Help Me! I'm lazy!! If you chose 21 varieties, Which Ones?

Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9bMay 22, 2013

I am happy to report that my Flying Dragon rootstock seeds are producing more seedlings than expected.

They will not all be dwarf, but some definitely are! They are rising from their root riot cubes all twisty and little, and they are growing slow. Their Brothers are straight and tall, so not dwarf. I'll use those for practice in budding.

We are planting a row of 21 dwarf citrus on our frontage. So, here is the dilemma! 21 different varieties! Which ones do I want? I would love your suggestions and experiences with the different ones.

All the rootstock is Flying Dragon. I can order budwood from CCPP in July for delivery in September. There are tons of varieties!! I'm not a fan of kumquat, so that is out. Please tell me what you would order if you lived where Citrus thrive.

Here is a link that might be useful: Citrus Clonal Protection Program

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Hmm. Interesting question! Here are some of my favorites:

Cara Cara naval orange
Rio Red grapefruit
Bloomsweet grapefruit
Any mandarin or clementine
Have you tasted the sweet kumquat, Meiwa? It isn't like the sour/sweet Nagami at all.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 9:58PM
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RyanLo(NC 7B)

You will want to find out what you like. There are many flavor profiles out there. I would recommended you go out and start tasting fruit and plant what you like.

Here are some of my personal favorites:

fimenello lemon
USDA 88-2
Xie Shan

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:48AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Thank you eahamel! I will add your choices to my pre-order.

We have a Ruby Red Grapefruit, a Valencia Orange, a Bearrs lime, a couple lemons, but no naval oranges. There is one mandarin on the property, so I can get budwood from that.

I have not tasted Meiwa, so maybe I'll give it a chance on your recommendation!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:03PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Wow! That's a great list! I'm taking your recommendations under consideration, and will do research on flavor profiles.

Happily we live in Southern California in a micro-climate. There are many citrus orchards in the valley below, and they have freeze protection fans installed. Our new neighbor told me that our hill is much warmer than the valley below. He said you can watch the temperature change as you drive up the road. Heat rises, I guess.

Thanks Ryanlo!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:11PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

"They will not all be dwarf, but some definitely are!" Suzi, Flying Dragon is what it is. Not necesarily "dwarf", as Fly Dragon on it's own eventually can get fairly large, but all your seeds will be the same. You'll not have some that are dwarfed and some that are not. They will all be the same, Suzi. Flying Dragon, when used as a rootstock will definitely impart a dwarfing, and slow growing quality to whatever cultivar you opt to graft to it. So, just to clarify you original statement.

As to varieties, why don't you tell us what you like to eat? No sense in recommending citrus you don't care for. You mentioned kumquats being out. Anything else you don't like, and what do you LIKE? If you can narrow it down, we can then narrow down the suggestions for you :-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:26PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b


To answer your question, I like ruby red grapefruit because it's sweet and not bitter. I like juicy citrus. So, as far as eating fruit goes, I am sure anything that is not bitter or pithy would be great!

I like to cook, and enjoy citrus in salads and salsas. I can make a mean margarita, so all things juicy are great!

I have never tried a blood orange, so that's on my wish list.

I only know what I read in the "other" forum about true dwarf Flying Dragon seedlings must have curved thorns, and twisted stems. The straight stemmed, straight thorned seedlings are Flying Dragon, and will make good root-stock, but will not be dwarf. I'm so new to this, you can call me clueless! :-))

Someone posted a cool article over there, and I found it quite interesting. It's on rootstocks in general. I found the polyembryonic part interesting, and I hope it's true!


Here is a link that might be useful: Citrus Propagation and Rootstocks

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:01PM
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Washington Navel Orange is also very good. It was the first navel orange and is still found in stores. I don't recommend Republic of Texas, if it's on your list, though. It's really hard to peel, the peel is stuck to the fruit sections and they tear off with the peel. Other than that, it's a great orange, sweet and juicy.

If there's a store near you that carries a lot of citrus when it's in season, maybe some now even, go there and try some. That's how I decided upon a few of mine (Cara Cara Navel Orange and Rio Red Grapefruit and Chandler Pomelo). And that's how I decided not to get a Mineola Tangelo or Page Mandarin, both are too sour for my taste.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:15PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b


I'm with you on "sour," with the exception of lemons!

