The tree tomato is a fruit shrub of tropical origin that offers delicious fruits, the tamarillo, with a tangy taste and firm flesh.
Here's how to grow it at home.
In summary, what you need to know:
Last name : Cyphomandra betacea
Family : Solanaceae
Type : Fruit shrub
Height : 1 to 4 m (in its natural environment)
Exposure : Sunny or bright indoors
Ground : Light, quite rich
Harvest : Summer, let ripen on the foot.
Planting the tomato tree
In our latitudes the tomato tree is cultivated outdoors where the climate is mild enough in winter because this shrub is not resistant to negative temperatures below -3 °
It can therefore be grown in the Mediterranean region or on the Atlantic coast under certain conditions of winter protection.
- The tomato tree needs a sunny location sheltered from the wind
- The soil must be perfectly drained to avoid stagnant water
- The land must be rich and fertilized regularly
Growing tomatoes in potted trees
If you fear negative temperatures in winter, it is essential to grow your tomato tree in a pot so that it can be protected in winter.
Not very resistant to frost, we can then cultivate the tomato tree like a citrus fruit by tucking it in greenhouse in winter.
- Place a 5 cm drainage layer made from clay balls at the bottom of the pot
- Choose a potting soil special citrus or fruit tree
- Place the pot in the sun but avoid places that are too hot because in a pot it dries out much faster
- Take out the pot from May to October-November
- Bring the tomato tree into a greenhouse or an unheated veranda but protected from frost in winter
If you choose to cultivate theindoor tomato tree, allow a period of vegetative rest during the winter.
- This period requires a reduction in watering
- Place the tomato tree in the coolest place in the house
- Keep good light because it is necessary, even in winter
Maintenance and watering of the tomato tree
It's a fruit tree that claims lots of water in summer, especially in hot weather.
Daily watering is recommended in case of drought.
- When watering, avoid watering the foliage
- For the potted tomato tree, water as soon as the soil is dry on the surface
Apart from watering, maintenance is relatively easy from winter to summer.
Harvesting tamarillo, the tree tomato
The tamarillo must be harvested well ripe, as close to full maturity as possible and it is ideal to eat immediately afterwards.
Before maturity it is not very good and too young it can even be indigestible.
If the fruit is not ripe enough when harvested, you can let it ripen like tomatoes before eating it.
All you need to know about the tree tomato
Originally from Peru, it is well known for its red or orange-pink fruit of the tomato family, and whose shape rather resembles that of a plum
The tree tomato is slightly acidulous and its flesh, firm and fleshy, is eaten in the same way as the tomato, often raw.
We also like to taste this fruit in the form of tamarillo juice, another name given to the tree tomato.
The main producing country is Colombia, which explains why this fruit tree has difficulty growing outdoors in our latitudes.
Smart tip about tree tomatoes
For outdoor cultivation, choose the variety Cyphomandra corymbiflora because it is resistant to negative temperatures of around -7 ° in a sunny situation and well protected from the wind.