When we think of fruit trees, large plants usually come to mind that need a lot of care to produce their fruits, but things change when we talk about the kumquat. This little plant can not only be grown in a pot throughout its life, but it also has quite an interesting production.
Its care and maintenance are available to everyone, regardless of whether they have experience or not. So If you want to know why you should have one, in this special you will find an answer to your question,
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Origin and characteristics
Our protagonist it is an evergreen fruit tree which belongs to the botanical genus Fortunella and is known as dwarf orange, Chinese orange or kumquat. It is believed to be native to China, as records of its cultivation have been found since the 1646th century. It arrived in Europe in XNUMX from the hand of Portuguese missionaries who came from China.
It is characterized by growing to a height of 5 meters, with a very branched crown. The branches are smooth, although they can sometimes have thorns. The leaves are lanceolate, alternate, dark green on the upper surface and somewhat lighter on the underside, leathery, with a size of 4 to 9 cm long.
The flowers are axillary, solitary or in clusters of 1 to 4, hermaphroditic. The fruit is an oblong or ovoid hesperidium (modified berry) up to 5cm long covered by a thin and aromatic orange or reddish skin.
How do you take care of yourself?
If you want to have a copy, we recommend that you provide it with the following care:
You have to place your kumquat in an area where the sun shines directly, although from experience I can tell you that it adapts quite well in semi-shady areas (as long as it has more light than shade).
- Flower pot: universal growing medium (you can buy it here!) mixed with 30% perlite (for sale here!).
- Garden: it is indifferent, but it must have good drainage.
Irrigation it has to be frequentespecially in the summer months. It must be watered 3-4 times a week during the summer season and every 5-6 days the rest of the year.
From spring to summer It has to be paid with organic fertilizers, such as guano (you can buy it here!). If it is liquid, you must follow the instructions specified on the package, and if it is powder, it will be enough for you to pour a little around the trunk once a month.
Really does not need it. You simply have to cut those diseased, weak or dry branches towards the end of winter or autumn.
To multiply the kumquat by seeds you have to do the following:
- The first thing is, of course, to eat a fruit 🙂.
- Afterwards, the seeds are extracted and they are cleaned well with a drop of dishwasher and with the help of a scouring pad.
- Then, a seedbed - with holes - is filled with universal culture substrate mixed with perlite in equal parts and watered.
- The seeds are then placed on the surface so that they are separated from each other. The ideal is, in fact, not to put more than 3 if the pot is 10,5cm in diameter.
- Finally, they are covered with a thin layer of substrate and watered again, this time with a sprayer.
If all goes well, they will germinate in 1-2 months.
A faster way to get a specimen is by multiplying it with cuttings in early summer, following this step by step:
- The first thing to do is cut a semi-woody stem that is 30 to 40cm long.
- Afterwards, the base is impregnated with homemade rooting agents and it is planted in a pot with vermiculite previously watered.
- Finally, it is placed in semi-shade.
Always keeping the vermiculite slightly damp, you will have a new kumquat in a maximum of 1 month.
The most used way is multiplying it by grafting in bitter orange (Citrus x aurantium), grapefruit (citrus x paradise) or trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata). The way to proceed is:
- In the fall, a T-shaped incision will be made in the rootstock, and the bark is separated with the trowel of a razor.
- Then, a 3cm longitudinal cut is made, from bottom to top and around the bud, and another in a transverse direction.
- Now, a cut is made carefully with the blade of a razor from a bud of a kumquat, so that a piece of about 3cm long is obtained.
- Then it is inserted into the incision in the shape of a T, using a little downward pressure.
- Finally it is tied with plastic to graft.
After about 20 days it will sprout and the plastic can be removed.
It resists frosts of up to -10 ° C.
What care does it require as a bonsai?
Kumquat is a small tree that is often sold as a bonsai. If you want to buy one but don't know how to take care of it, here is a guide that will be useful:
- Location: full sun.
- Substratum: 100% akadama, or mixed with 30% kiryuzuna.
- Irrigation: very frequent: 4-5 times a week in summer (it may be necessary to water more) and every 3-4 days the rest of the year.
- Subscriber: with a liquid bonsai fertilizer (like this one from here!) following the instructions specified on the package.
- Pruning: towards the end of winter, dry, diseased or weak branches and those that grow too large are cut.
- Transplant: every 2 years, in spring.
Kumquat produces edible fruits that they can be eaten fresh. They are also used to make jams or as pickles. The nutritional value for every 100 grams of fresh fruit is as follows:
- Carbohydrates: 15,9g
- Fat: 0,4g
- Proteins: 3,8g
- Vitamin C: 151mg
- Calcium: 266mg
- Iron: 1,7mg
- Phosphorus: 97mg
- Potassium: 995mg
- Sodium: 30mg
As we have seen, it is a very pretty little tree that can be had either in a pot or in the garden. Although it is true that it does not give much shade, it is very decorative and very easy to care for, so it is worth buying one and enjoying it 🙂.
And with this we are done. What do you think? Do you dare to buy one? Surely if you do you can have a very interesting patio or balcony (or wherever you want).