I will definitely do my best to try at some produce-type stands, or farm fairs. Most citrus here has already done bearing, so I may have to wait until late fall or winter, and my budding should be done by then... BUT since we have several standard citrus on the property, I am pretty sure if I find a winner, I can graft or bud onto an existing full grown tree.

I will say that we do have a small vineyard currently which will extend itself greatly on our new property. I love the layers of flavors that present while tasting wine, so any citrus that tastes mainly of "orange," with a kick of something else is a good thing!

I think I like sweet, juicy, complicated flavors. The unexpected! You eat an orange, and you expect an orange, but it kinda tastes a little like pink lemonade with an undertone of pear.........hmmmmmmmmm...

If there is no acid in citrus, it tastes blah, so not interested in those at all.

I would say I'm not a fan of too many seeds either.

You have all been so helpful!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:49PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Yes, Flying Dragon has curved thorns. If you have seeds without curved thorns, that is not flying Dragon :-) What I'm saying is, Flying Dragon is Flying Dragon. Like, a Washington Navel is a Washington Navel, not a Valenica Orange. Does that make sense?

Okay, so for varieties.

Rio Red grapefruit - Better than Ruby Red for us in California. Sweet and will sweeten up with our heat units here. Our best grapefruit. Feb - Jun

Oroblanco or Melogold grapefruit hybrid - these are "sisters" of the same cross between a grapefruit and a pummelo. VERY sweet and juicy, both do exceptionally well here in S. California. Jan - May for Oroblanco, Feb-Jun for Melogold. I like Melogold a bit more - sweeter, juicer.

Cocktail Pummelo hybrid - often referred to as a grapefruit, but it is actually a cross between a pummelo and a mandarin. Has a grapefruit taste but no bitterness. My favorite in the "grapefruit" category. Nov - Feb

Valentine Pummelo hybrid - Fabulous new hybrid that is part pummelo, part mandarin and part blood orange. You can taste all 3 flavors in this wonderful hybrid, and it is ripe in February to boot. One of my very favorite citrus. It also makes exceptionally good juice. Very sweet and complex. Feb-Apr

Smith Red Valencia - a blood sport of Valencia with all the great sweet characteristics of the Valencia orange, but with anthocyanin. Probably the best tasting of all the blood oranges. Dec - Mar

Powell Navel - I happen to like the Powell a bit better than the Washington, and it's a little later. Feb - Jun. Pair that with:

Cara Cara Navel - colored sport of the Washington Navel. Flesh is a pretty pink (lycopene), and it is a bit sweeter than Washington. Nov - Jan.

Page Mandarin (hybrid) - Probably the best mandarin for juicing. 3/4 mandarin, 1/4 grapefruit. Exceptional flavor and very, very prolific fruiting tree. You will have to thin. Holds exceptionally well on the tree. Nov - Jan

Seedless Kishu mandarin - Of all the mandarins out there, this is the #1 best tasting mandarin. Small, super sweet and complex, completely seedless and easy to peel. A must have mandarin. Holds exceptionally well on the tree. Oct - Mar.

Clemnules (Clementine) mandarin - Classic mandarin, what we see around Christmas time. Just always reliable and delicious. Up there with the Kishu. Oct- Dec.

Lee x Nova mandarin (USDA 88-2) - A new release and an exceptional mandarin. Oct - Dec

Gold Nugget Mandarin - Another really delicious, sweet, rich mandarin, and up there on everyone's "Top 5 Citrus" list. And the bonus, a "late" mandarin, Feb - Jun, so you can extend your mandarin season.

Tango Mandarin - Another "Top 10" citrus, and also a later mandarin. Exceptional flavor, sweet, very juicy, nearly seedless. Vigorous and really, really good. Feb - Apr

Improved Meyer Lemon - A wonderful lemon hybrid. Extremely juicy, very prolific, not quite as acidic as other lemons, make the best lemonade ever.

Bearss Lime (aka Persian, Tahitian lime) - this lime is the best lime for our climate. More cold tolerant than the Mexican lime. Very prolific producer, limes are bigger and much more juicy. Completely seedless. A must for Margaritas. Makes great limeade. Aug - Mar

Wekiwa tangelolo - Cross between Sampson Tangelo unspecified grapefruit. So, that makes it technically a tangelolo. Very juicy tangelo which looks and tastes like a pink grapefruit (red-blushed pulp, yellow rind), but is sweet like a tangerine, and the size of one. Sometimes known as pink tangelo (or "Lavender Gem"), few seeds. One of my top 5 favorites. Can be purchased at Clausen's Nursery in Vista, they bud their own from their original budwood that goes back 3 generations (they used to grow them commercially). Jan - Apr.

