Alicia Silverstone Grows This Fruit Tree in Her Yard — It's Bountiful and Low Maintenance, Say Experts

Besides offering delectable fruits, this tree is a great drought-tolerant option for beginner gardeners (plus it's perfect for patios!)

A split image with a headshot of Alicia Silverstone looking at the camera and a close up photo of a kumquat tree
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ever since her lead role in Clueless, Alicia Silverstone has been the 'cool girl' prototype. Long time vegan and constant source of fashion inspiration, she's also a keen cook who loves the opportunity to grow her own organic ingredients, and her current harvest look particularly delicious.

Taking to Instagram to show her followers her bountiful fruit tree crop, Alicia showed off her glorious Kumquat tree laden with ripe vibrant fruits. 'This is my kumquat tree, and you can see it's so abundant this season,' she says in the video. 'You have to eat the whole thing. You can't be taking a little bite... you have to eat the skin and insides all at the same time.'

If you're a beginner gardener fruit trees might seem out of your depth, but experts say the kumquat is a great low-maintenance grower and usually produces healthy harvests just like Alicia's. Not only is it drought-tolerant, but it's a particularly good fruit tree for containers, making it perfect for urban patios or small spaces. Here's how to take care of this unusual fruit tree in your backyard.

Find a sunny spot

As a long-time California dweller Alicia's backyard is blessed with a warm climate, something experts say is key to having a happy and healthy kumquat tree. 'Kumquat trees thrive in warm climates, ideally in USDA hardiness zones 9-11,' says Tony O'Neill of Simplify Gardening. 'They require full sun, so plant them in a location that receives at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily.'

That being said, compared to other citrus trees, this hardy fruit tree will still survive cooler temperatures meaning they're an easy fruit tree that literally anyone can grow. 'Kumquat trees can survive temperatures as low as 20 degrees F,' explains gardener Jeremy Yamaguchi. 'For reference, lime and lemon trees need temperatures above 30 degrees F at a minimum. So, kumquat trees are better suited for more yards across the country, sometimes even in zone 8.'

Plant in sandy soil

Two kumquat trees in pots

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Like their close neighbor oranges, kumquats like a soil rich in loam. 'They prefer well-drained, sandy soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5,' Tony notes. 'You should also ensure the soil is fertile and rich in organic matter. They're relatively easy to plant and establish and adapt well to container gardening, making them versatile for different outdoor settings.'

For an aundant summer harvest, kumquat trees need to be planted in early spring so while it's too late to introduce one to your backyard this year, it's a great way to kickstart your spring gardening plans. 'Dig a hole twice as wide and deep as the root ball, place the tree in the hole, and backfill with soil,' Tony instructs. 'Water thoroughly after planting to help settle the soil around the roots.'

Once planted, these prolific fruit producers are also seriously low-maintenance garden idea. According to Tony, they require minimal pruning and are relatively pest-resistant. 'Regular watering and occasional fertilization are typically sufficient to keep them healthy and productive,' he says. 'Their compact size makes them perfect for container gardening, and their vibrant fruits add a splash of color to any garden. Plus, the ease of care and abundant harvest make them a delightful addition to my edible garden collection.'

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.