Living in Zones 8 certainly has its blessings, and one of these is being able to not only grow temperate fruits like apples and peaches, but also having the pleasure of growing citrus. At one time, the upper Gulf Coast was a major citrus producing region, with a peak of 12,000 acres in the 1940s. There are still some pockets of commercially grown citrus in Lousiana and Texas. In fact the good news is that commercial citrus is back in North Florida. With the upsurge of farm to table mentality, several local farms are putting in Satsuma groves in our area. We’re starting to see local grown fruit in the markets and Louisiana and Florida have active breeding programs that are producing some excellent cold hardy varieties.
Most of the success in growing citrus in the colder regions lies in the selection of these cold hardy varieties, but it is also important to have trees grafted on the correct root stock. The Trifoliate orange is used in the colder regions, as it is the only deciduous root stock. This keeps the tree in deep dormancy in the winter, thereby preventing tender growth during winter warm spells. We currently use three Trifoliate root stocks: Flying Dragon, a dwarfing root stock, Large Flower Trifoliate, a semi-dwarfing root stock, and Swingle, which is vigorous.
We do grow some varieties of citrus on their own roots, these cutting grown trees are varieties that will preform well without grafting. The results are a tree that, if severely damaged in cold weather will re-sprout from the roots and continue to bear fruit.
All citrus are self-pollinating unless otherwise noted. Please call us for availability of larger sizes– sometimes we have a few bigger trees that can be shipped.
The Facts on Cold Hardy Citrus
Most people lose their citrus trees in the first or second year of the tree’s life. It pays to protect these small trees during 25 degrees F or lower freezes. Here are some things to remember:
Cover completely with a two-layer combination of a blanket and then plastic. Uncover the next day as it warms up.
Once established, citrus trees can tolerate lower temperatures and recover more quickly from freezes.
Keep your tree dormant. Never fertilize after July as this promotes late, tender growth that is susceptible to freeze damage.
Choose a micro-climate. Find an area that’s sheltered from northern winds for the more tender citrus varieties.
For areas where winter temperatures drop too low for growing citrus outside, try growing your citrus in containers. Some of the more unique varieties like blood oranges, keylimes and citron can only be grown in containers north of the tropics. It’s the sure way to enjoy this fruit as well as giving you the ultimate access to the wide world of citrus varieties. Citrus trees are the perfect container tree. Their fibrous root system adapts well to a lifetime in a pot and their evergreen foliage and colorful fruits are the perfect accent to a patio or atrium setting. Every few years you should trim the outside of the rootball about 1-2 inches, add fresh potting soil, and reset in your container.
«Not sure what to do with Container Citrus or how to grow them? Click here for Just the Facts on planting and care.
Think your area is just too cold to grow citrus? Then try these super cold hardy selections:
- Calamondin 16 degrees F
- Chinotto Orange 16 degrees F
- Changsha Tangerine 8 degrees F
- Meiwa Kumquat 16 degrees F
- Nagami Kumquat 16 degrees F
- Nippon Orangequat 15 degrees F
- Ichang Lemon 10 degrees F
- Tiwanica Lemon 10 degrees F
- Rangpur Lime 15 degrees F
- Red Lime 10 degrees F
- Yuzu Lemon 12 degrees F
- There is something special about citrus. Beautiful evergreen plants with lush, bright green foliage and heavenly fragrant blooms. Tuck them around your windows so that you can enjoy their sweet fragrance in the house.
- The kumquats, lemons, limequats and Chinotto Orange, with their dense growth, can be easily sheared into any shape or form. Use them for hedges or foundation plants around the house or to line pathways. Or espalier them against a sunny wall.
- The oranges and grapefruit will grow larger, so are best trained into small round trees, and make excellent specimens.
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AMBERSWEET ORANGE TREE$49.99 Zone: 8A-10
AUSTRALIAN FINGER LIME TREE$59.99 Zone: 9-10
AUSTRALIAN RED FINGER LIME TREE$59.99 Zone: 9-10
BROWN SELECT SATSUMA TREE$49.99 Zone: 8A-10
BUDD BLOOD ORANGE TREES$49.99 Zone: 9-10
CALAMONDIN TANGERINE TREE$49.99 Zone: 8A-10
CARA NAVEL ORANGE TREE$49.99 Zone: 8B-10
CENTENNIAL KUMQUAT TREE$49.99 Zone: 8A-10
CHANGSHA TANGERINE TREE$49.99 Zone: 8A-10
CHINOTTO ORANGE TREE$49.99 Zone: 8A-10
DAISY TANGERINE TREE$49.99 Zone: Zone: 8B-10
DANCY TANGERINE TREE$49.99 Zone: 8B-10
DUNCAN GRAPEFRUIT TREE$49.99 Zone: 8B-10
EARLYGOLD ORANGE TREE$49.99 Zone: 8B-10
EUREKA LEMON TREE$49.99 Zone: 9-10
EUSTIS LIMEQUAT TREE$49.99 Zone: 8B-10
FALLGLO TANGERINE TREE$49.99 Zone: Zone: 8B-10
FINA SODEA CLEMENTINE TANGERINE TREE$49.99 Zone: 8B-10
FLAME GRAPEFRUIT TREE$49.99 Zone: 8B-10
FLYING DRAGON ORANGE TREE$49.99 Zone: 8A-10
FREMONT TANGERINE TREE$49.99 Zone: 8B-10
GLEN NAVEL ORANGE TREE$49.99 Zone: 8A-10
HAMLIN ORANGE TREE$49.99 Zone: 8B-10
HARVEY LEMON TREE$49.99 Zone: 8A-10