There are some things people don't know about kumquat trees that can affect them heavily. It's important to keep these factors in mind to avoid growth trouble.
Kumquat trees are easy to grow and are attractive, pleasant plants to have in your home or on your property. Many people find kumquats to be overly sour, but if you know how to prepare and use them properly, they can be quite tasty, too.
This member of the genus Fortunella has origins in China where it has been grown for thousands of years. It is native to South Asia and the Asia-Pacific region and makes appearances in Indian, Japanese, Taiwanese, Philipino cuisine and is also popular in dishes of Southeast Asia. They made their way to Europe in 1864 thanks to Robert Fortune, a collector for the London Horticultural Society, and soon they could be found in the United States as well.
Although kumquats are only the size of grapes, they are packed with nutrients and are a rich source of Vitamin C, like their cousins in the citrus genus. Kumquats are high in antioxidants, support healthy immune function, and may even help to fight obesity because they are filling, but low in calories, making them an excellent snack.
It's no wonder so many people enjoy growing kumquat trees. They have many of the same needs as citrus trees, but there are certain things about them that home farmers should consider for best results.
Kumquat trees need more zinc than other similar plants do. A zinc deficiency can be spotted easily as the plant will have mottled, yellow leaves that are quite small. You might think the plant is diseased when seeing these symptoms, but the problem can be solved easily with some zinc-rich fertilizer.
Because kumquat trees are rather tropical, some owners have a tendency to water them too much. These plants do want to stay moist, but be careful not to over water them. Once they are established, they will get most of their water from the earth through their roots and they should only be watered during dry spells.
Kumquat trees do not like being root-bound, so if you plan to grow yours in a pot, you will need a rather large pot. You'll also have to make sure the pot has plenty of drainage and air circulation because these plants are highly susceptible to root rot and other root problems. Learn more in our post about growing kumquats in containers.
When planting in the ground, consider spreading light mulch on the ground around the tree to help combat competition from grass and weeds. Your kumquat tree will thank you for it.
All plants need sun, but fruit trees like kumquat trees need as much as possible. Plant or place yours in a sunny spot in your yard and your tree will be happy and thrive. Trees in sunny locations produce more fruits than those in the shade and more fruits will make you happy, too.
These hardy trees are tolerant to colder weather, but they simply cannot bear frost or snow; intense weather can kill even established kumquat trees. If possible, bring your kumquat tree indoors in inclement weather.
If your tree is planted in the ground rather than in a pot and you predict a freeze is coming, cover it with a light blanket to protect it until the weather passes.
Happy Kumquat Growing
Kumquat trees are so much fun to grow. There are also many amazing ways to use kumquats. Watching the fruits form and develop is so rewarding, and it's even more enjoyable to harvest and eat the literal fruits of your labor. With the right information and kumquat tree care, you can harvest and enjoy kumquats for years to come.
If you're interested in growing kumquats at home, we can help. Check out our Citrus Simplified blog for more valuable information about kumquats and other tasty citrus fruits.
If you're interested in growing your own kumquats, consider buying a brand new kumquat tree from us direct and shipped straight to your door!