Kumquat tree in Chicago

Crelatia(6a)February 9, 2013

Hello All,
I'm a proficient novice gardener. The past two years I've fallen in love with my tiny community garden plot and have been amazed with how much Great Tasting produce I've had (enough to share). So, this winter I started growing stuff inside too. The micro greens have been successful, but I'm never sure how my kumquat tree is doing...which brings me to my question.

Is there anybody out there growing an indoor potted Kumquat tree in Chicago (or near by)? I purchased my kumquat in Nov. and within a couple weeks replaced the soil with the "gritty mix" suggested on this site. My tree seems to be doing well, it's flowering modestly, and there is new leaf growth, but i'm never quite sure. If there is anybody else growing a kumquat, I would love to hear about your experiences.

Thanks so much!
Crelatia

(A little more information: after the re-potting, it lost about 1/2 it's leaves. About a month ago, I moved to a space with more light and a more steady temperature and it seemed much happier and not more dropping leaves).

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olympia_gardener(5)

Hi, Crelatia, I am in northwest suburb of Chicago. I grow Meyer lemon and kumquat indoor for many years. My kumquats are turning orange color this time of year. little orange colored fruits hanging on the plants really look interesting and decorate the room very well.
I don't keep the room temperature very high. my kumquats get afternoon sun so they are still all in semi dormant stage. No new grow or bloom yet. When Spring comes, I will take them outside then I will see a lot of new growth and flower.. I love their fragrant flowers. Smell so nice...
How large is your tree and what type of Kumquat do you have?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 12:53PM
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Crelatia(6a)

Hi! Thank you, Olympia Gardener for answering me.
It's great to know that you live in the same climate and have been successful with citrus fruits. I have a Nagami Kumquat also in a south facing window and I've been so pleased with it. I love the flowers, the adorable little fruit (though mine are all still green) and how it changes so much.

Since I posted the tree has more new growth and looks like it will have more flowers soon. I think it is about 5.5 to 6 feet. tall - I'm 5, 3 and it's taller than me. You can see picture of it at my blog...http://www.amodestplot.com/?p=388.

Would you let me know when you take your out? I've been debating about if and when I should take mine out since I received it!

Here is a link that might be useful: amodestplot

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:46PM
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olympia_gardener(5)

Hey, Crelatia, liked your blog. your tree is bigger than my Nagami ( and taller than both of us) and looks very health.You made good decision of potted it in gritty mix. I found Kumquat is one of easiest citrus tree one can grow here. It can withstand the colder temperature till Oct.-Nov. outdoor; It can adapt to indoor lower light well; It can tolerance some neglect. if you like the citrus scent, you might want get a Meyer Lemon too. Meyer lemon blooms all year long, even during the winter months. I don't care the fruit that much... to me, it tastes like a tart orange with lemon color skin. But I do love the clean scent of its flowers.
I usually leave mine outdoor when the weather is steady in upper 40 low 50s. Although, I must confess that I can't wait to move my house plants out in spring. when temperature is still low and fluctuating , I move my plants out in day time and move them back at night...I know it sounds a little crazy, but for the love of my plants... A dose of direct sunlight and breeze of fresh air is good for their health.

you have very nice garden too. I grew rat tail radish few years back. it can grow 4 feet tall. it is very nice to mix few in the salad. Among all the Veggies , I have never grown french sorrel... I don't know how to cook it.
Last year, my cherry tomatoes grew very well in ground. I love the flavor of Sungold and Sweet Million. This year, I am going to grow them in 5 gal. pots along the driveway ... just experimenting to see if I can save my garden space for other veggies.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 10:15AM
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Crelatia(6a)

Thank you so much for taking a look at my little blog! I'm a pretty inconsistent poster - but I love having it around - just to remember what I did the year before.

It's funny you mention the Meyer Lemon - I was just trying to talk my family into rearranging our living room to accommodate a meyer lemon plant. (So far, I'm on the losing end of the debate.) I think I will do the same thing with moving the kumquat in and out of the house when it gets warmer...I feel like my kumquat doesn't get enough direct light and will be very happy for the full sun on it.

The French Sorrell was a fun addition to the garden, though we used it less than some of our other greens like Chard, rabe, spinach and arugula. Sorrell is very sour/lemonyish raw, when cooked its a bit milder. We used it in fish dishes and oddly in omlettes and frittatas.

I would love to hear how your potted cherry tomatoes - years ago, my husband and I grew tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets with success until we forgot to water for too long (we had a toddler and just plain forgot).

I'm so excited that you grew rat's tail! I can't wait to try it - it sounds so...odd...but I can't wait to try it.

Here is a link that might be useful: a modest plot

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 6:24PM
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dirtdiver(6)

I'm practically in Chicago, but not quite. I've been doing okay with a couple of limequats, and the one I've been nicest to has rewarded me with quite a few fruits. I'd love to try a straight-up kumquat. I've gotten a few lemons off of my Meyer lemon as well. Where did you get your kumquat?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 9:22PM
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