How long does it take for a tamarillo tree to fruit


Tamarillo Tomato Tree Care - Information On Growing Tree Tomatoes

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Tree Tomatoes

By: Nikki Tilley, Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden

Image by brebca

If you’re wanting to grow something a bit more exotic in the landscape, how about growing a tree tomato tamarillo. What are tree tomatoes? Keep reading to learn more about this interesting plant and how to grow a tamarillo tomato tree.

What are Tree Tomatoes?

Tree tomato tamarillo (Cyphomandra betacea) is a lesser-known plant in many regions but makes a very nice addition to the landscape. The South American native is a small-growing shrub or semi-woody tree reaching heights between 10 and 18 feet (3-5.5 m.). Tamarillo trees bloom in early spring, producing fragrant pink flowers. These blooms will eventually give way to small, oval or egg-shaped fruit, reminiscent of plum tomatoes—hence the tomato tree’s name.

While the fruits of growing tree tomatoes are edible and vary between trees, they are much more bitter tasting than your average tomato. The skin is also tougher, with colors varying among the different varieties from yellow to red or even purple. Unripened fruits are also slightly toxic and should only be harvested or eaten when fully ripe (indicated by the variety’s color).

Growing Tree Tomatoes

Learning how to grow a tamarillo tomato tree is easy with the proper conditions. Tree tomatoes grow best in areas where the temperatures stay above 50 degrees F. (10 C.) but can tolerate temperatures as low as 28 degrees F. (-2 C.), though there will be some dieback. Even under the best conditions though, the average lifespan of a tree tomato is about four years. If you would like to grow a tree tomato in colder climates, you will want to keep it in a container so that it can be brought in for the winter.

Tree tomatoes tolerate many soil conditions as long as it’s well draining, though compost-enriched soil is preferable for optimal growth.

The tree tomato tamarillo also needs placement in full sun, though in hotter climates it can be planted in areas with partial shade. Due to the shallow root system of these trees, adequate wind protection may also be necessary, such as near the house.

While they can be propagated by seed, cuttings are preferable with seedlings planted once they reach about 5 inches (13 cm.) tall. Spacing of additional plants are 6 to 10 feet (2-3 m.) apart.

Tomato Tree Care

Growing tree tomatoes are cared for much the same as their tomato counterparts. As with tomato plants, part of your tomato tree care will include plenty of water (though not standing water). In fact, it is helpful to mulch around the tree to retain moisture levels.

A balanced fertilizer should be applied quarterly with bone meal given at the time of planting.

Annual pruning is often recommended for these trees to help keep them looking their best and maintaining their size in small gardens. Pruning can also help encourage branching in younger trees.

Though they suffer little problems with adequate tomato tree care, tamarillo trees can occasionally become infested with aphids or fruit flies. Treating the trees with neem oil is a good way to take care of either of these pests. Powdery mildew is another issue that may pop up in trees where overcrowding or high humidity are factors.

If you are planning on eating the fruits, you can harvest them once they have fully matured (usually 25 weeks following fruit set). Newly planted trees may take up to two years for fruit production to occur. While it’s best to use the fruits right away, you can store them short term in the fridge for a couple weeks. Tree tomato tamarillo fruit is also best eaten with both the skin and seeds removed. They can then be added to salsa or made into jams and jelly.

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Tamarillo: how to grow & care for the tree tomato

Tomatoes that grow on a tree? Let us introduce you to the tamarillo. Discover all you need to know about the tree tomato, including how to grow your own and care for it.

It is no coincidence that the fruits of the tamarillo look very similar to tomatoes [Photo: nnattalli/ Shutterstock.com]

Are tree tomatoes a type of tomato? And how are you supposed to eat the fruit? We will answer all these questions and more as we introduce you to this unique plant. We will also give helpful tips on planting and caring for tamarillos, as well as information on how to eat and preserve the fruits of your own tree tomato.

Contents

  • Origin and characteristics of the tree tomato
  • Tamarillo species
  • How to plant and grow tamarillos
  • How to care for a tamarillo tree
  • Overwintering tamarillo trees
  • Tree tomato propagation
  • How to harvest tamarillos
  • Eating and processing tamarillos

Origin and characteristics of the tree tomato

The fruits of the tamarillo tree (Solanum betaceum) look very similar to tomatoes, which is why it is also called the tree tomato. In fact, the tree tomato, like tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum), belongs to the nightshade family (Solanaceae). These two species are related, but the tree tomato is not one of the tomato plant species commonly grown in our gardens.

