Things You'll Need
You can cut the rest of the branch into 3- to 5-inch cuttings if you want to root multiple calamansi cuttings. It's a good idea to root multiple cuttings when propagating calamansi from cuttings. Not every cutting will root successfully, so having a few extra increases your chances of success.
You can root your calamansi cutting in a peat pot. Peat pots decompose over time. When you go to plant the cutting in the soil you can plant the whole pot without disturbing the root system. Traditional plastic pots are also suitable.
Calamansi trees make ideal ornamental citrus trees in pots on a patio or planted in the landscape. This dwarf citrus produces small orange-like fruit year round. Though edible, the sour fruits are better left to adorn the trees branches then for eating or juicing, though you can use them to replace lemons in the kitchen. Calamansi trees, also called calamondin trees, have a thick, glossy-green canopy. Propagate calamansi trees from rooted cuttings to expand your collection of this Chinese native citrus variety.
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Make the cutting in late spring or summer when the calamansi tree is producing new growth. Select new growth that has hardened slightly. The wood should be springy but not brittle. Look for a branch that is beginning to turn from green to brown as it matures.
Cut the branch just below a leaf node or a set of leaves, using a pair of sharp pruning shears. Make the cut horizontal. Make a second cut 3 to 5 inches higher on the branch just above a set of leaves at a 45-degree angle.
Pinch off the leaves from the bottom of the cutting but keep the leaves at the top of the calamansi cutting.
Fill a hand-held spray bottle with water. Mist the cutting every few minutes after cutting it while you prepare the pot to keep the cutting from drying out.
Select a tall narrow pot. Use a pot with a 2- to 3-inch diameter top and 4- to 8-inch depth. Use a pot that has holes in the bottom to allow water to drain through.
Mix equal parts grit, sand and sawdust in a bucket. Blend the materials thoroughly and add water until the mix is damp and crumbly. Fill the rooting pot with the damp potting mix.
Insert the bottom 2 to 3 inches of the cutting into the pot. The bottom of the cutting has the horizontal cut and no leaves. Mist the leaves of the cutting with water to keep them damp.
Place a clear plastic bag over the top of the pot. Position it upside down with the mouth around the rim of the pot and the bottom of the bag covering the cutting to create a humid environment around the calamansi cutting. Secure the plastic bag around the lip of the pot with a rubber band.
Put the cutting in a room that has bright indirect light. Keep the cutting between 77 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the plastic bag once or twice a week and mist the leaves and the rooting mix with water to keep the humidity high inside the plastic bag.
Remove the plastic bag when the calamansi cutting produces a mature set of new leaves. Plant it out into a nursery bed in spring. Calamansi cuttings grow 18 to 24 inches tall in the first year.
- Purdue University; Calamondin; Julia F. Morton
- University of Minnesota; Growing Citrus Indoors in Minnesota; Deborah L. Brown
- Teas Citrus and Subtropical Fruits; Home Fruit Production -- Miscilanious Citrus; Julian W. Sauls; December 1998
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Rooting Cuttings of Tropical Trees
Eulalia Palomo has been a professional writer since 2009. Prior to taking up writing full time she has worked as a landscape artist and organic gardener. Palomo holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from Boston University. She travels widely and has spent over six years living abroad.