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More Plants >>

How to grow Tamarillos

How to grow Tamarillos

Tamarillo fruit can be between 2 and 8 centimeters in length. They are held on the tree in clusters as are many other clustered fruit, such as cherries. The trees are grown from cuttings and are very frost-tender when young. They are shallow-rooted and respond to deep mulching and abundant water. The tree can grow to a little more than 6 meters but it is subject to wind damage and needs shelter. It will bear fruit after two years and a single mature tree in good soil will carry more fruit than a normal family can eat for about 3 months.

Tamarillo Varieties:

  • Tango – a relatively new sweeter variety.
  • Bold Gold – a tasty yellow skinned variety
  • Ted’s Red – an old faithful variety with red fruit and skin

When, where and how to plant Tamarillos

Plant in fertile well-drained soil. In a sunny position away, from strong winds when trees are young. Look for a site in full sun or partial shade, out of any cold winds and frosts. The soil should be light and fertile with plenty of organic matter. Don't dig too much around the plant once it is established, as they tend to be very shallow-rooted. Plant 1m apart if you are planting a few, young trees may need staking.

Tamarillo Growing Guide

Mulching and supplementary water in summer is essential in dry areas. Tamarillos need good drainage, but they are also sensitive to drought. If you have a wet soil plant on raised mounds to improve drainage. Lack of water limits plant growth, fruit size and yields. Tamarillos are fairly pest and disease resistant, although they can be attacked by aphids, powdery mildew. They are usually fairly short-lived plants often needing to be replaced after 5 years or so.
Tamarillos are heavy feeders. Apply a complete NPK fertiliser to mature trees before spring pruning, one month later and again in February as fruit is developing.

Pruning Tamarillos

Remove central growing tip once plant has reached 1m high to encourage side branching. This is important as your plant will grow too tall and either fall over or worst of all you can not reach the fruit. Frosts will naturally prune your tree. After frosts, remove old and dead wood. Always remember fruit is formed on the new spring growth therefore, a hard prune will maintain desired shape, size and maximise next seasons fruit.

Harvesting Tamarillos

When fruit changes to bright red colour in autumn – early winter depending on where you live. You will know when your Tamarillos are ripening as you will notice wind falls on the ground.

How to use Tamarillos

Use in crumbles and pies as desserts or try jams and chutneys.

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