Tamarillo (Cyphomandra betacea) is a bushy every green shrub that can grow 3 metres or more with large heart shaped leaves, with red new growth. It flowers in Spring through Summer while fruits start to form in Autumn. Its fruits are egg shaped with shiny red or yellow smooth skin. The skin is bitter but the pulp is edible. Tamarillo is native to the tropical parts of Americas.


How to grow Tamarillos in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny position, well protected from winds, which has well drained soil.
  2. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food. If the soil is clay based, improve soil structure by adding gypsum and forking in well. 
  3. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball.
  4. Remove the plant from the container, position in hole, backfill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed. Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes. 
  5. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like woodchip or pea straw, keeping it away from the base of the plant.
  6. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  7. During the growing and flowering/fruiting season, feed with Yates Thrive Citrus & Fruit Granular Plant Food. TIP: for an added boost during the flowering/fruiting season, apply Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.
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How to grow Tamarillos in a pot

  1. Choose a pot at least 600mm wide.
  2. Position pot in full sun with protection from winds.
  3. Fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Premium Potting Mix.
  4. Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. 
  5. Position in hole and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well. 
  6. Water deeply, 2-3 times during the week, depending on weather conditions. 
  7. During the growing and flowering/fruiting season, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food. Throughout the year apply Yates Thrive Fish Blood & Bone Plant Food Concentrate.

Growing tips

  • You will notice the egg shaped fruit turning completely yellow or red depending on the variety you have got. Simply pull the fruit by snapping it with the stem attached.

  • Tamarillos are susceptible to damage from winds as the branches can snap. Protection against windy conditions is essential.

  • Watch out for frost, especially on an extra-cold night, as frost can damage the plant and lead to fungal diseases.

  • To encourage branching, lightly prune the plant once it has grown to about a metre high. Light pruning after fruiting is also recommended.

  • Grow in a partly shaded spot (Tropical and hot regions), full sun in Sub-tropical and temperate regions.

  • Water well, but do not allow soil dry out after pod formation.

  • Best grown in tropical, sub-tropical and warm-temperate regions in frost-free areas. 

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