Solanum betaceum is a small tree or shrub in the flowering plant family Solanaceae. It is best known as the species that bears the tamarillo, an egg-shaped edible fruit. It is also known as the tree tomato, or tamamoro.
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.
Provide a warm, sheltered sunny position.
Protect from the wind as these plants are shallow rooted. Not salt tolerant.
Frost tender. Light frosts will naturally prune your tree. Tamarillos need plenty of water as the huge soft leaves transpire rapidly.
Any well drained site with good moisture content and high in organic matter.
Choose a sheltered position with protection from strong winds and hard frosts. Incorporate blood and bone at planting.
Apply three applications of low nitrogen NPK fertiliser during the growing season. One before pruning, second one month later and the third in February to help fruit development.
Once your plant reaches 1 metre tall take the tip out to encourage branching and stopping the plant growing too tall so you can not reach the fruit. Frosts will naturally prune your tree. After the frost, remove old and dead wood. In areas of no frosts you will need to manually prune back growth to prevent over crowding. Always remember fruit is formed on the new spring growth, therefore a hard prune will maintain desired shape, size and maximise next seasons fruit.