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Tamarillo Tree….. Cyphomandra betacea

Tamarillo Tree….. Cyphomandra Betacea 



Here is your opportunity to grow

something very different and worthwhile.

Forget conventional ways of growing tomatoes

with this species that is exclusive to ourselves.

Unlike ordinary tomatoes you can use the fruit

not only like tomato but like plums in desserts

and pies. It makes delicious jam too.

Although it looks much like a medium-sized tomato,

the tree tomato is not a true tomato.

Tasting somewhat like a tomato,

it is usually eaten with sugar or boiled

to make a popular and refreshing drink.

An extremely fast growing shrub to 2-3m.

Flowers are self-pollinating, and tree tomatoes

may bear from seed in just over a year.

Although it does better in climates where

the temperature stays above 50F,

the tree tomato is subtropical and will bear fruit

in cooler climates. Hardy to 25F.

Requires lots of water and good drainage-

-standing water will kill the plant in just a few days.

Makes an excellent container plant in cold climates.

Propagating Cyphomandra Betacea from seed is quite

straight forward.  Surface sow the seeds

on sterile compost.  If germinated in cool conditions,

the initial growth rate is a bit slow.  

For this reason it is better to wait until

early spring before sowing seeds. Water the newly

germinated tree tomato seedlings sparingly at first.

The stems are prone to rot if over watered.  

This can also happen to more mature plants

growing in the ground.  If watering is withheld

the plant will usually recover. Cyphomandra Betacea

is equally happy in shade (not gloom) or sun, 

but will grow larger in sunnier conditions.  

As with most plants grown for the tropical effect,

mix plenty of home-made compost and

composted manure into the planting hole

for best performance.

Here you go folks, yet another

suggestion from an Old Fart

of a practical fruit for your

garden….I have also planted

2 seeds of the yellow variety

on 2 large pots.

Let’s see how I go ??

….Yummmm.

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4 responses

  1. I know that Tamarillos grow here in Tassie (we have an old stoner Californian hippy friend who grows one) but they suffer badly from the frost and get knocked for 6 every time winter hits. I need to confess something here. I HATE them. I am a most stoic vegan who is very good at eating everything on her plate. Throw broad beans and Brussells sprouts at me and I am in heaven but tamarillos are not my idea of fun food. My daughter adores them and so when I found 2 on the side of the road (tamarillo fruits, not daughters 😉 ) I gave them to her. She has just decided that she is going to grow food in her garden. Good luck to her, she can have them 😉

    November 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    • Am building an shade house with 2 layers of 90% UV rate, where I want desperately to plant 2 Avocados and 2 Tamarillo + 1 or 2 Blueberry bushes which should do for frost also…Love to give it a go as winter store, gem or preserved in some way.
      If I won’t like them, will get rid of it. 😀

      November 6, 2013 at 2:03 am

      • We have several avo’s that we grew from seed here that we are going to plant out. We know of a large avo tree in Launceston C.B.D that produces lots of fruit every year and we have a milder climate out here on the river than Launceston does so we figure, in for a penny in for a pound! We also grew some mangoes from seed and are going to plant them out as well. We have some carob (from seed) some chestnuts, walnuts and hazelnuts (also from seed…are you starting to get a picture here? 😉 )…a food forest needs food that will grow easily and we figure if it grew from seed it would have the best chance at surviving in our local conditions as it has gone through a few years of acclimatisation rather than straight over the strait and having to go through shell shock before it even gets a chance to go through transplant shock ;). Good luck with those tamarillo’s, lots of people love them. Same goes for pepino that people rave about but is just a bit “blah” to me. I will eat them though unlike tamarillo’s that I actively avoid whenever politely possible and both are very easy to grow. Let us all know how you go growing them this year, it’s an experiment and we LOVE experiments 🙂

        November 6, 2013 at 2:41 am

  2. Wowwww….That is it …LUCK is all I need..Thanks …It is getting colder and colder every year here.
    Heavy ( Black ) Frost and even snow in my vicinity coming fast Out West N.S.W……Global warming I presume ???…lol….. 😀 😀

    November 6, 2013 at 2:51 am

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