Position – Kumquat trees are easy to grow in full sun. They even do well at the sea and, unlike other citrus fruit, they can withstand winter temperatures as low as -8° Celsius. Give each tree about 3 to 4 metres of space around it.
Soil Type – Kumquats can tolerate most soil types as long as it has good drainage.
Size – This tree grows to a height of between 2 and 4 metres.
Watering – The soil should be kept moist (but not soggy) once the tree has been transplanted. They are susceptible to root rot. An established tree needs watering weekly if there’s been no rain.
Mulch – Mulch well to keep the soil from drying out too quickly. Use organic material like grass cuttings or straw.
Fertilising – No fertiliser is required for the first 3 months. After that, use a fertiliser specifically for citrus trees.
Pruning – Kumquat trees don’t require pruning unless the tree grows too large and has long, skinny branches growing straight up. You can also cut away any damaged or dead wood to allow the sun and light to enter the centre of the tree. Prune it after fruiting and before it blooms in spring.
Container Growing – Kumquat trees can be grown in large containers if the pot has good drainage. You can even drill extra-large drainage holes and cover the holes with pebbles or a window screen to keep the soil from falling through. Raise the pot off the ground to improve drainage and air circulation. Cover the roots with a thick layer of mulch, grass, leaves or bark in winter.
Harvesting – Kumquats have to ripen on the tree before being picked, which may take weeks. The only way to know if they’re ready is to sample one. If it isn’t yet ripe, wait a week or so before trying another one. They will begin to fall from the tree when they are overripe.