Fortunella margarita, advice on caring for it

Fortunella margarita

Fortunella margarita is a citrus also called kumquat.

Fortunella margarita facts

Name: Fortunella margarita
Family: Rutaceae (Rue family)
Foliage: evergreen

Height: 6 to 13 feet (2 to 4 meters)
Exposure: full sun
Harvest: fall, early winter

It has cute fruits with an edible peel. Planting and repotting, care, watering and pruning are all good practices that will help you to grow a very nice fortunella margarita.

Planting and repotting Fortunella margarita

It’s more common to grow this small citrus in pots as an indoor citrus tree. In mild climates, luckily, you can plant it outdoors with great success.

Planting fortunella in a pot

What’s best is to plant fortunella margarita in a blend of soil mix enriched with fertilizer.

  • The pot must absolutely be holed at the bottom to avoid having the roots stagnate in water.

Fortunella margarita plantingAn ideal solution is to pour in a layer of gravel, clay pebbles or rocks to ensure that excess water drains well to the bottom.
Make this layer about 1 to 2 inches (3 to 4 cm) thick.

Anticipate repotting in a pot that is slightly larger than the previous every 2 or 3 years on average.

Planting fortunella directly in the ground in the garden

It will only grow directly in the ground in Mediterranean-type climates or tropical climates.
Although it has been seen to resist temperatures as low as 17°F (-8°C) and even 14°F (-10°C), it must necessarily be planted under wind shelter and in full sun.

Once this is the case, mix soil mix into your garden soil and ensure that your soil drains well.
If it doesn’t drain well, dig a hole that is slightly deeper, and layer gravel, rocks, sand or clay pebbles along the bottom.

  • Propagate Fortunella margarita through layering.

Pruning and caring for Fortunella margarita

It isn’t really necessary to prune it.

Harvesting fortunella margaritaTo rebalance the silhouette of your Fortunella margarita, prune lightly in spring after the harvest, or just after repotting if it is a potted specimen.

You can also supplement citrus plant fertilizer during the entire growing phase.

In winter, if you fear particularly strong freezing and it is grown in a pot, bring it in a cool and well-lit room where it never freezes.
Although fortunella margarita can resist to freezing temperatures, its fruits will fall with the first frost.

It’s very rare to get a good harvest from a Fortunella margarita grown indoors.

Watering Fortunella margarita

Indoors, water regularly but not too much as soon as the soil is dry.

In winter, space the watering in order to let the soil dry up deep down before watering again.

Learn more about Fortunella margarita

Cooking kumquatFortunella margarita is a small fruit shrub that bears edible fruit, and, which is rare for a citrus, the entire fruit is edible.
Indeed, not only the flesh but also the skin of the kumquat is eaten.

Indoors and in a pot, simply set it in a well-lit spot but avoid direct sunlight during the hottest hours.

In winter it needs relatively lower temperatures and would not resist the heat of a house or apartment. Find a luminous room for it where the temperature won’t drop below freezing.

Diseases and parasites of Fortunella margarita

Smart tip about Fortunella margarita

Regular adding of citrus plant fertilizer will greatly increase blooming and fruit formation of your Fortunella margarita.

Images: Pixabay: İsmet Şahin, Davide Tirindelli, Jacqueline Macou, Rafael Albaladejo