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Citrus Trees

Page Orange FruitLiving 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. 

Note: We’re so sorry… but due to agricultural restrictions we cannot ship any plants to international countries, or the states of California, Hawaii and Alaska. Also, no citrus trees can be shipped outside of the state of Florida.

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.

«Not sure what to do with Cold Hardy Citrus or how to grow them? Click here for Just the Facts on planting and care.


Container Citrus

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.


We Ain’t Afraid of No Cold!

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

Year `Round Color (Open Me)

  • 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.

USDA«Click here for the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for your area.

Citrus Trees - Orange Varieties

Buying and Growing Tips….

So what makes an orange cold hardy. There are two components that make it a good selection for more northern areas. The first is that the tree can withstand temperatures to the mid 20F, as this will extend the trees range into zone 8b, The second is that the fruit ripens before cold weather sets in. Look for early ripening varieties that will fruit before January. 

Citrus Trees - Navel Orange Varieties

Buying and Growing Tips… 

Navels are the queens of the orange kingdom. They are known for their rich sweet flavor and seedless nature. Use them for fresh eating or to squeeze and blend with your other citrus varieties to make your own uniquely flavored orange juice.

Citrus Trees - Blood Orange Varieties 

Buying and Growing Tips… 

Truly unique with their raspberry orange flavor and red to purple colored flesh. Blood oranges are used in a wide range of Mediterranean dishes and to make world famous orange juice. The trees grow great in containers and make colorful patio plants.

Citrus Trees - Sour Orange Varieties 

Buying and Growing Tips..

Sour oranges are a staple of many Cuban and Caribbean dishes. Their sharp sour notes are a welcome ingredient in salad dressings and meat marinades. The trees are quite cold tolerant and easy to grow.

Citrus Trees - Tangerine Varieties

Buying and Growing Tips…

Tangy sweet tangerines. Easy to peel and so delicious. Kids love them. This is the group that contains the cold hardy Satsumas. If your a gardener in the colder marginal areas Satsuma and all varieties that ripen before January are good choices for you.

Citrus Trees - Tangelo Varieties

Buying and Growing Tips…

Tangelos are a citrus hybrid of mandarin orange crossed with grapefruit or pummelo. Some of the most flavorful varieties are in this group, the  famous Honeybelle or Minneola is a tangelo. Even more interesting is a Wekiwa a lavender pink fleshed tangelo.

Citrus Trees - Lemon Varieties

Buying and Growing Tips….

When choosing a good lemon for your yard, look for the ones that produce year round. Not keen on sharp flavored lemons? Try the mild flavor lemons are Meyer and Sanbokan.

Citrus Trees - Lime Varieties

Buying and Growing Tips

 There are many varieties of limes for colder regions. These are often hybrids of more cold hardy citrus and limes. More tender lime varieties make great container plants and can be over wintered in the house.

Citrus Trees - Kumquat Varieties

Buying and Growing Tips..

Got Kids or Grand Kids? Kumquats are a great fruit for the little ones, eaten skin and all, they are a fun and healthy snack. Most people are familiar with the sour  kumquats, try  Meiwa for a change, the skins are more tender and sweet. Kumquats are tight compact growers and make fantastic cold hardy hedges.

Citrus Trees - Grapefruit Varieties

Buying and Growing Tips…

 Like the old fashion bitter flavor of grapefruit try Duncan. Not a fan of seeds try Marsh, Flame or Rio Red. Grapefruit can be large growers, our trees are grafted on Rubidoux Trifoliate orange or Flying Dragon Trifoliate orange these root stocks will insure your trees stay small and easy to pick.

Citrus Trees - Pummelo Varieties

Buying and Growing Tips….

 Pummelos are less acidic and sweeter than traditional grapefruit. The fruit are often the size of basketballs. This is a fruit tree that stands out in the landscape, if you’re looking for a spectacular specimen tree choose a pummelo.

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