5 Different Types of Kumquat Trees to Add into Your Garden

There aren’t many different types of Kumquat trees. But each promises to give you a delight to have at home.

Kumquat can be a bounty when they fruit, because there will be a lot of fresh citrus to pick
Kumquat can be a bounty when they fruit, because there will be a lot of fresh citrus to pick

For those living in warm, southern regions, Kumquat trees are a delightful choice to enhance your garden.

These trees not only add beauty to your outdoor space but also produce delicious tropical fruits that can be enjoyed year after year.

Let’s be honest, if you’ve tried candied kumquats before, you’ll be in love!

One reason I love kumquat trees so such is that only one tree is enough to produce a handful bucket of fruits for you to enjoy.

But this post is not about eating kumquats (although I’m very eager to discuss it), it is about the different types of kumquat trees that you can add to your garden!

Explore Different Types of Kumquat Trees

In terms of species, there are four main types of Kumquat trees
In terms of species, there are four main types of Kumquat trees

While all Kumquat trees produce similar fruit and share common features, there are a few key differences among the popular varieties.

Here are their unique characteristics and appearance to help you make decision when choosing a kumquat tree:

1. Calamondin Orange Tree:

  • The Calamondin Orange Tree is a hybrid, resulting from a cross between a Mandarin orange and a traditional Kumquat. This gives it a distinctive combination of features from both parent fruits.
  • It has abundant oblong leaves that create a dense, leafy ball atop its thin, brown trunk. This makes it not only a fruit-bearing tree but also a visually appealing choice, often used for creating hedges.
1. Calamondin Orange Tree: A mix between mandarin and ordinary kumquat
1. Calamondin Orange Tree: A mix between mandarin and ordinary kumquat

2. Nagami Kumquat:

  • These kumquats produce fruit within their first year and boast resilience to drought and resistance to fungus.
  • Nagami kumquats are petite, measuring 2 to 5 centimeters in length, and have an oval to obovate shape. Typically fruiting in the late winter through spring.
2. Nagami Kumquat: Your most likely found kumquats in grocery stores, with fruits coming in a distinctive oval shape
2. Nagami Kumquat: Your most likely found kumquats in grocery stores, with fruits coming in a distinctive oval shape

3. Marumi Kumquat:

  • The Marumi Kumquat is known for its smaller size compared to the Nagami Kumquat and features thorns on its branches. The leaves are also smaller than those of other Kumquat varieties.
  • The smaller size and thorns make it a compact and potentially more manageable tree, suitable for specific gardening preferences.
3. Marumi Kumquat: instead of round, the fruit comes in an oval shape similar to Nagami kumquat, but rounder
3. Marumi Kumquat: instead of round, the fruit comes in an oval shape similar to Nagami kumquat, but rounder

4. Meiwa Kumquat:

  • Also known as a “round” or “sweet” Kumquat, the Meiwa Kumquat is favored for its sweeter taste compared to other Kumquat varieties.
  • It is often described as a dwarf tree, making it an excellent choice for container gardening. The sweetness of its fruit enhances its appeal for those who prefer a milder flavor.
4. Meiwa Kumquat: Round with sweeter taste
4. Meiwa Kumquat: Round with sweeter taste

5. Centennial Variegated Kumquat:

  • The Centennial Variegated Kumquat is distinctive for its larger size compared to some other Kumquat varieties. It is known to offer sweeter fruit, and its flesh may have striped patterns.
  • The variegated appearance, with striped flesh, adds an ornamental aspect to the tree. This variety is valued not only for its fruit but also for its visual appeal in a garden.
5. Centennial Variegated Kumquat: Enchantingly sweet kumquat with recognizable stripes. Image credit: James Steakley/Wikicommons
5. Centennial Variegated Kumquat: Enchantingly sweet kumquat with recognizable stripes. Image credit: James Steakley/Wikicommons

Comparison of Different Kumquat Varieties:

  • Size: Kumquat trees, in general, can vary in size, and the information provides insights into the size differences among specific varieties. For example, the Marumi Kumquat is noted for its smaller size compared to the Nagami Kumquat.
  • Thorns: The presence of thorns is a notable characteristic in some Kumquat varieties, such as the Marumi Kumquat. This can influence the ease of handling and maintenance.
  • Flavor Profile: The Meiwa Kumquat stands out for its sweeter taste, making it a preferred choice for those who enjoy a milder citrus flavor. This aspect can guide individuals in selecting a variety based on their taste preferences.
  • Use in Gardens: The information hints at the suitability of specific varieties for certain garden settings. For instance, the Calamondin Orange Tree is mentioned as a great choice for hedges due to its dense foliage.

