of water will drip from the drainage hole into the tray.
5. Watering should be regular
Regular watering is one of the most crucial tips for growing Calamansi. You should water your tree regularly and carefully to avoid overwatering. Before you water your Calamansi, you should poke your finger 2 inches into the soil to see whether it is dry or wet.
If the top two inches of soil are dry, you should water your Calamansi until you see some drips of water coming out of the drainage holes. In summer and hot days, you should water your tree more frequently. However, don’t water unless you make sure that the soil is dry. This way, you will avoid overwatering which will cause many problems to your tree.
You shouldn’t forget about mulching. Mulching is necessary for your plant to grow healthy and strong. There are a lot of benefits of mulch such as reducing the evaporation, retaining moisture, and providing some nutrition.
It is also recommended that you acidify the water you use to water your plant. This will keep adequate pH in the soil. You can easily acidify your water by adding 1 Tablespoon (15mL) of vinegar per 1 gallon (4 liters) of water.
6. Hand Pollinate
To be clear, Calamansi does not require usually require hand pollination but you should do it anyway as a precautionary measure. Calamansi trees can produce fruits with pollination but pollinating them will definitely improve their productivity. Pollination contributes to a heavy yield.
Calamnsi trees are heavy feeders and they require a lot of nutrients to develop flowers and produce fruits. There are a lot of ways to provide your tree with the nutrients it needs. The most recommended ways are:
- Apply a 1-1-1 plant fertilizer
- Add compost tea
- Add cured compost or manure or both
You should feed Calamansi once a month during summer. During winter they don’t require much feeding. Once every couple of months is enough.
These are the best tips for growing Calamansi indoors. Follow these tips and your Calamnsi tree will grow without any problems. These tips will also make your tree more productive.