Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Germinating Tamarillo (Solanum betaceum syn. Cyphomandra betaceum))

    Now for a plant that most people should know, the tamarillo.  I've wanted these seeds for three main reasons:  I love tamarillo fruit, I'm fascinated by fast growing plants, and I am partial to plants with big leaves.  I'm actually surprised I've waited so long to get these seeds.  I was hoping to find some in local grocery stores and markets but I haven't seen any recently.

    The plants are short lived and may only last 5 years or so.  Tamarillos seem to appreciate cooler temperatures with an ideal median of about 18C.  They're adaptable but I'm a little worried it may get too hot for them here.  I tried to grow a Chayote which likes similar temperatures is it was often wilting by the end of the day in the summer.  I think tamarillos will prove more adaptable and be alright as long as enough water is available.

    This is an extremely easy plant to grow from seed.  Room temperature is completely fine and plants may even sprout at 15C or lower.  You can start it like you would any garden vegetable, so just use whatever method has worked for you to sprout tomatoes, lettuce, etc.  A general potting mix with consistent moisture and bright light are perfect.

    Next comes the Screw Pine (Pandanus fascicularis).


  1. I saw tamarillo for the first time a couple of weeks ago - asked an employee at the nursery about it, but she couldn't tell us anything other than the name, claiming this was the first year they've had them. I kind of think they should at least read up on them, but then again, I don't always do that either, so I can't complain.

  2. @Ivynettle, yeah they should know about the plants they're selling. I love tamarillos, such an odd taste.


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