Calamondin (Indoor) Orange Trees

If it smells like an orange blossom (candles, perfumes), I usually like it. I grew up in Arizona and can recall the smell of orange blossoms on command. It's one of my favorite scents - just smells like home.





So how could I resist placing an order for a calamondin orange tree yesterday when I read that the best part about the trees is they blossom and produce fruit year round? I can't imagine anything better than smelling real orange blossoms in your home all the time (though fresh homemade marmalade is a close second place).



Cliff notes on caring for calamondin orange, meyer lemon, or key lime trees (which all make great, hardy indoor plants):



- Plant in 1-3 gallon pots, depending on the size of your seedling.
- Keep in as much direct sunlight as possible and temperatures between 65 and 90 degrees (you might want to keep the tree outdoors in the summer and in for the winter)
- Fertilize in the cold months




- Water only when the top inch of soil is dry. Over-watering will quickly kill these trees.
-It takes a seedling 2 years or so to start producing fruit. So pay attention to the age of a tree when you're purchasing. You can buy one year old seedlings for cheap, but it will take a while before you get to enjoy the pretty fruits.


design*sponge

-It takes another whole YEAR for the fruit to ripen! Not so great for harvesting, but awesome for ornamental purposes.
- The flesh of the tiny fruit is super sour, but the peel is supposed to be pretty sweet, a lot like a kumquat. Perfect for flavoring drinks (frozen calamondin halves as ice!) or for jellies or cakes.



- Also, if you live in a citrus producing state like FL, AZ, CA or TX, you can't buy citrus trees online due to agricultural laws. You should have some luck at your local plant nursery though.

I'll be sure to report on how my little tree arrives and (hopefully) thrives. Do you have any experience with indoor citrus trees?

35 comments:

cafenoHut said...

I loved these cute calamondin oranges. The scent almost reaches me here

Phil and Darby Hawley said...

I saw the same ad in MS' Living magazine and now I'm just dying for a meyer lemon tree in my house! I think now I need an orange tree too :-)

Anonymous said...

I bought a Meyer lemon tree about four years ago. It's grown well and it regularly sprouts blossoms that smell amazing, but it's never produced more than a teeny, tiny green lemon. It's disappointing that it won't produce any fruit, but I still love it.

CraftyRachel said...

Citrus trees were my mother's day gift this year! I have a lime tree and a tangerine, ~4 feet tall, and a tiny little meyer lemon tree, about a foot tall, which is covered in fruit. I have them outside for the summer sunshine but they look lovely inside by the entryway windows. I love the photos you've gathered in this post - it's the look we're going for!

On acquiring the trees: We live in New York (Westchester Co.) and learned from the nurseries in the area that citrus trees which are exported from citrus-growing states must be quarantined for three months before being sold, which is why in places like NY they can be rather expensive. One nursery was selling beautiful, large lemon trees for $1500. Luckily for us, we found a nursery that sold the much younger ones for around $100 each!

Whitney said...

Super cute, Jenny. The smell will make you feel like you're back home!
Citrus trees in pots make great gifts - I brought an orange tree as a hostess gift last weekend, and the family is still talking about their new addition.
Orange-ya glad...? :)

Krista said...

We've actually been looking to get an indoor lime tree - not key limes, but regular limes. I know they are out there but the only ones I have come across are super pricey. If yours turns out ok, please post where you got it!

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

What a wonderful idea, I'd like to try it! I'm going to see how it goes for you first, please keep us updated! Janell

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

I'd love to do this but not sure I have sufficient light inside the house. Good news is we have a long growing season here!

Rachael @ Roco Rennie said...

I love the smell of oranges - mmm... Would love that in my home x

Ashley said...

Oh, I wish we had more light in our apartment because I'd run right out and purchase one! Your description of the scent sounds heavenly...

Amy said...

I love the idea of growing citrus fruits indoors. Wouldn't it be lovely to just pluck a lemon from a tree when you needed it? Can't wait to see how it turns out for you!

Jil Casey said...

Lovely post, makes me want to go out and buy a citrus tree!

Kelly said...

Thanks for this post! I have a one year old lemon tree that I'm anxiously awaiting fruit from. I didn't know about overwatering... ooops.

Avery said...

I love the looks of indoor trees so I took the plunge last time I was at Ikea and bought a myrtle tree. Less than a month has passed and it looks like it's a goner. How can a tree survive in the basement of IKEA under florescents and yet die on my porch? I would love a citrus tree, but am weary after the myrtle tree. What do you all think? Can a person with a brown thumb get a citrus tree to survive? What indoor tree is the best for those of without plant luck? I hate the look of plastic/fake trees no matter how "high end."