The tamarillo, known as tomate de arbol in Argentina, originally comes from the Andean highlands of South America. This means the plant is adapted to regions close to the equator where temperatures are relatively stable all year round. It is a shrubby, densely branching tree that forms an umbrella-like crown. In its natural habitat, the tree tomato can grow up to six metres tall. The tamarillo is not winter hardy, so in the UK it is usually cultivated in pots, where it reaches a height of about two to three metres. Apart from the fruits that give it its name, the tamarillo has another striking feature, in the form of its leaves. Its oval to heart-shaped leaves grow up to 25 centimetres long and give the tamarillo a decorative appearance even without fruit.

The flowers emit a pleasant fragrance [Photo: ironwool/ Shutterstock.com]

After two years, from June onwards, the tree tomato will begin to form its first flowers. These look quite similar to the flowers of other closely related nightshade plants, such as tomatoes or potatoes (Solanum tuberosum), and are usually pale pink in colour with a pleasantly sweet fragrance. Their egg-shaped fruits are green when growing and turn orange to dark red when ripe, depending on the variety.

Tamarillo species

There are two types of tamarillos available to us in the UK, and they are the Solanum betaceum, also known as the tree tomato, and the Solanum abutiloides, the perennial dwarf tree tomato.

Solanum abutiloides have a slightly misleading name, as the dwarf tree tomato, or dwarf tamarillo, actually grows to be up to two metres high too. Its berries are bright orange and slightly smaller than the berries of the larger tamarillo. The dwarf tree tomato loves warm and moist places and thrives under these conditions. The entire plant, its fruits included, are covered with fine glandular hairs that secrete fungicidal plant substances. This means that Solanum abutiloides can also be used to produce natural sprays against fungal pathogens. During the winter, keep your dwarf tamarillo in a cool place (5-10°C). It loses its foliage during this dormant period, but it will sprout again the following year.

Tip: Tamarillos have been cultivated for centuries in South America and are now also grown commercially in North America and New Zealand, which has led to the breeding of different tree tomato varieties. These varieties differ mainly in the colour and size of their fruits. Unfortunately, as tamarillo cultivation is not very popular in the UK, these varieties of the tree tomato are not yet available.

Tamarillo vary in colour during the ripening process [Photo: Quang nguyen vinh/ Shutterstock.com]

How to plant and grow tamarillos

As tamarillo trees are not frost-hardy, they need to be moved to a light and frost-free place in winter. So, it makes sense to grow your tamarillo in a pot. The tamarillo prefers a semi-shady to sunny location.

Transplanting young plants is best done in spring, around mid-May, when frosty nights are no longer a risk. It is also possible to grow tamarillos from seed; for this, sow the seeds in compost from April onwards. We recommend using a special seedling soil, such as our Plantura Organic Herb & Seedling Compost. This is less nutrient-rich, which encourages healthy root growth. After placing the tamarillo seeds on the compost, cover them with a thin layer of soil and press down. Keep the soil constantly moist for the next three weeks: putting a plastic cover over the seed tray is a good way to do this. For germination, keep the seeds in a warm, bright place with a temperature of at least 20°C. After about two weeks, the first seedlings should appear. You can prick them out after a few weeks, if necessary, and plant them outdoors after mid-May. The next time you repot, use a more nutrient-rich potting soil.

Because of its speedy growth and high water requirement, a high-quality potting soil is essential for the tamarillo. This soil should be able to store water well and guarantee a good supply of nutrients. It is also a good idea to choose a peat-free soil to avoid environmental damage caused by the extraction of this finite resource. Our Plantura Organic Flower Compost combines all of these key aspects, making it ideal for promoting the flowering and fruiting of your tamarillo.

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How to care for a tamarillo tree

When it comes to tree tomato care, water supply is the key to success. The tamarillo’s leaves are very large, resulting in a lot of water evaporation. For this reason, we recommend that you carry out a daily check to make sure that the root ball is moist enough. However, keep in mind that tamarillos do not tolerate waterlogging well, so avoid this at all costs. A good supply of nutrients is also important for the tamarillo plant, as it grows extremely quickly. A slow-release natural fertiliser, such as our Plantura Liquid Flower Food, is a good option, as it will nourish your tamarillo for up to three months. If you notice an increase in the number of yellow leaves on your tree tomato, our advice would be to shorten the time between each fertilisation, especially during the main growing season, from May to August.

There are not many pests and diseases that affect the tree tomato plant and its fruit. However, tamarillos can suffer from aphid infestations during springtime. For more information on this, we have put together an article detailing how to control aphids naturally. Spider mites can also appear when the tamarillo is in its sheltered winter spot, but they do not usually pose a problem.

There is no need to prune your tree tomato regularly. However, as these trees grow so quickly, they can grow larger than you might like. If this happens, cut back the overhanging shoots. We recommend doing this just before winter.

