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Kumquat tree care should see this attractive garden tree produce fruit for you. The kumquat tree has the botanical name Citrus Japonica. However it came from China and is associated with the tropics and eastern Asia. In addition they are relatively small and quite attractive for the suburban garden. Indeed there are a number of varieties of kumquats. However, the most popular are:
Kumquat Tree Care
Location and Soil
Kumquat trees will grow in most soil types, regardless of the ph. However, they should be planted in a well draining location. While they thrive in the tropics they can survive in areas with temperatures down to – 8 Celsius.
This tree thrives in full sunlight and enjoys high humidity of 50 to 70 per cent.
Kumquats do not grow well from seeds and are overwhelmingly grown by grafting. Consequently this is done by using rootstock of another citrus fruit.
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How to grow kumquat trees from cuttings.
- Select Cutting
Make sure the cutting has 3 nodes (nodes are the knobby areas on the stem from where the leaves grow).
- Apply hormone
Put the end of the cutting into the rooting hormone mixed with water.
Push a small hole in your potting mix. Next, put the cutting in the hole and firm up the soil so it can stand on its own. Make sure the soil is damp to the touch, but not water-logged.
When your seedling fills the pot, transplant it into your growing spot in your tropical garden.
How to Care for Kumquat Tree
In spring, you should fertilise kumquat trees with a slow-release citrus fertilizer.
During the growing season, regular applications of a liquid fertilizer can increase a trees growth and productivity.
Make sure you water your tree well before and after you apply the fertiliser. Otherwise you may burn the plant.
Kumquat tree care can include pruning. However, any pruning should be done in the dry season (winter/spring).
Growing in a pot
Kumquats are one of the easiest fruit trees to grow in a pot. However, if you do place your plant inside, make sure it is located where it will get as much light as possible.
You should water trees regularly throughout the dry season. However, during the ‘wet’ they will be fine without any additional water. You should keep the ground at the base of the tree moist, but not wet or soggy. Mulching is recommended.
Pests and Diseases
Root rot can be a problem with kumquat trees. So while mulching is recommended, you should pull back the mulch a few centimetres from the base of the tree.
The pests of kumquat trees include mealybug, aphids and fruit fly. However, regular application of ‘white oil’ can help address some of these pests. Indeed, white oil is an effective organic pesticide that you can make at home.
Kumquat Tree Care: The Fruit
Eating The Fruit
Kumquats are best eaten raw. However, do not peel before eating, as the sweet skin complements the more bitter flesh of the fruit. However, make sure you spit out the seeds!
Kumquats are low in sodium and devoid of fat and cholesterol. In addition, it offers a number of other health benefits.
Kumquats are low in calories yet high in fibre. As a result, they are an excellent addition to a weight loss diet. Indeed, adding kumquat to your diet is a useful way to curb cravings and boost weight loss.
The high fibre and water content in kumquats makes them filling and good for digestion. Consequently, they can also help with constipation.
The fruit is very high in vitamin C which boosts the immune system. Indeed each fruit contains around 8 mg of vitamin C.
The edible peels are full of antioxidants. Consequently, they contain compounds that support the immune system and lower the risk of certain cancers.
Other Tropical Fruits
- Black Sapote
- Custard Apple
- Dragon Fruit
- Guava Tree
- Lemonade Tree
- Mamey Sapote
- Natal Plum
- Passion Fruit
- Paw Paw
- Star Apple