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Any winter hardy cirtus trees for a northern zone?

Posted by caliloo z6/7 Penna (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 7, 07 at 7:57

Are there any winter hardy citrus trees that will grow this far north? Even though we are technically a z7 now, we do get short very cold periods (in the teens with wind chill below zero).

My neighbor grows several varieties of fig and winter wraps his trees. ie mummifies them. Could I do the same with a lemon? I am particularly interested in a Meyer Lemon, but any citrus tree would be an intersting novelty.

Thanks for any and all advice!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Any winter hardy cirtus trees for a northern zone?

Cal....why don't you grow a Meyer inside your house? They are manageable and you'll get (2)yelds a year.Then in the warmer weather you can put it outside to camp for the late spring into fall.Meyers are one of the easiest citris to grow and maintain.***Suzanne

RE: Any winter hardy cirtus trees for a northern zone?

Other than inside, there are no fruit bearing citrus that will grow in your climate. Figs are MUCH hardier than citrus.

RE: Any winter hardy cirtus trees for a northern zone?


I have a "lemon" tree that I started with my kids 4 years ago that is about 5.5 feet tall, but there is no sign of blooms or fruit anywhere. It is getting so large I'm not sure I can keep it in the house much longer, so I was hoping....

Anyway, can you recommend a source for a Meyer? I have an unheated south facing 3 season room (has never gone below 40F) where it could winter and I could move it outside from May - Sept. How do you keep it small enough to be in a container without constant pruning?

THanks again for the responses and the advice.


RE: Any winter hardy cirtus trees for a northern zone?

You will probably be able to grow only the hardiest of types outside, most of which are nearly inedible (Poncirus trifoliata and its "Flying Dragon" variant are often cited as hardy up to Philadelphia, and some hybrids of Poncirus or C. ichangensis might make it with a little help). Lowes and Home Depot sometimes carry flowering and fruiting plants--some people have waited many years for flowers and fruit on juvenile or seedling plants (see another recent thread)--grafting mature wood onto various rootstocks expedites the process greatly. Citrus is often dwarfed by grafting onto "Flying Dragon" rootstock--when pruning, remember that citrus only produces on new growth from mature wood.

Some of the traditional suppliers might be out of stock due to restrictions on shipping citrus out of Florida at the moment--you might also check with in SC for information on both hardy and less hardy varieties. Four Winds and Harris Citrus are the traditional recommendations for mail-order citrus, and you might also check with Meyer or Meyer Improved should definitely be able to take 40F with no issues, and they all would probably be happier where they don't have to endure the low humidity of a typical heated indoor environment. Hope this helps, and good luck!

RE: Any winter hardy cirtus trees for a northern zone?

yes there are some hardy citrus for your area
though not commercially available yet
a family friend in the Lancaster area had hybridized some winter hardy plants. He crossed the Poncirus with Meyer lemon, a variety of orange, I believe Valencia and a grapefruit.
His hybrid Lemon is about 12' tall now, drops its leaves in the winter and yields a lot of very juicy lemons. The orange and grapefruit have just started to produce and are not yet as large.
He is awaiting patents on the trees before offering them for sale

RE: Any winter hardy cirtus trees for a northern zone?

Beleive it or not I have kept a Calamondian alive ( and I beleive growing) in Massachusetts all winter. I use a heater cable..ok this is cheating.

I have been in contact with someone in Colorado that is growing hardy citrus for several years outside sucess.

Another factor you might need to consider is how much work you are willing to do.mulch, cover ect


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