With their large leaves, tamarillos need lots of water to quench their thirst! [Photo: nnattalli/ Shutterstock.com]

Summary of how to care for a tamarillo plant:

  • Do not allow the root ball to dry out
  • To meet high nutrient requirement, fertilise with an organic fertiliser when transplanting
  • Prune only when necessary
  • Not affected by many pests and diseases
  • Not frost-hardy, so overwinter you plant in a bright place where the temperature is above 0°C
  • Can be propagated from both seeds and cuttings

Overwintering tamarillo trees

For overwintering, move your tamarillo into its winter location before the weather gets frosty. Since the tamarillo still has leaves left at this point, make sure its winter spot is bright. An optimal temperature is around 10°C, but the tamarillo can easily withstand temperatures as cold as just over 0°C. The tamarillo sheds most of its leaves at this time of year. It is not necessary to fertilise the tamarillo throughout the winter. The root ball should not dry out completely, but regular watering is not usually necessary.

Tree tomato propagation

If your neighbours or friends take a fancy to your tree tomato, you can easily propagate new plants from it. This can be done from seed or cuttings.

To grow a tamarillo plant from seed, save the seeds from ripe fruits. Leave these black seeds to dry for one to two days and then sow in seedling soil.

To propagate from tamarillo cuttings, take a cutting, approximately 20 centimetres in length, with one leaf from a strong and healthy shoot. The optimal time for this is early summer, as this is when the plant grows vigorously, and the cuttings have plenty of time to form roots before winter. Without letting them dry out, put the fresh cuttings into moist potting soil and cover the cuttings with a sheet of cling film that contains a few holes – this prevents them from becoming dehydrated. Place them somewhere dry and shady, and after a few weeks, the cuttings should have formed roots.

How to harvest tamarillos

You can expect the first fruits from the second year of growth. The fruits of the tree tomato ripen in late summer to autumn, depending on the location. When they have taken on their typical orange to dark red colour, and they cave in slightly when pressed, the tasty fruits are ready to harvest.

When the fruits become soft to the touch, they are ripe [Photo: marcin jucha/ Shutterstock.com]

Tamarillo fruits can weigh up to 100 grams and are divided into seed chambers inside. The tamarillo flesh is yellow-orange in colour.
The fruits of the tamarillo plant do not store well, so it is advised to process them as soon as you harvest them or eat them fresh.

Eating and processing tamarillos

If you want to eat your tamarillo fruits fresh, you can either peel them or cut them in half and spoon out the flesh. The tamarillo’s pulp has a sweet and sour flavour – sprinkle a little sugar on it if you have more of a sweet tooth.
The tree tomato fruits not only taste delicious, they are also very healthy, containing vitamin C, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Tree tomatoes can also be made into lots of delicious treats. They taste great in the form of spreads; tamarillo jams are packed with flavour. It also goes very well with savoury dishes, as a tamarillo chutney.

If you have a taste for exotic fruits, you should try the gourmet caviar lime. Here, we show you how to grow them in your garden.

Tsifomandra - we grow a tomato tree in the room. Care at home. Photo - Botanichka

Among the fruit-bearing plants that can be grown indoors, cyphomandra has become a real hit in recent years. Having moved from greenhouses and botanical gardens to rooms, the legendary (and luxurious) tomato tree further enhanced the decorativeness of greenery, but did not lose its ability to bear fruit. Getting a crop of fragrant, sweet and exotic fruits to the table and at the same time becoming the owner of a real tub exotic is a temptation for many. The inimitable cyphomandra is not an ordinary plant. She makes a lot of grooming demands, and has one stinking surprise in store.

Tsifomandra - we grow a tomato tree in the room. © whiskerflowers

Cyphomandra, tamarillo and other names of the same plant

Tomato tree is a beautiful name for a unique fruit-bearing plant, around which there has been more and more confusion lately. Tomato tree was originally called Cyphomandra betaceae ( Cyphomandra betaceae ). But the emergence of the commercial name tamarillo in New Zealand (trademark derived from the Maorese for "superiority" and "yellow"), and then the official recognition of beetroot tamarillo ( Solanum betaceum ) as an independent plant species from the Solanaceae family, radically changed the situation.

After all, the status of the cyphomander itself remained “unresolved”. There are many disputes about the status of cyphomanders and the need for their retraining from a separate species to tamarillo (or vice versa), a possible complete change of names. In the meantime, scientists have not decided and continue to study the plant, it is worth remembering that cyphomandra , tamarillo , tamamoro , and even octopus are all names for the same plant that remains original, large, fruitful and special in every way.

More confusion with regular tomatoes. One of the large tomato varieties bearing amazing clusters of fruits got its name in honor of the cyphomandra, but we are talking about classic tomatoes that bear fruit in the year of sowing, and not at all about a perennial fruit tree.

The best option is not to pay so much attention to the name as to the characteristics of the plant, because real tomato trees are definitely different from tomatoes, they are perennial, with other fruits and it is difficult to confuse them with something.

