The Q&A Archives: Kumquat Tree

Question: We have a kumquat tree (in a large container) that we purchased last February. When all the fruits and leaves started to fall off the tree, we decided to move the plant outside into the warm weather. Through the summer, the leaves and new branches started to grow and flowered with new fruits. Just recently, we decided to move the plant back indoors because the weather was getting colder. For the first three days, the plant was doing well. But, now the new fruits are starting to fall off the tree. What's causing this to happen and how can we stop this? It doesn't seem like a watering problem. Could this have to do with the transition from outdoor to indoor? Should we move it back outside?

Answer: I think the problem is directly related to the change of location. Indoors the temperature is usually warm and dry and the intensity of light is much lower than outdoors. Your plant is trying to adjust to these changes and in the process is dropping fruit. There's not much you can do to remedy the situation - outdoors is too cold at this time of year so don't take it back out. Help it make the adjustment by providing your tree with bright light and adequate water. Try misting the leaves to increase humidity around the plant. Eventually it will adjust and produce new leaves and flowers. Once it has recovered it might even produce fruit!

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