Carolyn said...

What a cute calamondin oranges. Super cute, Jenny.

Homeowner Insurance

Kristie said...

This is so great! I'm going to get a lemon tree!

Danielle said...

I've been wanting a citrus tree for years - soo pretty! But I live in Michigan and according to my Dad (a Master Gardener, so he does know his stuff), it would never produce fruit unless we had it in a sunroom. Maybe in the next house!

amourette said...

as a new reader, i just wanted to let you know how much i am enjoying your blog. its consistently good reading! Thanks!

life, in small chunks said...

I just saw some of these at my favorite local nursery this morning! I thought about getting one, but didn't. Now I see I made a mistake and I'll have to go back tomorrow. Karin

Coley said...

This is wonderful. I love the pops of color, I think this is my new thing I 'need' :)

kad445 said...

I have a kumquat tree. I live in Ohio so it winters indoors near the windows. It gets really exited when it goes outside for the spring/summer. Right now it is in bloom and smells devine! I love it, and I think you will love your orange tree just as much. One tip- use fertilizer for citrus. I switched a year ago and there is a marked difference.

FWD said...

These are waaaaay too cute!

Hana said...

jenny, this is so weird... i literally spent 2 hours last week researching indoor citrus trees too! i didn't buy one yet, but maybe your cute tree will convince me to pull the trigger! xo

Mrs. Green said...

I agree! The scent of oranges reminds me of winter in Florida!

H.firkser said...

My mom made centrepieces at my Bat Mitzvah with little calamondin orange trees. It's nice to see someone can finally appreciate them!

Natasha said...

Omgosh Jenny, you get me in TROUBLE! Just ordered a 3-4 yr old Meyer Lemon tree. Finger's crossed!!

By the way did you get yours on sale? The website you linked to has all their plants on sale & the prices are really great. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

i also grew up in AZ(phx) and now live in Northern AZ. The scent of orange blossom is my very favorite !! nothing takes me back to beautiful nights in Feb/March in Phx. I plan at least one trip to Phx just to drive with my windows open and take it in! I must find one of theses trees!

Sue said...

To your reader who says the tree never gets any fruit: You need to cross pollinate your blossoms. If your tree is indoors, there are no bees to do it for you. Take a q-tip and gently touch the pollen tips of the flowers and then touch your q-tip to other flowers. You should soon see some fruit! Good luck!

bagley818 said...

my great-grandma had calamondin trees in her back yard (in florida). she made pies from the fruit - similar to key lime pies.

Jen Caputo said...

Calamondin's are my absolute favorite citrus. My parents have a tree down in florida but I live in Illinois. A few years back I purchased a calamondin and meyer lemon tree. Unfortunately, the heavy rain killed the calamondin just as it was loaded with fruit. The Meyer Lemon is still kicking and doing awesome right now, is loaded with blooms and has a few fruit growing. We bring them indoors during the winter and have to hand pollinate them when they bloom in the winter.
I think you just inspired me to try the calamondin again, this time, bringing it in the garage if it insists on raining for several days in a row.

Melissa R. said...

Hi Jenny! I just wanna let you know how much I love your blog! :) I had to comment, because I love Calamondin oranges! In Filipino, we call it Calamansi. They make the best "lemonade" when they are still green. My aunt had a bunch of plants while I was growing up and my surrogate parents in California have two trees over nine feet tall. About indoor citrus plants, I planted a lemon seed last fall jokingly, but it actually grew! I was afraid it wouldn't grow during the winter, but it's still going strong and is sitting on my tiny, sunny apartment patio. I'm going to be transplanting it soon. Can't wait to see your Calamondin trees when they arrive! :)

The Regular Joe said...

I love green inside the house
I made a smaller version from yours
let me know what you think
http://theregjoe.blogspot.com/2010/12/perfume-plant-house.html

Naomi@DesignManifest said...

I bought my guy a lime tree 2 years ago thinking we could enjoy our own cocktails and such. I mean, what isn't better with a bit of lime on top? Unfortunately we were lazy and never re-potted it and it died.

So please do give yours the proper treatment!! I'm so sad whenever I think about our poor lime tree :(

Karyn said...

I just purchased two kumquat trees to keep on either side of the kitchen sink. One of them has blossomed and now the fruit is set. I'm so worried that they will fall off that it's ridiculous!

Kate said...

Kate in Canada. I inherited a 4 ft miniature orange tree. The first winter i had it, it was covered in blossoms and later produced so many oranges that I made 6 jars of delicioiusly sour marmalade. It is outdoors this summer and adding more branches I will have t trim in the autumn. It is a joy. Lives in a sunny deck room. When the leaves begin to curl, it,s thirsty.

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