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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 spot in the garden based on where you are located and protecting it from strong winds. Enrich well drained soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is clay based, add gypsum and fork in well.
  2. Dig a planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised ring around the plant, creating a well so that water will go where it’s needed most. Water in well.
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, two to three times a week, depending on weather conditions. Avoid overhead watering to reduce disease incidence.
  6. Feed every 6-8 weeks from Spring to mid Autumn with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. During flowering and fruiting stages feed it weekly with Yates Thrive Veggie & Herb Liquid Plant Food.
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How to grow tamarillos in a pot

  1. Choose a pot at least 600mm wide. Place it as directed above and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter.
  2. Add a small amount of Yates Waterwise Water Storage Crystals to the mix. These will help hold extra moisture.
  3. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots.
  4. Position in hole and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well.
  5. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  6. Once planted, keep the plant adequately watered but don’t let the water sit in a saucer at the base of the pot.
  7. Feed weekly with Yates Thrive Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food once in bloom.

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 necessary.
  • Watch out for frost especially on an extra-cold night, which can cause frost damage leading to fungal diseases. You can provide your plant with some additional protection during this period by applying Yates Droughtshield to the leaves.
  • To encourage branching lightly prune the plant when 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. Protect it from strong winds.
  • Water well, do not allow soil dry out after pod formation.
  • Best grown in tropical and sub-tropical climates and around coastal belt of Australia.

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Recommended products

Yates Waterwise Storage Crystals

These crystals absorb up to 400 times their own weight in water. This water is then released back to the plants over time as they require it.