Cold Hardy Winter-Spring Citrus Variety Recommendation?

carnealyAugust 21, 2013

I'm looking for a good hardy citrus for out of hand eating from January to April or May in coastal South Carolina (planted outdoors in a favorable microclimate). I was considering getting a Gold Nugget, Yosemite Gold, Tango, Page, or California Honey mandarin, but I'm worried that although the plant may be cold hardy, the fruit itself may not be. I have heard anecdotally that spring mandarins can be tough to ripen even in areas where fall/early winter mandarins do fine.

This will be supplementing my Browns Select and Owari satsumas, indoor Moro blood orange and indoor Oro Blanco. I'd like to have a somewhat steady harvest from late fall to spring.

Thoughts and perspectives are welcome.

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Cold hardiest are kumquats and of the Mandarins, I believe Satsuma. Kumquats are not only cold hardy, they are also much less prone to bug issues in my experience. Being small, you can fit them into smaller areas, and maybe add more trees. Skins are edible on these, and sweet too.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 4:07PM
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Thank you, njoasis. I would like to get a kumquat. That's a good idea. Any other ideas on that can handle down to 20 degrees or so?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 4:16PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

If out of hand means it is no to tart that it chews your lips off, then meiwa is the best kumquat and then fukushu comes next. chose your rootstock carefully.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 4:44PM
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Flying dragon or poncirus trifoliata would be your best root stock. Most large nurseries are using a fast growing root stock. They get a nice tree up in a short time but it will make a large tree and cold tolerance is lost.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 9:47PM
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Wow... that's a great article on rootstocks for kumquat and calamondin. I have a lot of citrumelo rootstock right now and I thought it was a generally good rootstock for hardy citrus, but that article suggests otherwise (for kumquats and calamondin). I would order from Four Winds Growers. They say they use dwarfing rootstock, but I am not sure what exactly.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 11:17PM
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