Okay, that gives you 16 really incredible, more unusual and delicious varieties, Suzi. The best of the best.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 12:17AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Thanks so much everyone!

I loved your explanations, Patty!

I hope these recommendations help everyone here decide on their next citrus adventure!

I just went out and counted the seedlings, and there are exactly 21 with many more simmering. I can see little green tips on swollen seeds which is a good indication!

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 8:56AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Well, I looked up all of these excellent recommendations on the CCPP, and to my dismay they do not offer

Tango Mandarin
Lee x Nova mandarin
Powell Navel
Valentine Pummelo hybrid.

They have all the others, though, and I'll be very busy budding and crossing my fingers! I may try to purchase those varieties separately for another spot in the yard.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 2:07PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Yes they do, Suzi, look again. The Valentine is definitely there, is is the first cultivar listed on the Early Release form. So is the Lee x Nova (USDA 88-2 Lee x Nova on the Screenhouse form). Tango is also on the main screenhouse form, last mandarin in the mandarin section. The only one I'm not finding is Powell, but a quick email to CCPP may give you the answer for that one.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 11:41PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

My big mistake! I looked on the variety list, not on the forms!

I just sent an email for the licensing agreement.

Thanks Patty!


    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 9:48AM
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Bloomsweet Grapefruit
Ujukitsu Sweet Lemon
Moro Blood Orange
Kishu Seedless Mandarin
Any Variety of Satsuma
Rio Red Grapefruit
Page Mandarin
Ponkan Mandarin
Cara Cara Orange
Washington Navel Orange
Loquat (not citrus, but a delicious fruit)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 11:36AM
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RyanLo(NC 7B)

Yes, Ponkan! Somehow that missed my list. very good fruit.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 2:39PM
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Minneola tangelos are good

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 6:05PM
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Okay, I'll bite.

If you like cooking and juicy is important, the overwhelming choice is Meyer lemon. I like to tell chefs that if you don't know the Meyer, you are not a chef... you are a cook.

In addition to my 21,000 Meyers, I have 3 Oro Blanco (maybe the best grapefruit); 3 Chandler pomelos; 3 Washington navel oranges; 8 Cara Cara oranges; 3 Pixie mandarins; 4 Midknight Valencia oranges; 3 Bearss limes; 3 Macrophyllas (for seed for rootstock); 1 Sugar navel orange (nobody likes it); 1 kumquat, 3 Key limes, 1 calamondin; and a partridge in a pear tree.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 7:03PM
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Patty, based on your suggestions, I'm trying to locate a Smith Red Valencia, Valentine Pummelo, Lee x Nova (USDA 88-2), and a Powell Navel. What are your suggestions for finding these trees?

How does the CCPP work? I have no idea how to utilize budwood.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 5:45PM
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Kishu mandarin
Page mandarin
Meyer lemon

If I had access to it, I'd have a Tango mandarin too

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 12:18PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Okay, Smith Red Valencia is frequently available - I would try calling around your local larger garden centers. Usually Walter Andersen Nursery in Poway or San Diego has it or can get it, same with Armstrong Nurseries - they can usually find one for you. Not sure if Clausen's has them, you can try calling them to see. Lee x Nova is carried by Walter Andersen in Poway, that's where I got mine. Valentine is propagated by Durling Nursery in La Paz/Fallbrook. That is a HOOF, let me tell you, but they do deliver, and frankly, it's worth the delivery charge as they are way, way the heck west of Fallbrook literally out in the middle of nowhere (almost up against the east side of Camp Pendelton). You can also ask them if they ship their Valentine's to a nursery close to you, and possibly set up a special order with your local nursery through Durling's.

CCPP allows you to order budwood. You would have to know how to cleft of bud graft, you would have to purchase rootstock, and you'd have to have the ability to keep your grafted trees in a moist environment. Citrus grafting is a little trickier than, say, stone fruit grafting. And, there is a wait of several years before you would see a tree large enough to support fruit.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 3:32PM
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yukkuri_kame(Sunset 19 / USDA 9)

Oooh...Deserdance! Late to this thread, haven't read all the posts yet, just jumping in.

