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Kumquat Tree

Here's Your Guide for Growing a Healthy and Fruitful Kumquat Tree

The Kumquat tree is a fruit bearing tree that is native of China. This article explains what this tree is like, its classification, and how to grow one.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Mar 7, 2018
The kumquat tree originated in China, but it is now widely cultivated in Japan, Southeast Asia, and Florida and California in the United States. They flourish in a tropical climate, though they can withstand extreme cold without any damage. They are comparatively short trees, a full-grown tree can have a height of between 8 to 15 feet. Earlier the kumquat was classified under the citrus genus, but in 1915 it was transferred to the genus fortunella. These trees are very slow to grow and they take 5 to 7 years to bear fruits. They have sparse branches, with small glossy dark leaves and small yellow flowers similar to that of lime and lemon trees. The fruit is oval-shaped with a pale yellow to reddish-orange peel. The fruit has 3 to 5 segments, and it is sour and sweet in taste. The most unique characteristic of this fruit is the edible peel. There are different varieties of kumquats like Hong Kong wild, marumi, meiwa, and nagami. The most common type is the nagami variety, which can also be grown as indoor plants.

How to Grow a Kumquat Tree

You can grow this tree in two ways: by grafting a cutting from another tree, or from the seeds of the fruit. The grafting process involves planting a cutting from a tree, and is quite complicated. It requires the skills of a professional gardener. Growing this tree from the seeds is much simpler.

Prepare the Seeds
First, purchase some kumquat fruits and cut them in half. Carefully remove the seeds, and wash them in running water. Take care that they are not damaged, or the seed will not germinate.

Prepare the Soil
Now prepare potting soil by misting it with some water so that it is soft and well-conditioned. If you are planning to have an indoor tree, take a terracotta pot or container and make a small hole at the bottom for drainage. Place a piece of porous material, like a broken brick piece, to partially cover the pot and fill it with the potting soil. You can also prepare a mixture of potting soil, peat moss, and sand.

Planting the Seeds
Now make a small hole in the soil and plant one seed at least an inch deep into the soil. Cover the area with soil and then cover the pot with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap will ensure that moisture isn't lost from the soil. After 2 to 4 weeks you will see that the seed is sprouting. At this stage, remove the plastic wrap and place the pot in a sunny place. Once your tree starts growing, you might need to transfer it into a larger pot. Water the tree at least once a week, and also use a good fertilizer. Pruning the tree is not necessary, but you can trim extra branches to maintain its shape.

Although you can grow a kumquat tree indoors, you have to remember that they are tropical trees and therefore require a lot of sunlight. The fruits can be enjoyed whole, or they can be used to make delicious marmalade, preserves, or candy. They can also be pickled in to last for a long time. Some common diseases that inflict this tree are algal leaf spot, greasy spot, and mealybug infestations.
plant pot
Two Planters
Household compost in pot
Watering can