Cyphomandra are especially popular in countries with a subtropical and tropical climate, where their fruiting can be enjoyed all year round. This plant migrated to us from Southern Europe and both Americas, where commercial plantings can boast of a special scale in the territories of Brazil. It is believed that the European history of cyphomanders began only in the last century, and we owe its status as a fashionable culture, first of all, to the French.

Indoor cyphomandra grows up to a maximum of 2.5 meters. © Maja Dumat

Description of the plant

Cyphomanders are large for rooms, but quite compact by natural standards, fruit-bearing evergreen trees and shrubs, easily changing their growth form during their formation and surprising, first of all, with the speed of their development. True, at the very beginning, within a few months after sowing, it is difficult to assess this quality, because the plants develop very slowly, adding only a few tens of centimeters.

The thing is that the growth of the above-ground parts of the cyphomandra begins only after the formation of a powerful rhizome and occurs with a constant increase in the rate of development. After 2.2-5 months, the plant begins to develop rapidly, transforming before our eyes and growing at least 1 m during the first year.

In favorable conditions, when grown in open ground, in a greenhouse, with lighting or in a heated greenhouse, the cyphomandra is capable of exceeding 4 m in height. Indoor cyphomandra is limited to a maximum of 2.5 m, but even the largest varieties of ordinary tomatoes lose to them in size and always differ from them.

Rhizome superficial. The plant can grow aerial roots. The branches of a tomato tree are very thin, fragile, the bark gradually becomes tree-like, but this does not affect fragility. Thanks to the long petioles of the leaves and graceful shoots, the cyfamandra seems airy, it is not massive, but rather refined, translucent, touchingly tender. The crown diameter is always half the height.

Cyphomander leaves are not just large (up to 30 cm), but very beautiful, impeccably whole, heart-shaped-oval with slightly pointed tips, light grassy-green color with light veins. They sit alternately on long petioles, with fairly long internodes. The foliage seems to shine through in the sun, creating a translucent effect, but at the same time it surprises with its glossy sheen and the presence of small villi.

The sparse arrangement of the leaves makes the cyphomandra look like an elegant, translucent miracle. Their unpleasant smell can come as a surprise, but if you don’t contact the greenery, you won’t notice it, and in the garden and greenhouse, the specific aroma performs the function of repelling pests perfectly.

Tamarillo fruits are rather poorly stored and only relatively transportable. © Busy_Lizzy

Cyphomandra flowering and fruiting

Cyphomandra flowering is very impressive. Light lilac or white, flowers collected in symmetrical brushes seem too elegant for a fruiting giant. They are fragrant, with a beautiful five-petal calyx. Cyphomandra, when grown alone without being taken out to fresh air, requires artificial pollination.

Fruiting is the main dignity and pride of cyphomanders. You can harvest tomatoes from cyphomandra within 7, and in greenhouses and rooms - and 8-9months or continuously. The duration of the fruiting period always depends on temperatures and lighting.

Fruiting begins only from the second year, in normal volumes - from the third year when grown from seeds. The height of the plant affects the quality and timing of fruiting. Tomato trees in ideal conditions can bring from 10 kg of crop per year.

The fruits of the tomato tree resemble tomatoes only remotely, even their stalk is more reminiscent of plums, passion fruit, and last but not least, cream tomatoes. Dark orange, red-brown, yellowish, purple or rose-red when ripe, ovoid or plum-shaped to diamond-shaped, two-chamber fruits in the tomato tree are collected in inflorescences and can weigh up to 100 g with a length of 5 to 10 cm.

They are collected in typical tomato-like racemes - very neat looking, hanging clusters. In each seed fruit - up to 12 pseudo-tomatoes. The shiny skin is quite hard, with a bitter aftertaste. And the salty-sweet-sour pulp of the varieties differs in the degree of manifestation of sourness and rather resembles not tomatoes, but gooseberries with apricots and strawberries at the same time.

The flesh is quite light, pinkish-gold, translucent, shades vary depending on the variety. Usually, the fruits are eaten, peeling not only the skin, but also the thin layer of pulp underneath.

Tamarillo fruits are rather poorly stored and only relatively transportable. When fresh, they are stored only in the cold for up to 1 week, so they are most often canned and processed. They are famous for their high content of pectin, vitamins and trace elements.

The seeds hidden inside the fruits of the tomato tree are no different from the seeds of the physalis, except that the “disks” are almost always painted black.

In the first months, the cyphomandra builds up its root system, but then it sharply grows. © Maja Dumat

Species and varieties of cyphomandra

In addition to beetroot cyphomandra, seeds of tree cyphomandra ( Cyphomandra abutiloides ) with coarser twigs and yellow or orange, almost perfectly round fruits with soft edges are very rarely found on sale. Berries are sweeter.