The Benefits of Growing Kumquat Trees

Kumquat trees are decorative and fruitful
Kumquat trees are decorative and fruitful

Kumquat trees are among the easiest to grow, even in pots.

The oblong, brightly colored fruit is not only fresh and delicious but also has edible skin and juicy flesh.

These trees can flower and fruit up to twice a year, ensuring you’ll have plenty to enjoy and share.

The versatility of Kumquat fruit is impressive.

It can be used in salads, incorporated into cakes, made into marmalades, or simply eaten fresh from the tree.

With a maximum height of about 14 feet (smaller in pots), Kumquat trees add a touch of springtime magic with their fragrant white flowers that bloom from early spring to summer.

In addition to their beauty and taste, Kumquat trees are non-toxic and adapt well to transplanting and grafting.

These trees are well-suited for hot tropical climates, so excessive sun exposure is not a concern.

Candied kumquats are citrus bombs!
Candied kumquats are citrus bombs!

Planting and Cultivating Kumquat Trees

To grow Kumquat trees, start by selecting the appropriate planting zone.

Kumquat trees thrive outdoors in zones 8-11, while cooler areas require growing them in pots that can be brought indoors during winter.

When planting your Kumquat tree, choose an area with well-drained soil or use a large enough container to accommodate the tree’s root ball.

After placing the tree, backfill the soil and water the surrounding area to settle the roots. Mulching can help conserve moisture if the tree is growing outside.

If you choose to grow Kumquat trees in containers, opt for the largest size available, ideally 5 gallons or more.

Good drainage and air circulation are vital for container-grown trees. Repotting every 2-3 years allows for ongoing growth.

Pruning is best done after harvest. Remove suckers after initial planting and pinch off the tips of the shoots for optimal growth.

During the growing season, fertilize heavily with slow-release or citrus-specific fertilizer.

Remember to keep the soil moist, but not wet, by watering your tree well.

You can grow kumquat trees outdoors care-free if your hardiness zone is between 8 and 11
You can grow kumquat trees outdoors care-free if your hardiness zone is between 8 and 11

Get Your Own Kumquat Tree Today!

So to sum up, you can choose one or some types of the cute kumquat trees below:

  • Calamondin Orange Tree: This hybrid tree is a cross between a Mandarin orange and a traditional Kumquat. Its abundant oblong leaves create a leafy ball atop the thin, brown trunk, making it a great choice for hedges.
  • Nagami Kumquat: oval and sweet, totally fine for pots as a decorative plant.
  • Marumi Kumquat: Smaller than the Nagami Kumquat, it has thorns and smaller leaves.
  • Meiwa Kumquat: Also known as a “round” or “sweet” Kumquat, this dwarf tree is perfect for pots.
  • Centennial Variegated Kumquat: This larger variety offers sweeter fruit with striped flesh.

A Kumquat Poem

Kumquat, being a tropical fruit-bearing tree, would enjoy a lot of mist in its environment
Kumquat, being a tropical fruit-bearing tree, would enjoy a lot of mist in its environment

If you’re a warm-weather gardener, Kumquat trees are a must-have. With their abundant fruit and ease of care, they are sure to be the highlight of your garden.

This time around, I’d like to share my co-writer’s little poem for this enticing tree. He is a pure kumquat aficionado and is everything about it. Hope you’ll enjoy the poem!

In pots or gardens, a Kumquat does grace,

Nature’s gift in a tiny, citrus embrace.

With leaves so green and fruit so bright,

A symbol of joy, a pure delight.

Each round orb tells tales of sun-kissed days,

Meaning in citrus, in zesty arrays.

In the home, it brings a lively cheer,

Kumquat’s beauty, a treasure, so dear.

Edward Nguyen

Final Thoughts

If you have a sweet tooth, don’t pass up on Centennial Variegated Kumquat!
If you have a sweet tooth, don’t pass up on Centennial Variegated Kumquat!

From the beautiful white blossoms to the vibrant green foliage and juicy orange fruit, Kumquat trees bring a touch of tropical paradise to your home.

Get your Kumquat tree today and enjoy the wonders it has to offer!