Kumquat Growing Guide

Fortunella margarita, Fortunella crassifolia, Citrus japonica


Crop Rotation Group



Fertile, well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH.


Full sun.

Frost tolerant

Low. Kumquats are semi-tropical trees or bushes with little tolerance for cold. The popular ‘Nagami’ and ‘Meiwa’ varieties are hardy only to about -7°C (20°F). The mature growth of Kumquats is more frost resistant than the tender new growth that can be damaged by frost, since Kumquats are dormant during winter this gives them additional frost resistance compared to other citrus that can be in active growth during cold periods.


Feed twice a year by spreading rich compost or a high nitrogen organic fertiliser over the root zone of the tree.


Single Plants: 3.00m (9' 10") each way (minimum)
Rows: 3.00m (9' 10") with 3.00m (9' 10") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Most kumquats are grafted to improve vigour and pest resistance. Purchased plants of better cultivars start bearing two to three years after planting. Set out purchased plants in spring or autumn in warmer areas like the subtropics, setting the plant so the root ball is 2cm (1 inch) above the soil line. Water deeply every 10 days during periods of dry weather. If planting in containers, use the largest planter you can manage if you live in a cold climate where the plant will be brought indoors in winter.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Native to China and a symbol of good luck in several Asian cultures, kumquats are the smallest and most cold hardy of edible citrus. The best-tasting varieties have edible skins and flesh, and they are sweet enough to eat fresh. Ripening in winter, kumquats make wonderful marmalade, or they can be candied and preserved whole. The ‘Meiwa’ round kumquat is sweeter than most, and easy to grow in home landscapes. A kumquat can be grown as an indoor-outdoor houseplant if you have a warm, sunny place for it to spend the winter. Kumquats need little pruning beyond snipping out injured branches after the fruits are harvested. In areas where they grow well, kumquats are sometimes pruned into topiary.


Kumquats bloom and set fruit over several weeks, so the crop does not ripen all at once. Most kumquats turn bright orange as they ripen, with overripe fruits falling from the plants. Refrigerate harvested fruits until you can preserve them.


Kumquats have few pest problems with leaft miner being the most common, but should be watched carefully in areas where other citrus fruits are commercially grown for the appearance of economically important citrus pests and diseases. Before bringing container-grown kumquats indoors for the winter, check plants for aphids and other unwanted pests.In Australia fruit fly are a pest of Kumquat, make sure to take appropriate control measures in areas where they are present. It is important to dispose of any infected fruit and fruit has fallen to the ground by placing them in a sealed plastic bag in the sun for at least 7 days to kill the eggs and larvae. Do not compost fruit as this will lead to the fruit fly completing their life cycle and lead to the problem recurring.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Kumquat