Cyphomandra has about 30 varieties. They differ only in the color of the fruit, pulp and taste - from sweet to sour. In our country, the variety is often not indicated, and the purchase of any tamarillo is almost like a lottery. The best way to choose a variety you like is to taste its fruits.

The only exception is the hybrid variety "Sprut" , its main advantage is fruiting in the first year and the ability to grow tamarillo as an annual tree for open soil.

Growing conditions for indoor Cyphomandra

Cyphomandra is difficult to grow, it is a large plant, demanding and not for everyone. It can be cultivated as an indoor, greenhouse, woody greenhouse or as a garden tub with wintering indoors.

Tamarillo is increasingly tried to grow outdoors as an annual, discarding the plant after frost, with annual seedlings or pre-cutting and rooting cuttings the following year. Hybrid seeds capable of bearing fruit in the first year of tamarillo are sown for seedlings along with tomatoes, later resorting to similar cultivation tactics.

Cyphomandra betaceae. © Parchen

Lighting and positioning

This is a sun-loving plant that will only do well on window sills if compact at an early age, and as close to windows as possible when it reaches true size. The brightest places in the house are the only option for the cyphomandra.

Tsifomanders will prefer partially southern windows to the eastern and western ones. They grow well in the southeast, but any brightest window in the house is fine for them. They can be placed at observation windows, on heated balconies and loggias.

Tomato trees in winter, and more precisely from mid-autumn, especially if fruiting continues, it is desirable to illuminate, increasing not so much the intensity of light as the duration of daylight hours at least up to 11 hours. The lack of additional lighting leads to the loss of part of both fruits and foliage.

When choosing a place for a tamarillo, it is worth considering its dimensions. They require a considerable amount of space, the leaves emit an unpleasant odor, and fragile shoots do not tolerate unnecessary contacts, so they place it only in large rooms, away from places of rest and active pastime, where the tomato tree can develop freely.

Temperature and ventilation

Tsifomander feel great in summer at any temperature above 20 degrees Celsius. The main difficulties are associated with the cool wintering of the plant. To preserve the leaves and continue fruiting, you need to maintain a temperature of at least 15 degrees.

If the plant has passed into the dormant stage, it is transferred to coolness - but within 12-15 degrees of heat. The minimum temperature that cyphomanders can withstand is 2 degrees Celsius, while after falling below 10 degrees, the plant sheds leaves and stops growth.

True, it should be taken into account that even short negative temperatures usually do not cause the death of the plant, and although it suffers greatly, it is able to recover with a quick correction of conditions.

In summer, a tomato tree feels better in the fresh air, or at least with regular ventilation. In the garden, it grows more actively and bears fruit better. When placing a tamarillo outdoors, you should make sure that the place is protected from drafts and has good lighting. You can also transfer plants to the ground, and dig in containers, and simply put them on the sites.

Cyphomandra abutiloides. © Linda De Volder

Cyphomandra care at home

Cyphomandra copes well with dry air. But she does not like skipping care procedures and requires constant care, supplemented by pruning.

Watering and air humidity

Cyphomanders prefer stable soil moisture. Watering is carried out after drying the top layer of soil. Water after watering should be immediately drained, not allowing it to stagnate in pans. Watering is best done in several passes, slowly trampling the soil, but avoiding waterlogging. This crop prefers morning watering.

In winter, watering is reduced in accordance with the temperatures of the content and the reduction in the growth rate of the plant, reducing their frequency by half and lowering the soil moisture, but not allowing it to dry out completely.

Approximate frequency of watering for cyphomandra is 2 times a week in summer and weekly in winter.

Do not spray plants, there is no need to install humidifiers for them, because tamarillos tolerate dry air well. But it is better to protect them from heating devices.

Top dressings and composition of fertilizers

A room-sized tomato tree depends on top dressings, their composition and quality much more than plants growing in open soil. It is advisable to feed Tamarillo with organomineral fertilizers, changing their composition depending on the stage of development of the cyphomandra - using complex fertilizers at the beginning of active growth and phosphorus-potassium - at the stage of budding and flowering.

In addition to the main macroelements, the content of calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper is very important for cyphomandra. It is better to alternate mineral supplements with organic matter; for a plant during the fruiting period, only organic fertilizers are preferable (infusions of chicken manure, mullein, humus preparations).

If you prefer a simplified scheme, then use organic preparations for fruit-bearing crops or organo-mineral preparations for tomatoes and other nightshades.

Cyphomanders in the period of active growth are best fed weekly, with a half-reduced dose of fertilizer or every 2 weeks with a full dose.

For cyphomandra, fertilizers are applied, most often, in liquid form and only after abundant watering. Long-acting fertilizers can be used.

