How to grow a kumquat tree

Updated November 21, 2016

Kumquat trees are slow-growing, compact trees that produce small, tart fruit. Native to China, these trees can grow in a variety of temperature and climates. There are several varieties of kumquat trees, including Meiwa, Hong Kong and Nagami kumquat. Plant the tree in nutrient-rich soil and in full sunlight for the best results.

Dig a whole that is twice as large as the rootball. Depending on the size of your rootball, it should be around 2 feet in width and 3 feet in height.

Make a mixture of 20-percent compost and 80-percent native soil. Combine the mixture well. Create a watering basin by making the hole recess 2 inches to allow for optimal root growth.

Water your kumquat tree once a week, and more during the summer months.

Fertilise your tree three times a year with a slow-release chemical fertiliser starting in late March. Apply the fertiliser again in late may and in the middle of September. Alternately, use an organic fertiliser containing fish emulsion every month during the growing season.

Monitor your kumquat tree to determine if it is getting too much or too little water. The leaves will start to turn yellow if the tree is watered too often. Brown shrivelled leaves indicate that the tree is thirsty.


Avoid growing a tree from a seed, as kumquats are susceptible to hybrids and the seeds will not grow a strong tree.


Kumquat trees generally take two years before producing any fruit.

Things You'll Need

  • Chemical, slow-release fertiliser
  • Organic fertiliser
  • Shovel
  • Compost
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