Kumquat is a sun loving citrus tree. It is sturdy, and is tolerant to cold temperatures (but not to frost). There are many species of kumquat like marumi, nagami, etc. No matter which species you have planted, you have to give them sufficient care to ensure a good growth and harvest.
How to Take Care of a Kumquat Tree
Every citrus tree loves the sun, and kumquat is no exception. It needs to soak in the sun to grow well. Even if you place it in a container, do not keep it away from the sunlight. If this tree does not receive adequate sunlight, it will have stunted growth. Sufficient sunlight coupled with pruning will aid the growth of your kumquat. You should always remember; your harvest is highly influenced by sunlight exposure. If the kumquat is deprived of sunlight, then it will bear less fruits.
You should water the kumquat regularly. Before you water them, you should check whether the soil is moist. If the soil is moist, you should not water the tree, as excess water will lead to infections in the roots. I will tell you an easy way to figure out when to water this citrus tree. Insert your finger in the soil till it goes 1 inch deep. If you find that the soil is dry, then water it, else wait for a few days. Generally the only surface of the soil gets dried up, and the layer of the soil below the surface remains moist. If you water the plant by just observing the surface of the soil, you might end up providing the kumquat more water than it needs, and this will not be beneficial for it. By inserting your finger in the soil, you can understand the moisture content of the soil in a better way.
Along with sunlight and water you need to provide the kumquat adequate fertilizers (organic or inorganic). Fertilizers are essential as the soil might not be able to provide the tree all the essential nutrients. Here is the list of nutrients that a kumquat tree needs:
The fertilizer that you choose should have a good content of all the nutrients mentioned above. There are 2 things that you should remember while using fertilizers:
- Read and follow the instructions written on the fertilizer.
- Do not give in to the temptation of over fertilizing the kumquat.
You should regularly examine the tree for any symptoms of infestation. If you find that the leaves have wilted or become discolored, it is a clear indication that unwanted pests are living on your kumquat. You should terminate these pests as soon as possible. You can use pesticides to get rid of the pests, but you should not apply it in excess. Always read the instructions before you use the pesticide.
The kumquat is tolerant to cold climate, but it cannot bear the frost. The best way to save it from freezing, is to bring it indoors. If your kumquat is in a container, then you can shift it easily into your home or garage. It may be difficult to transplant the tree from your garden. When it is difficult to relocate the tree, you should cover it with a blanket. This will help the tree stay warm. You should also place portable light and a bucket of water, near the tree (under the blanket).
Now, you know how to take care of your kumquat. Growing citrus trees is very rewarding, as they add to the visual appeal of your garden, and also give you tasty fruits.