Need help choosing a hardy acid citrus

castorpAugust 21, 2004


I live a little too far north for lemons and limes, but I would like to grow a good hardy substitute. Old time Floridians are said to have used hardier sour oranges like lemons. One of my gardening books recommends Calamondin as an acid citrus, and "limequat" as another. Has anyone tried any of these? Any recommendations or suggestions? Thank you.

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Have grown calamondin in pots for the past few years (both as houseplants and outdoors) in Portland, Oregon. They are both quite small but yielded several dozen fruits this year. The juice is excellent--no bitterness, very tart. Where you live planting them in the ground and regular fertilizing should result in heavier crops.

Be aware that there is confusion on the scientific name and there are several cultivars being sold. Get one with fruit already on it to be safe. There are some very impressive pictures on the Web if you research "calamondin..."

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 12:56AM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

I have not lived in Florida in almost 20 years, but I have lived in both Tallahassee and Clearwater. I seem to recall some kinds of cold-hardy citrus in the Tallahassee area. I now live in south Texas, Latitude 28°. I planted 5 citrus trees in my yard the beginning of April, and they are all bearing fruit. I found several of the trees which were cold-hardy with one being a Cold-Hardy Meyers Lemon. You might see if you can find some cold-hardy citrus in Florida.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 3:00PM
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There are LOTS of citrus varieties cold hardy enough for zone 9. Heck, there are avocado varieties that will grow there (Mexican avocados, the littler ones). And there is a lot of interest in this now. Do a little Net searching. I think you will find quite a bit of information. (FYI: until the disasterous freeze of 1835 (1830?) Florida's citrus growing was concentrated way up there, by the Spanish.)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 4:50PM
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Thank you for the responses. I live in a very difficult zone--the 9A/9B border, inland. According to what I've read, the trouble with growing citrus here is not that it gets too cold for the trees, although it does occassionally do that, but it gets too cold before the fruits ripen. Anything that ripens December or later is iffy. So early ripening citrus, or citrus with fruits much of the year, is what I'm looking for. According to my gardening book, these are mainly satsumas, limequats, kumquats, and calamondins, although there others.

Larry Gene, does your calamondin have and orangy or tangeriny taste? I've never tried one. I'll definitely taste the fruit before I buy one.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2004 at 8:48PM
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