How to Care for a Kumquat Tree

Kumquat trees are small, ornamental citrus trees that originated in China. Kumquat trees are hardy in zones eight through 10 and can grow to 10 feet tall. Kumquat trees flower in the spring and produce their fruits, which resemble miniature oranges, in the fall. Kumquats are quite tasty, and they can be eaten right off the tree or used to make marmalade. You can even eat the peels!

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Blanket
  • Nurseryman’s light

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Plant or place your kumquat tree in full sun if possible. They'll also do well in partial sun, or may be planted beneath the shade of a larger tree, like an oak or pine.

Water young kumquat trees and container-grown specimens often—at least once weekly. Kumquats are in the citrus family, and therefore need a considerable supply of water in order to produce flowers and fruit.

Fertilize your kumquat tree regularly with a brand developed specifically for citrus trees. Always follow package directions for the specific brand of fertilizer used.

Prune your kumquat tree after the fruit has been picked but before new flowers appear. Remove dead or broken branches and trim branch ends to help the tree maintain its shape. Prune off suckers from the base of the tree, as they will take nutrients and energy away from the fruit-bearing portion of the tree.

Cover the kumquat tree with a blanket if a hard freeze is expected. Put a nurseryman’s light under the blanket, but not touching the tree, to help raise the temperature.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not fertilize kumquat trees for the first month after purchase. Nursery-grown kumquat trees usually already have fertilizer in their pots, and adding more fertilizer would damage the tree.


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