Chinese orange or kumquat tree ideal for interiors

Fragrant and flowering fruit species make spaces such as homes even more beautiful. The kumquat tree is a hardy, easy-care fruit tree.

If you’re looking for a great ornamental plant with a woody look, fresh scent, and edible fruit, the kumquat tree or Chinese orange tree are ideal candidates. Kumquat trees grow well both indoors and outdoors if the climate is right. Caring for a kumquat tree is relatively simple, although certain things require attention .

Proper care will allow you to enjoy fragrant flowers and delicious fruit flavors all year round. The small fruit of the kumquat tree is used in a variety of recipes due to its mineral salts, essential oils, and vitamins C and E. In this article, we will look at how to care for a small, elegant kumquat tree that is ideal for decorating a corner of your home.

Kumquat Tree Features

The name kumquat tree is actually one of many nicknames for metalloids . Kumquat, also known as Kungkang or Geumgam, is a native species from China brought to Europe by Robert Fortune, a botanist in the 19th century.

It is now grown in several countries, including Mexico, the United States, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, and is often confused with quinoto due to its similarities in fruit. However, quinoto has sturdy stems with firm vertical growth.

This plant is characterized by dense, compact, dark green leaves. It also produces white flowers with a very pleasant scent. The fruit is known as a kumquat and is about 5 cm long. It is a tangerine-shaped fruit, that is, a citrus fleshy berry. Therefore, it is a fruit characterized by a sour taste, and the pulp  is generally separated.

Kumquat Tree Varieties

Kumquat Tree Varieties
Various types of kumquat trees decorate your home.

Suitable for planting in pots that control growth according to size. Its aesthetics and excellent resistance make it an ideal choice for interior decoration .

When grown in gardens or outdoor spaces, it can grow up to 5 meters tall.

  • Margarita:  Probably the most used specimen. It is characterized by oval fruits with a bright orange color.
  • Loquat : In this case, the fruit tends to have an intense yellow tint. It is particularly famous for its leafy undergrowth.
  • Obobata: This variety has fruit with a sweeter skin.

Caring for the kumquat tree that decorates the house

Having specimens at home is possible both indoors and in gardens, balconies and terraces. This is because kumquat trees prefer temperate climates and do not tolerate frost, but are highly resistant to weather conditions.

However, it is stronger than other fruit trees because it can withstand temperatures of -10 degrees Celsius . Store in a cool environment and moist substrate to produce fruit at the best time of year. It is also necessary to carry out a series of management tips that optimize the condition.

temperature

The plant is resistant to a wide range of climatic conditions and can withstand sub-zero temperatures, but does not bear fruit in frost. Therefore, the ideal temperature for growing a kumquat tree is between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius, avoiding direct sunlight and placing it in a shaded outdoor area.

watering

It needs to be watered frequently, especially in summer. Water sparingly every day or every other day during the hot season, and reduce to weekly watering in the winter.

Pay attention to pot drainage to avoid puddles that can affect plant development. To determine the need for water, make sure the soil is dry.

Fertilizer

Use fertilizer to ensure optimal development of flowers and fruits. The fertilizer is fertilized twice a month with an element rich in iron and zinc, and in the hot months nitrogen-rich . Ideal substrates for this species include pH levels between 5 and 6.

pruning

In the spring, pruning is important, especially if grown indoors, as vertical growth will need to be controlled. However, you must be very careful when pruning kumquat trees. It is enough to remove a few leaves and flowers, and shape them appropriately, as too many branches can hinder growth.

sunshine

This species needs several hours of sun exposure, but not all direct sun exposure. It is important to have contact with direct sunlight only at certain moments, usually indirect light is sufficient.

pots and transplants

In indoor spaces, it is better to place them in large pots that accompany the decorative properties of the plant. It should not be exaggerated, but it is a species that needs space.

Under these conditions, the required height is 1 to 2 meters. Transplanting, on the other hand , is best done every 1-2 years, always in the spring , especially when the plants are young.

Kumquat Tree Pests and Diseases

kumquat tree pests
Early detection of pests such as locusts improves plant prognosis.

Like all plants, this plant is often exposed to some pests . When this problem occurs, it is important to take a closer look at the symptoms to determine what the problem is.

  • Whiteflies: These are small, pesky flies that hover around plants to absorb their sap. Use an appropriate pesticide.
  • Mold: Mold is caused by excessive moisture, so be careful not to submerge it. Use a fungicide if the plant’s leaves are rotting .
  • Prunus mealybug: A parasite that often appears under stressful conditions, such as poor transplants or pruning. Remove with a solution of hot water, rubbing alcohol, or dishwashing soap.
  • Spider mite: This pest appears when the leaves start to turn yellow. Avoid dry environments and provide some ventilation.

kumquat flowers and fruits

What makes this plant perfect for ornamental purposes has to do with its aesthetic and numerous fragrant flowers. It usually appears in spring but is very likely to remain throughout the year .

It also contains ingredients used in natural medicine and gastronomy, such as vitamins C and E, salt, and essential oils, which are used to make liqueurs and confectionery.

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