Learn Indoor Kumquat Tree Basics
Kumquat trees thrive in sunny locations, with a 50 or 60 percent humidity, and moist, semi-acidic soil. Shedding of healthy leaves is common. Balance the tree growth with a container large enough for the roots. These trees may require four or five years before they mature, bloom and bear fruit.
Kumquat Tree Containers
The Kumquat tree’s deep roots require a tall container made of heavy plastic or terra cotta. Avoid metal pots, which can be too hot for the tree. The diameter should be at least 12 inches, preferably 18 inches to accommodate surface roots. Trees that thrive can grow up to ten feet, requiring a bigger container.
Soil for the Kumquat Tree
A slightly acidic potting mix will work. A better option is a mix prepared specifically for citrus trees. Avoid alkaline soils and hard water, indicated if your tree’s leaves become light green with dark green veins. In this case, you can use a soil acidifier to correct the problem.
Set the tree near a sunny window, close to an insulated window, a bit father for a window without insulation. Some gardeners recommend southeast sunlight, while others suggest sunlight from the south, southwest, or west. Be prepared to offer the kumquat tree additional artificial, full-spectrum light placed over the tree. Kumquat trees appreciate a steady light source that avoids fluctuations. Turn the tree regularly so that all the branches receive sunlight.
Kumquats need a temperature of at least 20 degrees Fahrenheit. They thrive in warm rooms. During the night, kumquats prefer cooler temperatures ranging from 50 to 55 degrees.
Kumquat trees need a consistently moist soil without over-watering. A rule of thumb is to water when the top 1 inch of soil is dry. The leaves need moisture and benefit from daily sprays with water mist. You can help maintain humidity and ensure adequate drainage with a humidifier. You can place tray of rocks placed under the container to keep the roots from sitting in water. Keep your plant away from drafts and vents.
Eliminate Pests and Diseases
Be on the lookout for pests. Apply insecticidal soap according to directions, especially to prevent spider mites, whiteflies, aphids, and mealybugs. Be on the lookout for blights including melanose, fruit rot, scab, and algal leaf spot.
Avoid over-fertilizing. Gardeners suggest weak solutions of liquid fertilizer designed for citrus trees about once a month. You can also use regular fertilizers containing manganese, iron, and zine. Some gardeners dilute the amount to less than half of the amount given in the fertilizer directions. Use organic fertilizers if possible. Kumquat trees appreciate seaweed extract.
Pruning depends on the gardener. Some advise little to no pruning. If you must prune, keep the kumquat tree shaped with careful pruning. The usual practice is to let the tree flower, and then prune. For a fuller tree, trim off the ends of the branches. For a sleeker look, you can cut back to main branches. Prune any suckers from the base of the tree.
Healthy, mature indoor kumquat trees can produce fruit year-round. Plan to facilitate the pollination process with artificial means. Some gardeners use a paintbrush to transfer pollen from one bloom to the next.
Kumquat Tree Success
All plants benefit from your interest and care. Read as much as possible about your kumquat tree. Indoor kumquat trees often languish when the gardener is unaware of the tree’s specific growing conditions. Consult with tree professionals, and your kumquat tree will provide you with fresh scent and delicious fruit year round.
For specific questions, go to Rickstreeservice.com for professionals who can help you grow a healthy indoor kumquat tree.