Limequat or Citrus floridana, a mixture of lime and kumquat is a remarkable citrus fruit, easy to grow and above all, to grow even in pots! It gives small limes, being more rustic than Citrus aurantifoliathe real lime.
N. scientific Citrus x floridana
Synonyms Citrus japonica x Citrus aurantifolia, Citrus aurantifolia x Citrus fortunella
Origin Asia, selected in Japan
Bloom March April
Heightjusqu’ 4 m
Plant and cultivate
hardiness not very hardy, down to -6 C
Solrich and draining
Acidity neutral acid
Humidity normal fresh
Utilisationdude, open ground
Sensibilit scale insects, fungal diseases
Citrus floridanathe limequat, is a small tree persistent belonging to the family Rutaceae, a citrus fruit. The limequat is a cross between Citrus aurantifolialime or lime et Citrus japonicale kumquat. This interesting American cross is a century old: the kumquat is much more rustic than the lime tree, whose cultivation is limited to tropical countries. Thus, the kumquat parent brings greater hardiness has a citrus fruit that produces a kind of small limes. It is cultivable in open ground in the orange tree growing zone, and adapts easily, its size being modest, to pot culture. But above all, an appreciable quality in citrus fruits, it bears fruit a lot and very easily.
Citrus floridana is a modest treereaching up to 4 m in open ground, but usually limited to about 2 m.
Le foliage is evergreen and fairly dense. The stems are spiny and bear alternate, lanceolate, entire leaves, with a short petiole not winged. They measure 1.5 to 3 cm wide by 5 to 9 cm long.
The flowers are small, 2/3 cm wide, waxy, pink in bud, then white, with narrow petals, but are distinguished by a very present and very pleasant fragrance. Citrus floridana is autofertileand most of the fertilized flowers give a fruit.
Limequat is about 5 cm long and 3 cm wideelongated or round, depending on the variety. It is characterized by a thin, aromatic rind that can turn yellow or orange, and a juicy, acidic flesh. It contains more or less seeds depending on the variety.
The limequat is able to bear fruit at any time of the year, but nevertheless depending on the temperatures: as soon as it gets a little warm for a few days, a wave of flowering occurs. Thus in France, it will tend to have its mature fruits in winter.
Citrus floridana is generally sold grafted.
It is a very pretty ornamental tree, as its many fruits remain on the tree for a long time.
3 varieties of limequats:
- Citrus floridana ‘Eustis’ is a widespread variety, yielding quite round limequats with often many pips.
- Citrus floridana ‘Lakeland’produces fruits larger than ‘Eustis’ and with fewer glitches.
- Citrus floridana ‘Tavares’ who has a parent Citrus japonica ‘Margarita’gives more elongated fruits which turn orange.
How to grow limequat?
Citrus floridana is a vigorous, solid citrus fruit, with rapid development and capable of producing even on small trees (60 cm for example) if it has been grafted.
He is relatively hardyeasily supporting -5°C, knowing that some growers even give it hardiness down to -9°C, once well acclimatized in the ground.
Depending on the region, in France, it will therefore be transplanted in the ground or kept in a pot.
Cultivation in the ground
In the ground the limequat is installed in autumnin regions with very mild winters or in spring, in gardens where its hardiness will be pushed to its limits.
It will be installed with a maximum of sun, in a situation protected from the winds drying or freezing in winter. It likes acidic to neutral soils.
He asks for a soil rich in organic matter and draining. Excess water is unfavorable to it, but for all that, the limequat should not suffer from drought.
It is transplanted, disturbing its roots as little as possible, in a large planting pit, where garden soil will be mixed (unless it is calcareous, alkaline), potting soil or compost well decomposed and material of drainage quite rude, genre pozzolan or non-calcareous gravel.
Once transplanted, a mulch of crushed plant material will prevent the soil from drying out too quickly in summer. But it will be necessary to offer it regular waterings of rainwater until it is deeply rooted.
In a pot, the limequat is grown outdoors as long as possible. It will only be brought in or sheltered from the cold when frosts are expected. He also appreciates a cold greenhouse, a veranda, possibly a cool room in the house if it is very bright. Or if it’s not freezing too much, we leave it outside and only bring it in when a frost is forecast. Similarly, a protective veil will only be put on it during the coldest days and removed in the meantime when it is no longer freezing.
Citrus floridana is watered when the upper third of the pot is dry. His pot should only be soaked in water until it is completely soaked. Excess humidity is harmful.
Moreover, we will avoid watering this limequat with water that is too calcareous. The salts that will accumulate in the substrate will end up hurting him. Also, too much lime causes chlorosis (yellowing foliage).
Repot the limequat with a citrus mix every 3 or 4 years. It does not like to be disturbed at the root level: the surface soil is renewed and it is given a larger pot.
Comment fertiliser son limequat ?
Fertilizing the potted limequat is essential to provide it with all the nutrients it needs to grow and bear fruit, especially if it is only repotted every 3 or 4 years.
L’fertilizer mineral richer in potash and balanced in nitrogen and phosphorus (ex NPK, 3/3/6) is easy to use. It will be given in March, June, and September.
However, it is always preferable to use a fertilizer organicbetter balanced and avoids overdosing.
In the ground, new compost is deposited on the surface around the trunk every spring.
Le fruit limequat
The limequat is used like a lime, if it is picked before full maturity.
As it matures, it becomes softer, especially its bark which has a tendency to become slightly sweet. It can be made into marmalades or other sweet preparations.
Species and varieties of Citrus
The genus includes about 15 species but uncertainties persist, as it has been hybridized for millenniaSheets of plants of the same genus
Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by www.aujardin.info.
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