I want to order budwood from CCPP, if you haven't already, would you be willing to have someone piggyback on your order?

I have some tiny seedlings, but also a big useless mandarin(?) I want to top work the whole thing.

Planning on making a cocktail tree, so I want variety, but only a few buds of each type. I'd be happy with 4-6 buds of each variety, rather than 12.

Mostly interested in:

Oro Blanco Grapefruit
Oranges especially navels (any type but valencia - have that)
Meyer Lemon
Otherwise, not picky...

This post was edited by yukkuri_kame on Sun, Aug 18, 13 at 22:26

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 6:07PM
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gregbradley(Upland, CA USDA 9b Sunset 19)

From the Inland Empire, Durling in "way west" Fallbrook is still 40 miles closer than Walter Anderson in Poway.

Armstrong orders are simple, you just tell them the variety and they will get it from Durling or LaVerne. They have been unwilling to order citrus from anywhere else for me.

88-2 could be more trouble than it is worth with all of the readily available excellent varieties like Kishu, Pixie, Gold Nugget, Tango, etc.

I have been unable to find Powell anywhere. The patent holder was bought by Limoneira company. I've been told it is available from Michaelis or B&Z in Porterville. B&Z is across the street from a private airport in Porterville. I may fly up there after it cools off a bit and see if I can come back with a couple plants. They do claim to be wholesale only, but then so does Durling.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 11:22PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Powell was being carried by Clifton's. An expensive option, but they did carry Powell (Australian Late). 88-2 is also carried by Walter Andersen Nursery. But, again, down in San Diego County (Poway would be the closest). And yes, almost all of the wholesale nurseries are kind enough to sell you their trees if you show up at their door :-) I buy from Willits & Newcomb this way (the only place I can get a Santa Teresa Femminello lemon since my Costco's have changed their vendor for citrus here in San Diego county), as well as Clausen's & Durling's. Greg, check your Armstrong and see if they will also order from Monterey Bay Nursery. Most Armstrong's do, but it may be that they are moving out of the citrus business due to the costs of trying to grow the trees and ship them. So, I think Luen is cutting way back on his citrus cultivars, which is too bad. He used to carry a lot of very unusual stuff.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 4:47PM
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POWELL - Here’s what John Dhanens (owner of Clifton’s) e-mailed in response to my inquiry about the Powell navel a little earlier: “There was an ag 'issue' they found in some commercial citrus groves just south of our nursery here in Porterville. Long story short, all my citrus inventory has been temporarily put 'off sale' per the instruction and order of the USDA while they sort things out. Call me if you need more info or clarification.” Haven't called him yet.

Spoke with a rep earlier at Monterey Bay Nursery and they don’t have any now and didn’t know if they’d be carrying any in the future. Called Armstrong in Claremont and they won’t do any orders with them until maybe Fall, but more than likely Spring.

What would be a suitable replacement for the Powell considering the challenges getting it pose?

VALENTINE PUMMELO - Durling carries it, but only have large wooden, 24” containers (close to $300), so I’ll wait until they have smaller sizes.

88-2 - I called Walter Andersen earlier. Tyler, the individual who does the orders is out until Monday; will call back then. They checked their stock in SD and no luck.

Thanks Greg and Patty :)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 1:54AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Well, another option for a later navel would be Lane Late, which is used extensively, especially in the hotter inland areas (you'll see folks successfully growing Lane Late in the Palm Springs area), as well as Chislett. I have not tried Autumn Gold, but have heard good things about it. I think Willits & Newcomb propagate Autumn Gold.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 12:08PM
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gregbradley(Upland, CA USDA 9b Sunset 19)

Lane Late will be readily available and cheap for Ben at Sunshine Growers in Corona or Ontario. Both of them just west of the 15 Fwy, one just south of 60, the other a few miles south of the 91.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 5:15PM
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Planning on making a trip down to Durling this Saturday for a Kishu, Gold Nugget and Tango; I have 3 spots ready for these. Need to place my order by tomorrow they said for Sat pickup. Plan to go with 15 gal dwarf trees for each of these so my little girls can enjoy the fruit sooner than later.

As I prep the other area with a French drain per your recs Patty, I'll hold on the other cultivars for now and continue the search. Thanks guys.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 1:03AM
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