Discover the dwarf orange or kumquat

If you’re a fan of citrus growing, you’ve probably heard of the relatively recent craze for dwarf citrus . One of them, the one that is playing the most, is the dwarf orange tree or kumquat. A citrus that you can grow in pots and have it in the patio or directly in the garden. Its characteristic sweet fruits will surprise you.

Like the rest of the best-known citrus fruits, kumquat belongs to the Rutaceae family . It does not have different cultivation characteristics from other plants. The subscriber is the same and is affected by the same payments and illnesses.

Kumquat are often confused with other types of dwarf citrus, known as kumquats . However, they have characteristics that are distinguished from each other. The most notable difference is that kumquat produce oval-looking fruits. Quite the opposite of kumquats, which produce more spherical fruits with a more sour taste.

Its scientific name is Fortunella japonica syn. Citrus japonica . Practically today you can find it in many nurseries, where you can also buy other exotic forms of citrus. A foot of more than 50 cm is between € 15 and € 30, grown in a pot.

One last curiosity before delving into the characteristics of kumquat cultivation , its fruits are eaten with the whole shell!



The kumquat follows the same scheme as the rest of citrus. Sun exposure and good lighting . They withstand different temperature ranges quite well (they have some resistance to cold) and even coastal environments.

Keep in mind that flowering is the stage where they are most sensitive to cold and excess heat. The bad temperatures on these dates greatly condition the flowering and can cause the fall of flowers.


Citrus kumquat usually consume a lot of water, especially in hot weather. If you grow it in pots, you have to consider that drainage is a primary issue, since many times we make the mistake of overdoing it and causing root asphyxia .

If we have the kumquat grown in pots, in spring and summer 3-4 waterings a week will suffice. That is, one irrigation day yes day no . The amount is indicative. Water until the soil is soaked and stop when it starts to drain.

In winter, a single watering will be enough to keep the substrate moist.

As always, remember that more plants die from overwatering than from drought.

The kumquat in the garden usually has more volume of irrigation since they develop more roots and are usually more productive.

In autumn and winter, 1 or 2 waterings a week. The first month of spring one watering every other day, and then until the end of summer, one watering every day.


We can differentiate different stages of growth and development of kumquat. Some have vegetative growth where they will need a higher nitrogen content, others where potassium is the most important element for the fattening and ripening of fruits.

From February to April, you will need fertilizers with higher nitrogen content. The best relationship at this time is 3-2-1. One of the most common is 20-10-5, with a lot of nitrogen, a high concentration of phosphorus (rooting, flowering, ATP energy, etc.) and not so much potassium (there are no fruits).

At this time, it is enough to apply between 40 and 60 grams divided into 3 applications.

In the fruiting season , nitrogen loses importance compared to potassium, so the proportion of fertilizer is practically reversed.

The most used, in terms of the relationship, is 1-0.5-2. You will find different formulations, one being widely used 10-5-20 with micronutrients.

It is also important to control zinc, manganese and iron deficiencies , which are very common in citrus crops and particularly in kumquat cultivation .


The pests and diseases that affect kumquat are the same as for other citrus fruits.



  • Red spider ( Tetranychus urticae  Koch)
  • Red mite ( Panonychus citri  McGregor)
  • Eastern mite ( Eutetranychus orientalis  klein and  E. banksi  McGregor)


  • Green aphid ( Aphis spiraecola  Patch)
  • Black aphid ( Aphis gossypii  Glover)


  • White louse ( Aspidiotus nerii Bouche)
  • California red louse ( Aonidiella aurantii  Maskell)

Serpeta gruesa (Lepidosaphes beckii Newman)

Ribbed mealybug ( Icerya purchassi  Mask).

Cottony whitefly ( Aleurothrixus floccosus  Mask)

Mediterranean fly (Ceratitis capitata )

And among the diseases that affect kumquat or dwarf orange are the following:


Aguado (Phytopthora spp.)

Neck rot or Gomosis ( Phytopthora  spp.)

Brown spot ( Alternaria alternata )

Virus and viroids ( Citrus tristeza,  CTV)


Within the dwarf orange trees, we find different varieties and subtypes, each with slight differences in the fruits and the structure of the tree.

These are the best known varieties:

  • Kumquat Hong Kong  , or Wild Hong Kong ( F. hindsii , called Swing.
  • ‘Meiwa’ , the big round del kumquat (F. crassifolia  Swing.)
  • Nagami’ , u oval, kumquat ( F. margarita Swing.)
  • ‘Marumi’ , o kumquat Ronda (F. japonica .. Swing, syn Citrus maduremis Lour.)

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