Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kumquat Varieties

As of late, it has been extremely difficult to keep up with my posts. Yesterday, I officially became a docent and I didn't realize how cool it would feel after getting a name badge and certificate.  It's just paper, but it was so much fun learning about things I like to do. I was forced to take courses my whole life in crap I didn't care about so education for me, even though I am a teacher, was not fun nor has it ever been....however, I enjoyed my Spanish coursework when I was allowed to focus on it.  This was a different experience and one that I want to continue in a Master Gardening program.  Anyhow, I am working on the final part of the persimmons mystery which will be a vlog, the descanso roses after my hard cut, diagram drawings on using the bubble technique, plant identifications, and some historical information on ethnobotany here in the desert southwest. There is a lot of info that is just sitting here waiting for me to decipher and dissect. However there just isn't any time to write!!  Today I am going to write about an easier topic.....kumquat varieties here in Tucson.  Kumquat are one of my most favorite fruits and it makes me so happy that we can grow these wonderful small tree/bushes here in the desert.  Here's the skinny on how to grow this wonderful citrus. 

Fukushu Kumquat

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 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 Fukushu Kumquat

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 Nagami Kumquat

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!



  1. Kumquats! I learn so much from your posts. How cool to be able to grow these. I love that you sample them in the nursery. I'm not sure I've ever even eaten a kumquat. You make them sound delicious.

  2. They are delcious!!! They vary in sweetness and eat the whole thing...they are so fruit candy!!

  3. looks wonderful. I wish I could grow them here but I guess our frosts would kill them. I'm not able to move plants in and out like some people can. My parents used to have a kumquat tree. It did very well. I remember the gorgeous little fruits as a child. My husband (from FL) used to find them out in the wild. They'd keep them full (along with the avocado, grapefruit, and oranges!) while they were out all day playing!

  4. oh, and when things settle down, you should definitely look into the master gardener program. I thoroughly enjoyed mine - loved the weekly geek-out-on-gardening sessions. The actual MG volunteer work has always been fun and you learn so much from other gardeners.


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