Cultivate the Citrus australasica: cultivation in pot or in the garden, advice on care and where to buy the plant.
Lemon caviar, citrus australasica
Thecitrus australasica, also known by the names of Australian Finger Lime or simply Finger lime, is a citrus fruit with a grainy pulp that grows well in our climate and which, due to the consistency and shape of its pulp, was soon renamedlemon caviaror vegetable caviar.
How doessuspect the botanical name, thecitrus australasicais a plant native to Australia, it grows spontaneously in the subtropical areas and in the rainforest of the regions bordering Queensland and New South Wales.
Unlike thelemonsand other plants of the genus citrus we are used to, thefinger limeit grows with a shrubby pattern, so much so that according to the Swingle taxonomic system, it is not part of the genuscitrus fruitsbut in a related genus of "Microcitrus". Its edible fruits are attracting a lot of attention.
Growing lemon caviar
Thecitrus australasicais originally from Australia and his owncultivationit is easy to implement both in pots and in the garden.
In recent years the passion for the cultivation of citrus fruit in pots has exploded, this practice was once widespread only in northern Italy for climatic reasons. Today, throughout Italy, more and more users decide to grow citrus fruits in pots.
In the list of citrus fruits (or micro-citrus fruits) that can be grown in pots in the garden, on the terrace or on the balcony, check the lemon caviar, Citrus australasica, an interesting fruit with an unusual texture.
Lemon caviar, flowering
TherecultivationofCitrus Australasicacan give great satisfaction and not only for the production ofvegetable caviar: the citrus australasica blooms 2-3 times a year starting from March. THE flowers they are not particularly delicate even if the appearance can be deceiving: they have three small petals, white in color with pale pink streaks.
The flowers look very delicate and measure only 0.8 cm, unlike the flowers of other citrus fruits, those of citrus australasica they have an almost imperceptible fragrance
Fruits, vegetable caviar
The fruits produced by thecitrus Australasicathey vaguely resemble fingers (that's why the plant was renamedfinger Lime) and are reddish-brown in color. The grainy pulp (vegetable caviar) is a pale coppery pink color.
The color of thevegetable caviarproduced from citrus Australasica may vary slightly depending on yours cultivation, as well as the color of the peel of the fruit also varies. In the cultivations of citrus Australasica located in Southern Italy, the peel takes on a more intense color and the pulp stands out for brighter shades.
The fruits have an elongated shape and develop up to 4 - 8 cm in length and 2.5 cm in diameter. They have a thin and wrinkled skin with a color that, like the pulp, varies slightly according to thecultivation.
Lemon caviar, plant
In its natural habitat it reaches the length of 2 - 7 meters but in the crops homegrown hardly exceeds 3 meters if placed in the ground. This plant has very small leaves, 1.5 to 2.5 cm.
How to grow lemon caviar in pots
As stated,cultivate the Australasica citrusit is easy both in pots and in the garden.
There cultivation of Citrus Australasicait is "obligatory" in pots for those who live in the Center-North:Citrus Australasicait only resists light frosts so it is not suitable for outdoor cultivation.
Those who live in central and northern Italy will have to repair theCitrus australasicain the winter months, moving it to an indoor and well-lit room.
During flowering it will be necessary to provide constant irrigation. It is in this period of the year (from March) that it will be necessary to administer a potassium-based fertilizer to facilitate fruit production.
It is true that thecitrus australasicagives life to unusual fruits, however it is still a "sub-genus" of citrus and the care to be devoted to cultivation is the same both when it comes tocultivation in pots and when we refer to crops in the open ground. The only difference is that thelemon caviarit tends to be more sensitive to cold, therefore even those who live in the South, but in mountain areas, will be forced to grow in pots.
In view of autumn, it is a good idea to fertilize with potassium sulphate both to help the plant resist the cold and to allow the plants to stock up on this element for the next flowering.
Where to buy potassium sulfate? In garden centers, at agricultural consortia or by taking advantage of online sales. On Amazon, a 1.25 kg pack of potassium sulphate is offered at a price of 19.20 euros with free shipping. It is useful for all plants that fear the cold.
For all information, I refer you to the page:Vitax potassium fertilizer
On the package we read Sulphate of Potash which means potassium sulfate, do not be fooled by the images, potassium sulphate is widely used in the cultivation of berries but it is perfect for all plants, including lemon caviar.
During the rest of the year you can fertilize with ground lupine and / or ox blood.
Citrus Australasica or lemon caviar, where to buy it
Who wants to start a smallcultivation of Citrus Australasicayou will have to work a little to find the plants: at the moment it is not easy to find them on the market, so arm yourself with patience and get ready to go round several nurserymen before returning home with a plant on board. A good alternative is buying and selling online.
The price of an already well-developed plant of Citrus Australasica is not cheap but it is still accessible: the Vivai La Georgiche offer the Citrus Australasica plant at a price of 66 euros including shipping costs for distance selling.
Those wishing to buy a Citrus Australasica plant can take advantage of Amazon. For all information on the plantcited, I refer you to "This Amazon page".
The plant that will be delivered to your home will have a height of 80 centimeters.
On the market there are several hybrid plants, crosses between different species of citrus, it is important to remember that thelemon caviarit has peculiar signs such as: spherical vesicles, of different colors more or less bright according to the light intensity. The brightest colors are emerald green and ruby red.