best orange for Houston

luvpatch2February 12, 2007

Hi! I was wondering what the best orange tree is for the Houston Area. I want one where the fruit is sweet. Also can orange trees be grown in pots? Thanks so much!

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Try a satsuma. If you can obtain one that is grafted on to Flying Dragon root stock it will be container adaptable.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 8:47AM
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As I understand, Luv is asking what kind of orange tree with sweet fruits for the Houston area. I have the same question. Mr Pecan wrote:" Try Satsuma". As far as I know of, all Satsumas are mandarins, not orange. Please give us another answer. Thanks, K.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 12:52AM
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Most people refer to any sweet, orange-colored fruit as "an orange". Many people even in South Florida don't know or care that it is technically classified as something else. Just like technically kumquat is Fortunella species rather than Citrus species. The average eater would call it Citrus or orange anyway, regardless of its scientific(botanical) classification. I like kumquats, oranges, satsuma, tangerine,grapefruit. To my taste buds they are all in the same "family".
Naval should be a good orange for Houston. I would recommend a phone call or visit to the county extension office in Houston where I recall seeing several citrus plants growing there years ago. They should have first hand knowledge and printed material available.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 9:00PM
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billy1had(Gulf Coast/ TEXAS/9)

Since our temperatures here in Houston rarely go below 27 degrees, and, since you are growing in a container which can be wheeled into a garage, just about any citrus can be safely grown in Houston. Last year I grew some of the most delicious cara cara oranges in a pot. I also have 5 satsuma/mandarin trees that produced delicious fruit, they are in the ground. I tell my neighbors they are `tangerine trees` because that`s what they understand. I have blankets and large Christmas tree lights that I keep in reserve in case we get some prolonged freezes. Have at it, it`s a great challenge here in Houston.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 5:54PM
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It sounds like houston might be equivalent to my area, Canberra, Australia. I think my zone is about equivalent to US 8a. Lowest temp in winter is 20F, but most commonly around 26F overnight. Never snows. Averages 90 over a normally dry summer.

What are the practicalities of growing citrus in these areas? I am about to plant 5 trees along a boundary and have chosen those varieties that are apparently more frost resistant than others (i.e. Oranges and not Limes, Meyer Lemon not Eureka).

I was thinking of getting some lights that point up from the ground into the canopy, for both frost protection and visual effect. Does this work?

Any advice for protection during frosts would be great.

Raphael in Australia

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 8:16PM
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billy1had(Gulf Coast/ TEXAS/9)

Raphael -

The light scheme might work. I have not used my large Christmas tree lights, as yet - not needed. Others in similar zones say they work. I still would go for the more cold resistant mandarins/satsumas. They taste better than lemons, too!!!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 8:46PM
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ashok_ncal(CA z9b)


For best information on what to grow in Canberra, you would probably do best to ask other Australians. I think the folks on this board are very helpful and enthusiastic, but U.S. residents are probably not well situated to evaluate Australian climatic zones!

Having said all that ...

If your typical winter minimum low temperatures are around 26F, you would be in USDA Zone 9b, not 8a. Very similar to conditions in my Northern California, USA, location. (In fact, I seem to recall hearing that Canberra generally is *very* similar in climate to California -- dry summers, wet winters, similar maximum/minimum temperatures, etc.)

And folks around here can grow just about any kind of citrus, with the possible exception of Mexican/Key limes. (Which may need a little protection during the worst cold-snaps.)

Also, remember that the U.S. has a huge land-mass extending to the Arctic right above it. So nearly the entire country (including California and Texas) can be subjected to very cold air-masses coming down and settling in during the winter, which can mean prolonged, devastating freezes. (We just got one in California this past January ... an "arctic blast" out of Alaska/Canada came down and froze-out many plants.)

Canberra is surrounded by tropical North Australia, the warm-temperate Southern part of the continent, and the Southern Ocean. So my guess would be that you never get the long-duration freezes that can cause so much damage where I live, or in Houston.

As I said, check with local information sources to make sure, but I think that you probably don't have too much to worry about when it comes to growing citrus.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 11:15PM
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Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my question (and the one about the citrus hedge).

I really appreciate it.

Raphael in Australia

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 8:50PM
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satsuma or blood orange, also look into other mandarin varieties other than satsuma

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 6:17PM
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I planted a Satsuma in my garden about 3 years ago. It is now about 8-9 feet tall. Every March, I see lots of flowers on it but then they all fall out and I do not get any fruit. Does anybody know why?

I also have two Calamondins, in big pots, that produce fruit almost all year round. While they are not sweet, they are good for making juice (similar to lemonade, but better in my opinion). They can also be squeezed over fish, poultry and meat dishes.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 8:56PM
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I realize this thread is over a year old, so I wont add any information on the topic, but yall should all check out Urban They're a comprehensive resource for just about everything to do with your Houston Area garden

Here is a link that might be useful: Urban Harvest Fruits for Houston

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 5:05PM
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I too know that I am pretty late on this, but this thread comes up in Google searches so I will recommend the "Republic of Texas" orange as being the best orange tree for Houston area(if you ruling out satsumas, which are the best citrus tree for Houston). It is cold hardy and good-tasting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Republic of Texas Orange

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 11:18AM
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I don't like the republic of texas orange. I topworked mine to golden grapefruit. I'd recommend first 2 satsuma trees, an early and a late. If you want an orange, cara cara navel. They mature much earlier than washington navel.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 12:52PM
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