Pruning and forming a cyphomandra

Tamarillo can be pruned after the plant reaches a height of 1 m. Pruning 10-20 cm of the top of the stem allows you to limit growth: despite the fact that the tree will still grow, it will still fit into room ceiling height.

The main pruning on tomato trees is carried out in the spring. After sanitary cleaning - removal of dry, damaged or thinned shoots - the actual formation begins, shortening all bare shoots in such a way as to give the plant the desired shape and limit its size.

Cyphomandra are very good with oval treelike crowns, at a height of about 1 m after pruning. If there is no desire or need to limit the plant, then cutting it is not necessary, giving it freedom.

Cyphomandra fruit size can be controlled by plucking the ovaries at an early stage and leaving only 3-4 fruits in the cluster for larger berries.

Digital mandra "Octopus F1". © nagrunte

Planting, containers and substrate

Root-growing Cyphomandra require much more frequent repotting than would be expected from such a large plant. They are best grown in very spacious containers, but still, when mastering the substrate in February or March, it is better to carry out an annual transplant.

Cyphomandra develop normally only in loose, fertile soils. Substrates for vegetables or tubs, citrus fruits or general mixes with leavening additives are suitable. If the soil mixture is made independently, then you need to mix the soddy soil with peat, sand and humus in a ratio of 3: 1: 1: 1.

Cyphomanders are tubular, requiring a lot of space for the root system. They can only be grown in very large pots, but still the classic tub options are much more preferable. Particular attention should be paid to the ratio of the width and height of the pot: cyphomanders develop better in wide, but not too deep containers or containers with equal values ​​of indicators. Quality drainage holes are very important. The container tray must be deep.

When planting a plant on the bottom of containers, a high layer of drainage must be laid. The less contact with the roots of the plant, the better, but the cyphomander is not afraid of transplanting, as well as deepening (within reasonable limits): immersion of the trunk to shorten it is quite acceptable for young trees. Trimming the lower leaves stimulates the acceleration of rooting.

Cyphomanders prefer mulching the soil or creating additional drainage (stone chips, agroperlite, expanded clay, vermiculite, like sphagnum are equally good, only natural stones are suitable from decorative materials). When creating a mulching layer, the space directly around the trunk is not closed.

After transplantation, it is desirable to keep Cyphomanders in a stable warm environment, at a temperature of 20 to 25 degrees and in diffused light.

Diseases, pests and problems in the cultivation of Cyphomandra

Unlike their relatives from the Solanaceae family, Cyphomanders are considered to be completely resistant to fungal diseases. Of course, with waterlogged soil, a tomato tree can suffer from rot and die, but typical tomato diseases are almost not afraid of it.

Of the pests of Cyphomandra, aphids are especially fond of, for the fight against which it is better to resort to chemical means only after all other options have been exhausted. Usually bio-methods, including infusions of nettle, garlic, ash, are effective. But aphids on this plant appear only with improper care.

Cyphomandra can be grown from cuttings or by the classical method - from seeds. © Maja Dumat

Propagation of Cyphomandra

Cyphomandra can be grown from cuttings or by the classical method from seeds. Despite some features of temperature regimes, growing a plant with both options is quite simple.

Cyphomandra seeds are sown in loose, nutritious substrates or clean sand. Pre-soaking and germinating the seeds speeds up the germination process. Fresh seeds germinate best. Short stratification at a temperature of 2-5 degrees for 24 hours also speeds up the process.

Sowing is carried out to a depth of about 1 cm, in a moistened substrate, covering the containers with glass or film. It is desirable to maintain the temperature at 25 degrees. On average, the first shoots can appear after 3 weeks. It is worth diving them only after the appearance of the third leaf, into small containers or individual cups, and after the start of rapid growth - into individual large pots or tubs.

In the first 2-3 months, cyphomanders practically do not develop, building up the root system. And at this time, you need to carefully monitor the humidity of the substrate.

Cuttings can be cut from any fruit-bearing tree, cutting strong, strong one- or two-year-old branches no more than 1 cm thick at an oblique angle. Only apical cuttings are rooted, from 20 cm to 40 cm long, with 2 or 3 internodes.

Spring cuttings are preferred, but can also be cut during the summer. Rooting is carried out in a conventional substrate mixed with sand, under a hood, at a temperature not lower than 21 degrees. Plants are transplanted into large pots or tubs immediately after rooting. With proper care, they are able to bloom this year. But when growing from seeds, and when cuttings in the first year, it is better to remove the inflorescences.

photo, description, how to grow a tomato tree in soil and at home

An evergreen, tomato tree belongs to perennial representatives of the Solanaceae genus, to which the true tomato belongs. The type of tamarillo fruit resembles an ordinary domestic tomato, which is why this tree has several names among them and “tomato tree”.

