over the last few years we have been slowly adding to our house plants going from ones that are just pretty to look at, to ones that also produce edibles. the one we have had the longest is a bit of a gimmick – a 3 in 1 citrus tree – grafted with a lemon, tangerine, and orange all on one root stock. we acquired this about 3 years ago as a house warming gift for the place we are in now.
the first year was a growth year, but the second year we got fruit. i’m still not really sure what it was, as it was round like a orange but sour as a lemon – a sour orange perhaps? no matter what it was i was bound to make the most of it. one was used in a salad dressing, and one used in marinating some fish. it’s a good thing no one else was there to eat the meal with us, and argue that it wasn’t the best citrus they had ever had.
i’m still trying to get the life cycle of the citrus down.
flowers seem to start coming on about the first of the year. the ones on this variety start out looking a lovely shade of pink.
they then open for about a week or so giving off the most wonderful smell. since we have few insects to speak (other than the scale and spider mites i keep battling) of inside at this time of year, i try to take a cotton swab or paint brush and hand pollinate them. i’ve never bothered to look up it they are self pollinating or not.
the fruit takes a long time to develop, i think i’ve been watching this guy for at least 9 months. i usually wait until they feel nice and ripe on the tree before i pick them, and i think this one is just about ready. this is the second time that this tree has fruited in 3 years, and looks like we will have more based on the number of flowers. it’s a pretty small plant to, about 18 inches tall and in a 12 inch pot. it’s growing pretty rapidly though, this summer i will again need to repot it. i’m just not sure how big it will get, it’s reported to be dwarf rootstock.