All About Growing Kumquat Trees
Kumquat trees are small, citrus fruit-bearing trees that belong to the genus Fortunella. They are known for their unique taste, and with most varieties, both the sweet peel as well as the tart flesh inside is edible. Kumquats have a long and interesting history, and they can be grown in pots at home with the right care.
History of Kumquats:
Kumquats are believed to have originated in China, where they have been cultivated for centuries. They were first described in Chinese literature during the 12th century. Chinese kumquats were brought to Europe in the 19th century and were given the name "kumquat," which is derived from the Cantonese word "gam gwat," meaning "golden tangerine." Kumquats have been cultivated in regions with a subtropical or tropical climate for their small, flavorful fruit.
Growing a Kumquat Tree in a Pot at Home:
Growing kumquats in pots is a popular choice for gardeners who have limited space or love the ornamental nature and growth habits of kumquat trees. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to grow a kumquat tree in a pot at home:
1. Select a Suitable Pot: Choose a starter pot with good drainage. A citrus growing pot with a diameter of at least 10-12 inches is ideal to provide enough space for the kumquat's root system.
2. Choose the Right Kumquat Variety: There are several kumquat varieties, but the Nagami Kumquat, Fukushu Kumquat, and Calamondin are excellent growers in pots. Choose a variety that suits your taste preferences and climate.
3. Soil Mix: Use a well-draining potting mix with good organic matter. We recommend our Primo Potting Mix, which is a DIY mix of orchid bark and orchid mix. This chunky mix provides lots of good drainage for the roots.
4. Sunlight: Kumquats thrive in full sunlight. Place the pot in a location where it receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
5. Watering: Water your kumquat tree regularly but avoid waterlogged soil. Allow the top inch or two of the soil to dry out between waterings. Adjust the frequency based on your climate and pot size. (Click here to read about Deep Watering vs. Overwatering)
6. Fertilizing: Use a balanced fertilizer during the growing season, which is the spring and summer. Follow the package instructions for application. We recommend Romeo Fertilizer and G&B Organics Citrus and Fruit Tree Fertilizer.
7. Pruning: In the early spring, prune your kumquat tree to maintain its shape and remove dead or overcrowded branches. (Click here to read about Pruning Your Citrus Tree)
9. Pest and Disease Control: Keep an eye out for common citrus pests like aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects. Use organic pest control methods or insecticidal soap like Captain Jack's to manage infestations.
10. Winter Care: If you live in a colder climate, bring the potted kumquat indoors or to a sheltered area during the winter months to protect it from frost. (Click here to read about Overwintering Your Citrus Tree)
11. Harvesting: Kumquats are usually harvested when they turn fully orange. You can pick them individually, and the entire fruit is edible, including the peel.
With proper care and attention to the needs of your kumquat tree, you can enjoy fresh kumquats from your own potted plant in your home.