How to grow limequat, the ideal combination between lime and kumquat
The content of this article 'How to grow limequat, the ideal combination between lime and kumquat' was prepared by Agromática and has been revised and republished by FreshFruitPortal.com.
Today we will look at how a very peculiar type of citrus is grown, the limequat, a hybrid combination between lime and kumquat. The mix of the kumquat and lime provides a higher degree of acidity and creates a smaller-sized lime and lime tree.
In the citrus world, we find varieties far beyond the orange, lemon, lime and mandarin trees. The species created recently as a result of hybrid combinations have attracted the interest of many gardeners and agricultural professionals.
Most of these small-sized citrus varieties are used in haute cuisine and pastries, though the fruit can also be eaten alone and even with the skin.
Characteristics of limequat
We can think of the limequat as a small tree or a shrub due to its size. At a visual level, it is very similar to any other familiar citrus, but with a smaller size.
Its leaves are green and leathery, with small fruits that are produced in abundance, yellow in color and oval in shape with seeds inside.
Its flavor is a mixture of the natural bitterness of the lime with sugars of the orange, making it edible without peeling or you can prepare juices with it since this fruit provides a significant amount of vitamin C.
How to care for limequat
The limequat is a small, easy to care for tree, with characteristics very similar to citrus. Due to its dimensions, it can be grown in a pot perfectly and works well for the home interior.
Location and weather
Citrus fruits are characterized by needing warm temperatures almost throughout the year, which is why it is so common to see this family in a Mediterranean climate. Its "comfortable" temperature range is between 10ºC and 35ºC, withstanding low temperatures but not very frigid.
Winter cold and frost areas should refrain from planting limequat (or any other citrus fruit) outdoors, though indoors should work better.
Sun, sun and more sun. Citrus fruits such as limequat or Kumquat need large doses of light and direct sunlight to achieve high production and fruit with flavor and juice inside.
It adapts to a wide range of environmental humidity, being able to grow in coastal areas without a problem.
Type of soil
The ideal soil is a medium or light texture, characterized mostly by limestone or sands. Avoid heavy and flooded soils, since above all good drainage is the most important.
Fertile soil is demanding, so applying organic matter in the hole before planting (4 to 5 kg) and manure or compost every year around the main trunk (2 to 3 kg) will be needed.
The trees can grow in limestone areas with an alkaline pH and a high presence of calcium and magnesium, although the ideal pH, as is common in most plants, is in the range of 6-7.5.
Amount of irrigation and fertilizer
How and when to water
Irrigation management is one of the most demanding conditions for citrus fruits.
During the summer and the warm season, with temperatures above 25-30 ºC, it is recommended to water every 2 to 3 days, using between 4 and 8 liters for an adult tree in production.
In winter, with the drop in temperatures and the increase in rainfall, it will be enough to water 1 or 2 times a week, between 2 and 4 liters per tree.
Citrus fruits are demanding in fertilizers, especially at the beginning of sprouting and during the producing period.
By contributing annual organic matter we can keep a tree in perfect condition, but if we are looking for extra production, more organic or inorganic fertilizers will be needed.
To improve soil fertility, in addition to the application of organic matter such as compost or animal manure, we can apply liquid nutrients such as worm humus or humic extract of leonardite.
Maintenance and pruning
In general, limequat and other citrus fruits are not very high maintenance. They hardly need to be pruned, except to eliminate affected or crossed branches, nor do they require other types of applications except when controlling for pests and diseases.
Plagues and diseases
Citrus can cause quite a few problems with the development of pests, and somewhat less for diseases. Some of the most common, also for limequat, are the following:
- California red louse
With preventive actions, most of these pests can be controlled with the application of potassium soap and natural insecticides. The most resistant are usually the California red louse, which sticks like a limpet to leaves and fruits and offers resistance to treatments.
Most of the diseases in limequat appear due to conditions of high humidity, after a long and intense period of rains or soils with drainage problems. By controlling this situation, there will be practically no disease.
- Rotting or watery citrus
- Citrus gum