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ahosey01

Cold Hardy Citrus Varieties

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ahosey01

Wondering if someone can give me some ideas about cold hardy citrus varieties.  I already have a Kumquat.

Where I'm at, we have brief nightly dips into the low 30s or upper 20s.  All-time low that I know of was in the teens.  Never lasts more than an hour or two and it generally rebounds to 75F+ during the day.  Neighbor has a lime tree under canopy that always looks good, other neighbor has three oranges out in the open that always get a little leaf burn in the winter, but not much.  Maybe three or four small patches on the highest, outermost leaves on 10-12ft tall trees.

I called a citrus nursery down in Phoenix and asked the woman for some pointers on cold hardy varieties.  She told me "none, they're all the exact same."  That seems incorrect.

Thanks!

Edited by ahosey01

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Xerarch
14 minutes ago, ahosey01 said:

Wondering if someone can give me some ideas about cold hardy citrus varieties.  I already have a Kumquat.

Where I'm at, we have brief nightly dips into the low 30s or upper 20s.  All-time low that I know of was in the teens.  Never lasts more than an hour or two and it generally rebounds to 75F+ during the day.  Neighbor has a lime tree under canopy that always looks good, other neighbor has three oranges out in the open that always get a little leaf burn in the winter, but not much.  Maybe three or four small patches on the highest, outermost leaves on 10-12ft tall trees.

I called a citrus nursery down in Phoenix and asked the woman for some pointers on cold hardy varieties.  She told me "none, they're all the exact same."  That seems incorrect.

Thanks!

"None, they're all the exact same" what a dumb answer, unbelievable.  In general the most hardy things (that taste good) after kumquats are the mandarins, particularly the satsumas are pretty hardy.  Limes are some of the most tender.  A nice little book on citrus varieties is "Citrus, complete guide to selecting & growing more than 100 varieties for California, Arizona, Texas, The Gulf Coast, Florida" by Lance Wilheim.  According to the book here is a list of citrus hardiness, I'll start from most hardy to least hardy.

kumquat

orangequat

sour orange

meyer lemon

mandarins

sweet orange

limequat

tangelo and tangor

pummelo and hybrids

grapefruit

lemons

limes, citrons

 

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Silas_Sancona
15 minutes ago, Xerarch said:

"None, they're all the exact same" what a dumb answer, unbelievable.  In general the most hardy things (that taste good) after kumquats are the mandarins, particularly the satsumas are pretty hardy.  Limes are some of the most tender.  A nice little book on citrus varieties is "Citrus, complete guide to selecting & growing more than 100 varieties for California, Arizona, Texas, The Gulf Coast, Florida" by Lance Wilheim.  According to the book here is a list of citrus hardiness, I'll start from most hardy to least hardy.

kumquat

orangequat

sour orange

meyer lemon

mandarins

sweet orange

limequat

tangelo and tangor

pummelo and hybrids

grapefruit

lemons

limes, citrons

 

Yep, lol.. pretty dumb answer. Wonder what nursery it was.. Anyway, 

Agree w/ the list, though i'll say, as far as Limes go,  Bearss Seedless are pretty hardy ( for a " Lime " )  Key Limes are definitely tender, though they grew frost damage free in San Jose, most years anyway ( Among all the Citrus i sold, Key Limes were my # 1 seller, next to Manderins out there ) . May be a tougher grow in Wickenburg obviously.  Easy enough to grow / maintain in a container. Thornless form exists also.  Might.....  be slightly hardier than the reg. form.

Lemons like " Eureka ",  " Variegated Pink Eureka ",  " Verna ",  " Lisbon ",  " Primofiori ", and " Ponderosa " ( BIG tree / fruit )  also seem to be pretty tough.

Finger Limes might be fairly hardy, and are an interesting oddity for the list,  but are an entirely different type of " experience " ( You'd utilize / serve them like Caviar ).

Might surf over UCR's Citrus Variety Collection in Riverside for other ideas / suggestions.

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Xerarch

If you get the chance check out the old ASU citrus experimentation groves at the far west end of Surprise, south of Bell road, access from west end of Greenway Rd.  ASU doesn't own it any more but they used to do some seminars out there and did a "U Pick" deal out there in the season.  Which was awesome, you could get all kinds of varieties that just aren't normally available, all-spice tangelo, palestine sweet lime, oro blanco grapefruit, all kinds of amazing mandarins etc.  Hope they are still doing those.

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Chester B

The hardiest citrus are more primitive species which don't produce the best tasting fruit.

Poncirus trifoliata - hardiest by far

Yuzu ichandrin (Citrus junos)

There are a couple more ancient species from Asia, but I can't remember the names.  Very hard to find.

Might want to look at this person's website. 

http://www.mckenzie-farms.com/photo.htm

 

 

Edited by Chester B

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Xenon

Makrut/Thai "lime" (Citrus hystrix) is a lot hardier than Persian lime or Key lime, maybe between sweet orange and lemon. The fragrance of the leaves and peel can't be beat. The new growth and flowers are purple-bronze 

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Matthew92

In my experience I've found Meyer lemon to be significantly less cold hardy than sweet oranges, tangerine, or even grapefruit- it will defoliate in low 20's and have twig dieback around 20 deg to upper teens. I have a Parson Brown sweet orange, Glen navel orange, Meyer Lemon, Ruby Red Grapefruit, and Ponkan tangerine. I've found the Parson Brown sweet orange to be the most cold hardy, followed by the navel, then grapefruit, then tangerine (the cultivar "Ponkan" I have is less cold hardy than most tangerines), and then the Meyer Lemon. Here's a thread I made on how mine have endured low 20's to upper teens in zone 8b. Growing Citrus in Marginal (colder) Zones - TROPICAL LOOKING PLANTS - Other Than Palms - PalmTalk. This might be a good gage for you if you were to get temps on the cold end of your zone.

Satsuma mandarin is more cold hardy than any of the above as well as most tangerines.

 

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ShadyDan

There is a cold hardy citrus guru (Bob Duncan of Fruit Trees and More) on Vancouver Island that specializes in citrus trees for the PNW. We have to contend with occasional freezing weather in the winter alone with a lacklustre amount of growing degree days in the summer. Bob grows manadarins, lemons, grapefruit, and certain varieties of oranages all with minimal winter protection (maybe a frost blanket and Christmas lights for some). They all take longer to ripen than in warmer areas, but when they do they are sweet and tasty! Check out their website for some good videos and tips for growing citrus in the cold: 

http://www.fruittreesandmore.com/

Outside unprotected, I am growing Yuzu and Mandarins (China S-2 variety). Both have seen -5C a few times with 0 damage.  I am also able to ripen both fruits no problem, even all the way up here. I don’t bother to protect them anymore, maybe I would throw a blanket over the Mandarin if the temperatures threaten to get real cold. 
 

Oh, and another thing to lookout for: Whenever a cultivar in grafted on P. trifoliata rootstock it also gains a degree or two hardiness, so if you can look out for grafted trees that would help.

Here is a picture of my Mandarin growing at 49 degrees North. They won’t be quite ready for Christmas, but the fruits are looking good!

1E3C8C73-46E5-4EC9-BCDB-9D5475E1E496.jpeg

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