Growing Kumquat plants indoors

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Growing Kumquat plants indoors

Growing Kumquat plants indoors

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Kumquats are some of the most straightforward citrus trees you can grow indoors. The trees themselves are beautiful, and they boast dark green leaves with bright orange fruit. They are considered a citrus fruit, and when they are ripe, you can eat the entire fruit, including the sweet, edible skin. Most people find that the skin is significantly sweeter than the sour fruit inside which is why kumquats are so popular when made into marmalades.

When you grow them outdoors, the trees can reach up to 3 meters tall and 2 meters wide, but when you grow them in pots which is what most people do in the Uk, you have more control over the size and can cultivate a much smaller citrus tree. So, how do you grow kumquat plant indoors?

Citrus Kumquat care

Sunlight – they need at least 6 hours per day

The first consideration is the sunlight, or more importantly the amount of sun it gets. Kumquat trees require at least six hours of sun every day, so if you grow them indoors, you need to place them near a sunny window but make sure that said window doesn’t have so much direct sunlight that it burns the plant’s foliage. If you don’t have access to such a window, you can always place grow lights around the kumquat. This tree will survive best with bright, indirect sunlight so this is what we strongly recommend.

Choosing a container

When picking the container, get something that is a reasonable step up from the pot its already in, but be careful not to go to large. The container should be twice the size of the root ball. The material is less important. Plastic is very durable, especially for indoor use; it’s not heavy so as your plant reaches maturity it won’t add to the total weight if you have to move the plant around such as placing it outdoors over summer. However, some people prefer wood or ceramic for decorative purposes.

Choosing the right compost

Westland Citrus Potting Compost Mix and Enriched with Seramis, 8 L
  • This is a specialist blend that can be used by anybody who wants a strong and healthier plant that is provided with optimum water and nutrient availability.
  • The added SERAMIS granules do a fantastic job at regulating the plants water intake to ensure optimum water and nutrient availability.
  • This mix is loam rich to retain nutrients and for fruit development.
  • This 8L bag will fill a 28cm Pot.

Kumquats need potting soil that is enriched. They are not particular about the pH level. They are particular about drainage though so you might add gravel or a layer of pebbles to the bottom of your container, or perhaps drill extra holes in the container depending on the type of material you are using to allow for proper drainage. You can use a specially made citrus compost or use a soil-based compost such as John Innes potting compost which with retain moisture and mix with around 30% grit to improve drainage.

 

Water kumquats

Kumquat tree

Watering is very important with a kumquat tree. As is the case with any Citrus plant, you need to make sure that the soil remains moist but never too wet. Why you have to go through such effort to allow for proper drainage. You should be able to stick your finger directly into the soil at least up to your second knuckle before you water again. If there is dampness right at your fingertips when you start sticking your finger in the soil, you don’t need to water yet.

During the winter, when you have your plant indoors if the heat is on, the most successful way to water is to mist the plant, spraying the leaves instead of watering the soil and only watering the soil directly when it becomes dry to touch. They usually only need water once or twice a month in winter.

Learn more about watering and feeding citrus trees in this guide by clicking here.

Feeding Kumquats

Kumquats need food most of the year with the exception of the middle of winter. In the springtime, you can give them a slow-release, multi-purpose Citrus fertiliser. When they are growing, you can give them regular applications of a fish emulsion or liquid kelp fertiliser. When you give the kumquat food, always water it well before, and after so the fertiliser doesn’t burn the plants.

Envii Seafeed Xtra - Organic Liquid Seaweed Fertiliser - 1 Litre
  • Organic liquid seaweed fertilizer
  • Promotes strong growth, increased crop yields and lush foliage
  • Contains a high concentration of seaweed, known for its unique anti-stress compounds
  • Also include extra iron and plant based amino acids to strengthen plants and improve yield
  • Contains 1 litre SeaFeed Xtra
FITO Citrus Plant Drip Feeder, 1 Liter, Yellow, 13.5x2.8x18.5 cm
  • easy to use
  • no mess
  • no measuring
  • lasts 15 days
  • (Playback Language)

Temperatures

Kumquats are very strong and can deal with temperatures that are quite low, which is why they do well indoors or outdoors. However, when you have them inside be sure not to put them directly next to a radiator where the temperature fluctuations are severe. Instead, you want to place it somewhere the temperatures remain somewhat steady as you would with all citrus trees.

Kumquat citrus tree - hardest of all citrus trees

Repotting

Every 2 or 3 years, you might have to repot your kumquat into a larger container. This is true of all citrus plants. The best time to do this is at the beginning of Spring before there are any flowers or fruit. When you repot, always put it in a container that’s slightly larger than the original, not substantially.

 
Citrus Focus Repotting Mix 2 Litre
  • Citrus Focus Repotting Mix is designed for best results with the widest range of citrus trees
  • It is free draining to promote healthy root growth
  • Contains peat, perlite, maglime, wetting agent as well as a carefully balanced range of nutrients to support growth
  • Contains a carefully balanced range of nutrients to promote healthy growth
  • It is available in 2 litre bag

Pests and Diseases

Potted kumquats have to contend with mealybug infestation as the primary test and root rot as the primary disease. You can help prevent root rot by making sure you have well-draining soil; you don’t overwater your plant, and by applying mulch around the base of the plant.

If you notice mealybug infestation of aphids, it’s essential to tackle the issue early on by treating your tree with insecticidal soap or another commercial insecticide.

SBM Life Science Provanto Ultimate Bug Killer RTU 1L
  • Contact insecticide that can protect from pests for up to 2 weeks
  • Kills most common insect pests on an extensive range of ornamental plants
  • Protects over 30 different crops from insect attack
  • Use indoors or outdoors.

Harvesting

You will know the kumquats are ripe when the skin showcase has a deep orange shade, and the fruit is slightly soft. Most people will pull citrus fruit directly off the plant, but this can result in ripping off a larger piece of the actual plant than you intended, so you are better off using a knife or scissors to cut the fruit off.

Last update on 2020-03-29 at 19:59 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

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