The homeland of the plant is South America, on this continent the tree is considered perennial evergreen, as there are no cold winters, life expectancy is up to 10-15 years. For our latitudes, a tomato perennial tree, when grown in open ground, will become an ordinary annual plant. Long-term cultivation of cyphomandra is possible only in special botanical gardens or in greenhouses, in which the appropriate temperature regime is observed, as well as at room content.

The description of the Cyphomandra fruit is as follows - it is a plum-shaped two-chambered berry with dense skin.

Types and varieties of tomato tree

The main anatomical features of the plant that make it possible to clearly determine whether the plant is a true tomato tree:

  • dark green leaves are covered with microvilli on top, which protect against moisture evaporation;
  • the height of the tree varies from 3 to 5 meters depending on the cultivation methods;
  • flowers are small, white, collected in inflorescences of 5-8 pieces;
  • fruit elongated, firm, orange to bright red;
  • the stem is covered with tree-like bark, but at the same time it is quite fragile and breaks easily;
  • the root system is fibrous, in most cases aerial root processes appear, which serve as supports for the trunk;
  • seeds are very small, reminiscent of true nightshade seeds.

Cyphomandra, although it resembles true tomatoes, the taste of the fruit resembles a mixture of apricot and strawberries, so tamarillo is considered a fruit, and does not apply to vegetables.

You can see what a tomato tree looks like in the photo:

Photo gallery

Cultivation of a tomato tree of a certain variety, first of all, requires a clear study of the characteristics and necessary conditions for the growth and development of the plant. The tamarillo variety, which is not always liked, is suitable for growing in apartment conditions until the full appearance of fruits.

At the moment, breeders have developed more than 30 varieties of hybrid tomato tree, which can be grown both at home and in open ground, taking into account climatic conditions.

Popular species of tomarillo:

Cyphomandra betacea is an evergreen plant that is often grown both in greenhouses and at home. It has long oval leaves and fruits that grow in clusters. In appearance and taste, they resemble familiar tomatoes.

Cyphomandra abutiloides - looks like a tree, the leaves are long in the shape of a heart, the fruits are medium-sized, oval in shape, are yellow and orange. Tomatoes are sweet in taste and are used in jams, desserts and fruit salads.

The Sprut F1 variety, which is well known to many summer residents, belongs to the type of tree-like digital mandra. One bush of such a plant, when grown in a greenhouse, brings up to 10 kg of fruit per season.

Tamarillo is a unique alternative to tomatoes!

Benefits of Cyphomandra plant

Cyphomandra, or tomato tree, enters a full growing season at the age of 2 years, that is, only two years after sowing the seeds, the first fruits will appear. It is necessary to take into account the fact that the cultivation of a tomato perennial tree in our latitudes in open ground assumes an annual character. Therefore, in order to harvest tamarillo on your site, you first need to grow two-year-old seedlings, which are then planted in open ground.

In residential conditions, the height of the stem reaches a maximum of 3 meters at the age of about 4-5 years, depending on the care of the plant. Seedling plants reach a maximum of 1.5 meters in 2 years, in most cases seedlings grow within 80-95 centimeters. The presence of a cyphomandra will not create discomfort, but on the contrary, a house or apartment will have a green corner for a whole year.

Plant benefits:

  • in greenhouse or indoor cultivation is perennial;
  • actively bears fruit in the open field - the harvest from one tree is up to 30 kg;
  • the plant is resistant to the main diseases affecting the nightshade family;
  • is not picky about temperature, vegetation continues until the first frost.

Recommendations for growing tamarillo tomato tree at home

At the first stages of development and growth, the cyphomandra is, one way or another, grown at home, and only when it reaches puberty is it possible to plant it in the ground. Compliance with the basic rules and recommendations for sowing seeds and planting seedlings allows you to get a decent result for any gardener or gardener.

Since it is quite difficult to grow tamarillo seedlings correctly, the following recommendations must be strictly followed:

  • sowing seeds for seedlings is best done at the end of February;
  • for the normal growth of tamarillo, soil with high hygroscopicity is needed, a mixture of black soil and sand would be ideal;
  • sowing container must be selected based on the amount of planting material and possible co-growth;
  • the main point for the primary development of the plant is the availability of space, so the flowerpot or plastic container should be wide and not very high;
  • the root system practically does not develop up to 2 years and has a fibrous appearance, 8-10 cm can be considered the ideal depth of the container - this is quite enough;
  • flowerpot or container must be equipped with a tray, since watering after the ascent of sprouts will only be a tray.
  • Growing tamarillo seedlings at home provides for all preventive actions with the soil used. For disinfection, it is best to use a solution of manganese or a special fungicide. Prevention of this kind is necessary to prevent the ingress of small pests that can destroy the seeds.

