Kumquat, a tiny, original citrus


Kumquat is a citrus for which you can eat the skin together with the cute fruits.

Key Kumquat facts

NameFortunella japonica
Family – Rutaceae (Rue family)

Type – fruit shrub
Foliage – evergreen
Height – 6 to 13 feet (2 to 4 meters)

Exposure: full sun        –        Harvest: November to January

The planting, repotting, care, watering and pruning of kumquat are steps to take to grow a very nice plant.

Planting and repotting kumquat

Most often, kumquat is grown in pots as a beautiful houseplant. In mild climates, you can grow it outdoors and harvest fruits!

Planting kumquat in pots

It is recommended to plant kumquat in a blend of soil mix preferably enriched with fertilizer.

  • The pot must absolutely have a hole at the bottom to avoid having the roots stagnate in water.

kumquat potAn ideal solution is to pour in a layer of gravel, clay pebbles or rocks. This ensures 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.

Four-foot kumquat planted in the ground.Planting directly in the ground

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.

In which 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.

Pruning and caring for kumquat

Fruit-loaded kumquat branch with leaves.It isn’t really necessary to prune it.

To rebalance the silhouette of your kumquat, prune lightly in spring after the harvest, or just after repotting if it is a potted specimen.

You can also input 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 the kumquat can resist to freezing temperatures, its fruits will fall with the first frost.

Watering Kumquat

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 Kumquat

Sliced fruits harvested from a kumquat tree.Kumquat 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 edible.

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 inside a house or apartment. Ideally you’d find a luminous room for it where the temperature won’t drop below freezing. A greenhouse or lean-in would be perfect, for instance.

Diseases and parasites of Kumquat

Smart tip about Kumquat

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

Images: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0: Jan Friedrich
Pixabay: Deborah Jackson, Hans Braxmeier, Jacqueline Macou, Nicola Giordano