The miniature orange tree, also known as Calamondin, is a native plant commonly harvested as a crop in the Philippines and China. It is an upright tree with very few thorns in its branches. In colder parts of the United States, Calamondin usually grows indoors as an ornamental miniature plant that produces fruits and fragrant flowers. In warmer parts of California and Florida, they can grow outdoors with extra care during colder months.
Get a potting mixture with equal parts of peat, perlite and garden loam. A loam is a mixture of equal parts of sand, silt and clay.
Place 1 to 2 inches of gravel or small rocks at the bottom of the pot to prevent soil from washing out.
Fill the pot partially with the potting mixture, approximately 4 to 6 inches high.
Remove the young plant from its plastic container carefully, and then transplant it into the 2-gallon pot. Avoid disturbing the roots and soil from the original pot to prevent plant trauma.
Add more soil to cover the roots. Keep the level of the soil the same as the original soil the miniature tree came with. Do not put soil at the lower part of the tree’s trunk, to prevent rotting.
Place the pot in a location where there is enough direct sunlight. A southern exposure would be best. During warmer months, you can take the pot outside to get direct sunlight, but bring it back inside before the sun sets and the air turns cold. Avoid bringing the pot outside during colder months to prevent frost; keep it inside under a direct artificial light.
Provide an adequate temperature of 70 to 90 degrees F. The miniature orange tree will not grow well at temperatures below 55 degrees F. Avoid excessive humidity.
Water the miniature orange tree as needed only. Allow the water to drain properly out of the pot. Water frequently, especially during warmer months. Water if the soil is dry just under the surface.
Fertilize monthly during spring and summer using high-acid fertilizer, such as Miracid from Miracle Gro. During the fall and winter seasons, fertilize only every two to three months.
Watch for aphids and spider mites. Use a sponge to wipe off the dust from the leaves to prevent infection.
- Miniature orange trees are prone to root rotting. As a sign, the leaves would fall off rapidly even when the soil is not dry. Check the roots by lifting the tree gently from the pot. If you can lift the tree without much effort, the roots are already rotted or decayed. Healthy roots have a stronger grip than the rotted ones.