    Planting seeds, main steps:

    1. In lightly moistened soil, seeds are sown in small holes 1 - 1.5 cm deep.
    2. Next, you need to lightly compact the soil, spray the top ball with a growth stimulator to activate the germination process.
    3. Cover the container with polyethylene until the first plants appear - polyethylene will protect against excess sunlight and moisture loss.

    After the appearance of the first sprouts, you need to remove the polyethylene and follow the rules for caring for a young tomato tree. Growing tamarillo seedlings involves watering with a pallet method once every 2 days or more often, depending on room temperature. The temperature regime should be within 18-20 degrees, a significant increase can slow down the growth of the younger generation.

    Like any other tree, tamarillo requires top dressing for full growth, which must be carried out at least once every 3-4 months, depending on the appearance of the plant. Small and sparse plants need to be healed more often, and the fact of growth density must also be taken into account - the interval between Cyphomandra plants should be at least 7-10 cm. Therefore, after climbing, it is necessary to thin out the plants, like seedlings of a tomato tree, in order to grow stable material for planting in the ground.

    Important: if several plants sprouted in the hole, choose the strongest one and remove the rest.

    Growing a tomato tree from seedlings in open ground

    Having previously grown tamarillo seedlings in room conditions at home, you can start planting in open ground.

    Planting seedlings should be carried out when the soil has warmed up by 5-8 degrees. First of all, you will need to prepare a suitable place in the garden or in the garden, most importantly, that it would not be very sunny.

    The method of proper cultivation of the Cyphomandra plant involves planting a tomato tree in moderately shaded places.

    The pit for planting should be of the appropriate size, depending on the age of the tree, it is very easy to calculate its diameter: add 10-15 cm to the size of the longest root.

    soil disinfection.

    You can neutralize fungi and bacteria by scalding the pit with boiling water or treating it with specialized products.

    A tree is placed in a heavily watered hole and sprinkled with soil, lightly tamping it to maximize the plant's strength in the ground. From above you need to sprinkle with sand, it will help to retain moisture under the plant.

    Important: after planting, the tomato tree must be watered once every two or three days; on hot summer days, the frequency of watering should be reduced to 1 day. It is best to water early in the morning or late in the evening, in no case in the middle of the day.

    For ease of watering and maximum absorption of moisture around the tree, it is necessary to make a recess with a diameter of 90-100 cm. An important point is the loosening of the soil, which must be carried out once every 2 weeks.

    The plant will begin to bear fruit in late July or early August, the fruits of the annual tamarillo tomato tree will ripen until late autumn.

    The advantage of such a tomato tree is that cyphomandra grown in an apartment or house allows harvesting twice a year.

    This option is possible if the plant is properly cared for, although domestic tamarillos do not produce 20 kg of fruit, but at least 5-7 kg in one season for sure.

    Basic methods of growing Cyphomandra tomato tree

    Growing Cyphomandra or tomato tree involves several different methods. There are two main ones: the most common, from seeds, and by cuttings.

    In the first case, the period before the appearance of fruits is 3 years, in the second case, the first harvest can be obtained in the year of planting.

    To propagate tamarillo by cuttings for further planting in open ground, you must:

    • have a mature tree growing in a room that has already been bearing fruit;
    • cut cuttings in early spring, they must have at least two internodes;
    • treat or soak cuttings in growth stimulants, plant in moist soil, covered with a glass jar;
    • the appearance of the root system is observed after about 30 days;
    • it is possible to plant such seedlings in open ground after 3 months.

    Thus, one tomato tree allows you to grow seedlings of Cyphomand without interruption in time. At home indoor conditions, you can annually obtain the required number of cuttings seedlings for cultivation in the country or in the garden.

    Look at the photos of the most diverse species of cyphomand in the growing areas of the tomato tree:

    Photo gallery

    How to eat tamarillo: taste and benefits of tomato fruits (with video) try, and you can buy this fruit in any supermarket.

    The set of vitamins in one product is quite large, which is why the tomato tree is so popular among the new products of gardeners and gardeners. In order to fill the body with vitamins of natural origin, it is enough just to plant an evergreen cyphomandra at home, which will not only decorate a balcony, room or living room, but also benefit the body.

    Tomatoes have a very short shelf life after picking, 5 to 7 days maximum, but are easy to freeze. You can prepare various jams without heat treatment, simply by mixing the fruit pulp with sugar, and process large volumes into juice.

    Most of the inhabitants of our country do not understand how Americans eat tamarillo fruits instead of tomatoes, but those who have already tried this unusual fruit try to use it in all culinary creations. From the fruits of the cyphomandra, you can easily prepare a multivitamin salad, as well as stew meat with them or make a vegetable casserole. The sweet and sour taste of the tamarillo fruit will add a unique touch to any meat dish.


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