In Phoenix, these plants do well as long as they are protected from direct direct sun....meaning they get afternoon shade. In Tucson, the sun is fine, but the frosty nights we have in the winter are deadly. I have two varieties growing on the property.....fukushu and nagami. Most locals recommend putting them in pots as I have done so as well. They make an attractive small tree in pots. I have planted one in the ground just to see what it will do....so far it looks great and there has been growth on it. The best part about shopping for kumquats is sampling the fruit on the trees. One of them accidentally exploded on my shirt and I was given away as being that "guy" eating his way through the nursery. Hey, I had to make sure I got the best ones!! They can be expensive. I'll go into the differences in just a moment.
The Fukushu Kumquat. It performs well in all citrus regions. It is extremely cold hardy(that's one reason I purchased this variety) and perfect for areas too cold for most citrus. It is the first kumquat variety to ripen and bears an abundance of fruit mid-November through March. The small round fruit is larger than other kumquat varieties and has a thin soft rind that is sweet and edible to eat. Kumquats are great because you can just pop the whole thing in your mouth. This variety has a rounded-leaf shape and a vigorous compact growth habit. It's listed as an ornamental plant for the landscape and recommended for container gardening. The fruit is recommended for eating straight off the tree and/or used for sauces, candies, and marmalades. The fruit is delicious and that's all I am going to say.
The Nagami Kumquat. The Nagami Kumquat is oval in shape, 3/4" to 1" in diameter and between 1" to 2"long. The tartness of the fruit makes them great for use in cooking and/or for marmalades and jellies.The tree is shrub like and is similar to an orange tree in appearance. It is a prolific bearer and very decorative because of the dark green leaves and brilliant orange fruit. The fruit lasts for several months on the tree in warm winter climates.
The trees do very well when planted in the yard or in larger pots. They can withstand temperatures as low as 28 degrees and require about the same care as other citrus. The kumquat tree is highly resistant and possibly immune to citrus canker. Until next time, happy gardening and Thanksgiving!! Kumquat is a wonderful addition to container gardening!