How to plant and cultivate kumquat?

How to plant and cultivate kumquat?

The characteristics of kumquat

  • Type: fruit tree
  • Height: 1 to 2 m, 2 to 5 m, 5 to 10 m
  • Flower colors: orange
  • Fruit name: kumquat
  • Desired exposure: sunny
  • Type of soil: well drained
  • Foliage: persistent
  • Interview: frequent watering
  • Location: stay
  • sanitizer: Yes
  • variety: Fortunella australis, Fortunella hindsii, Fortunella japonica, Fortunella margarita, Fortunella polyandra

Origins and peculiarities of kumquat

The kumquat, or fortunella japonica in Latin, is a fruit tree from the Rutaceae family which produces a citrus fruit with the same name as the tree. The kumquat is native to China and Malaysia, and was introduced to Europe in the mid-19th century by an English horticulturist who was looking for exotic species for the collection of the Royal Horticultural Society. The kumquat is classified in the genus citrus, because it is a citrus fruit.

The kumquat is a fruit tree listed in several species (4 to 5) and which is available in several varieties: we find fortunella japonica, fortunella australis, fortunella margarita or fortunella hindsii among the best known species, but there are many others .

Visually, the kumquat is recognizable thanks to:

  • Its attractive dark green foliage with a shiny and varnished appearance.
  • Its very fragrant white flowers that appear on the tree between June and August.
  • Its orange fruits that can be harvested from November to May.

To note : kumquat is one of the rare rustic citrus fruits that can be grown in the open ground.

Uses of kumquat

The kumquat is a small orange-colored citrus fruit with a fairly tart flesh. It is often eaten fresh and whole (with its bark), but can also be candied or used as a compote. In pastry, the kumquat fruit brings a touch of acidity to fruity pies, but it can also be used in the preparation of savory dishes such as meats, poultry or fish.

The kumquat is a citrus rich in vitamin C.

Planting and caring for kumquat

The kumquat culture is quite simple. The kumquat is obtained by graft, it is cultivated in open ground in hot countries with a high rate of sunshine. The kumquat appreciates Mediterranean or tropical climates.

For the other regions of the globe, it will be necessary to favor a pot planting. Although kumquat supports temperatures down to -10 ° C, its fruits do not support frost and fall from the first frosts, so it is advisable to shelter it during the winter.

The kumquat must be planted in a perforated pot in which the bottom will be lined with 3 to 4 cm of pebbles or clay balls to promote drainage. Then cover with enriched potting soil and plant the shrub. The kumquat should be repotted about every 3 years in a larger pot.
For maintenance, a regular supply of citrus fertilizer will promote the production of kumquats.

Harvesting kumquats

As soon as the fruits are easily detached from the tree and they are well orange, it is because they can be harvested!

Diseases and parasites of kumquat

The kumquat is a tree which knows a main enemy: the cochineal, which spreads a whitish and cottony down on the back of its foliage. To get rid of it:

  • You can either use soapy water to clean the foliage and remove the shell of the scale before treating with a specific anti-scale product.
  • Or spray the foliage with water in which you have macerated nettles (1 kg of nettles for 10 l of water).