Kumquat Fortunella margarita - cultivation and care

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Kumquats that are reminiscent of small oranges, are not only very decorative in the garden, on the balcony and terrace or as a houseplant, the fruits are also very tasty. Originally based in Asia, they are also cultivated in the warm regions of Europe, such as the Greek island of Kerkyra (Corfu). But they are now also being cultivated in the local gardens or as indoor plants. Indoor plants in the tub are usually no higher than 1.50 meters, but on the plantations they can sometimes reach up to five meters.
Of course, the sun-kissed Kumquats also prefer a sunny location in the local latitudes. If this is not given, then it should be bright in any case, which should be made possible especially in plants cultivated in the home. However, the first two weeks after the move to the summer quarter, the direct sunlight should be avoided.

Kumquat Fortunella margarita can be grown from the seeds of the fruit itself. This is usually easy and simple. So if you want to gain seeds, remove them from the pulp. Then the seeds are dried in the air for about one to two days. The seeds thus prepared are inserted into small pots, which were filled with seed soil, about 2 cm deep. In order to obtain a continuous humidity, cling film is pulled over the pots. The pots should be placed in a warm place for germination. About 22° Celsius air temperature are ideal here. Then proceed as follows:

  • show small plants, remove cling film
  • in a warm, bright place
  • In the young plants, however, avoid direct, massive solar radiation
  • otherwise the young leaves could burn
  • Pay attention to regular but moderate watering
  • Once the young kumquat has formed a stem, plant in a larger pot
Tip: When sowing their own seeds, however, it must be remembered that the small trees will only blossom and bear fruit after a few years. Therefore, if you have no patience and would like to succeed quickly, plants will get you in the nursery.
If you want to buy a kumquat plant, you should cultivate it in the local latitude in the tub. Even the small trees will bear fruit after some time, which can be harvested. Since the trees are not hardy, they must be in a sheltered place in winter. Therefore, it is best to have a nice sunny outdoor space in summer and to move to a bright spot in the apartment during the winter. Outdoor planting is not recommended in the local gardens, however, as otherwise the trees here could suffer irreparable frost damage. The young kumquat should be planted in the bucket as follows:
  • choose sufficiently large bucket
  • Kumquats do not tolerate waterlogging
  • Create drainage in the bucket
  • Fill pottery shards or gravel over the drain hole
  • Plant fleece over this
  • then put the prepared soil on it and plant it
  • Give the rest of the earth all around and press lightly
  • Pour and place the pails in a sunny, very bright place
Substrate & soil
Kumquats ideally thrive in a nutrient-rich soil mixed with compost. However, the pH must never be basic or calcareous. In addition, the soil should be well permeable to water, which can be achieved with a subset of peat substitute or Lauberde.
Pouring & fertilizing
Waterlogging does not like kumquat, but it always needs enough water and a high humidity. So it should always be poured well from spring to autumn. In a hot summer it can happen that the tree has to be watered daily. This should be done early in the morning or late at night. Even if the earth feels wet, it makes sense to water even then. Because a dryness does not tolerate the kumquat well. However, waterlogging should be avoided at all costs. Therefore, always make sure that there is no water in the plate, which may be poured off about half an hour after pouring. Since the plant does not tolerate lime, care must also be taken with the irrigation water that it only receives lime-free water. It is therefore good if the rainwater is collected for pouring. If this is not possible, perhaps due to a very hot and dry summer, the tap water must be filtered before pouring. For the humidity, the plant can often be sprayed with water. When fertilizing, attention should be paid to the following:
  • In order for the kumquat to grow well and bear many fruits, it needs a lot of fertilizer
  • water every two weeks with liquid fertilizer during the growing season
  • Use full fertilizer when the first buds show up
  • pay attention to a high potassium content
  • then use the full fertilizer over the summer months
  • fall back on liquid fertilizer in autumn
Tip: If you want to increase outdoor humidity around the kumquat, it is helpful to put bowls of water around the tub. The water evaporates in the sun and is absorbed by the plant from the air.
The small trees need a lot of freedom at the roots, so that they can continue to grow. Due to the size of a pot but also the stature height can be determined. If you do not want a tree that big, you only have to crop your kumquat every two or three years. If you like a higher plant, you can repot it every year. The best time for this is before the growth, so right after the winter, before the Kumquat resumes its outdoor quarters. The new bucket should be one size larger, and will be prepared as in the category "plants". Then the tree is carefully removed from the old vessel and inserted into the new one.
To cut
The Kumquat Fortunella margarita should be cut regularly so that it retains a beautiful shape. Therefore, cut as follows:
  • Ideal time is the end of the wintering
  • cut into a nice round shape
  • Remove transversal or too long shoots and weak or malformed branches
Since the plant is originally at home in warm areas, it is not hardy. Therefore, she must move to a well-protected winter quarters before the first frost. Anyone who cultivates his kumquats in tubs can have them moved to the apartment in the autumn. Again, the trees feel comfortable as houseplants in a bright and warm corner. If no frosts are to be expected after the winter and also at night the temperature does not drop below 0° Celsius, then the plants may go out again to a sunny and bright location on the terrace, balcony or garden. This is usually the case in the local latitudes only in mid-May after the Eisheiligen. The following must be respected in winter quarters:
  • Plant must be regularly and moderately poured with very low-limp water here
  • fertilization should not be in the winter months
  • also on a humidity must be respected
  • Spray trees from above often with water
  • Use humidifier for the apartment
  • Alternatively, put bowls of water on the heater near the plant
  • the kumquat may lose its leaves over the winter, which is no cause for concern
Tip: If you do not have a garden, balcony or terrace, you can also cultivate your Kumquat throughout the year as a houseplant.
Care mistakes, diseases or pests
A major care mistake is when the kumquat is poured with calcareous water. This does not forgive them so easily, it can lead to leaf shedding, in the worst case, the plant can die. Therefore always use lime-free water, such as collected rainwater or filtered tap water. The plants are often attacked by scale insects or the red spider, to help against this by commercial means.
The Kumquat Fortunella margarita is a low-maintenance plant, if it was cultivated in the local latitude in the tub and thus simply the location can be changed from outside in the summer to inside in the winter. Anyone who takes into account fertilizer specifications and pours enough can look forward to many flowers and a rich harvest of beautiful, graceful small fruits in a Kumquat cultivated as a houseplant.

Video Board: How to Grow Your Own Kumquats.

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