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cold hardy citrus

Posted by insteng 8A (My Page) on
Tue, Dec 10, 13 at 11:10

I have a place between Houston and Dallas and would like to plant a few citrus tres outside there. The temperature normally doesn't drop below 20 during the winter at the coldest. I am planning on planting some Satsuma oranges. I was wondering if there were any lemons or grapefruit that would survive the cold up there. I don't live there so I can't plant them in pots and bring them in and out. In Houston my Navel oranges have survived 20 degree weather without any protection other than what is provided by the house. Up there they would be pretty much exposed.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: cold hardy citrus

bloomsweet grapefruit, harvey lemon, calamondin as lemon substitute, Sanbokan Sweet Lemon, Ujukitsu, Grapefruit-Pink (Croxton), Check out link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.plantfolks.com/


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RE: cold hardy citrus

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 10, 13 at 15:16

There are many varieties that would probably be ok. Many of which arent really that great for eating. When you say 20 degree, is that actually down to 20 or in the 20's? big difference in one seeing 29 for an hour or 2 before dawn versus several hours of actually 20 degrees.

just this past weekend Waco was below freezing and in the 20's for pretty much 2-3 days straight. not sure if your place is that far north or not but Im pretty sure many citrus, at least tasty ones wouldnt do so well at those temps for that long. Now Im sure that isnt normal for Waco but if your trees are not readily accessible and another arctic front dips that low you could lose them all.

mike


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RE: cold hardy citrus

I'm pretty much even with Waco a little farther east. It is no big deal if I can't find any that will do well up there. I have orange and tangerine at my house in Houston that produce more than I can give away. I just wanted some up there since I have plenty of space for them and to see how well they would do.


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RE: cold hardy citrus

Could someone please recommend a book about out-of-zone (citrus) gardening? (We live in Raleigh, NC.)

My husband's read all about (and then planted a ton of) Japanese maples, conifers, and edible fruits. He's just started reading about and experimenting with propagating. If there are any other garden genres you think will fascinate him, feel free to nominate them!


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RE: cold hardy citrus

Could someone please recommend a book about out-of-zone (citrus) gardening? (We live in Raleigh, NC.)

My husband's read all about (and then planted a ton of) Japanese maples, conifers, and edible fruits. He's just started reading about and experimenting with propagating. If there are any other garden genres you think will fascinate him, feel free to nominate them!


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RE: cold hardy citrus

Uless you have a substatial green house or live south of the kumquat satsuma line [ ZONE 8 OR WARMER ], DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME ON CITRUS TREES UNLESS YOUR HUSBAND IS GOING TO DIVORCE YOU AND GET MARRIED TO HIS TREES.

Figs such as hardy chicago produce excellent fruit, are very productive, and produce fruit on fresh sprouts up till frost. next year the fig will send out branches and produce fruit again. In my case zone 6B, my Hardy Chicago gets killed to the ground , it sends up shoots from the ground and produces figs just like a tomato plant does and needs no staking. One fig per leaf node all the way up to frost is produce. I protect my fig trees up to 3 FT from the ground and get multiple branches. If you live south of zone 10, you might try dragon fruits. My suggestion is to grow something relatively easy that produces fruit that is not common at grocery stores or fruit stands.


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RE: cold hardy citrus

kardomr - I also live in Raleigh. Be sure to check out the JC Raulston Arboretum (just off the beltline, across the railroad tracks from the fair grounds). They have a constantly changing collection of trees. Right now there are two very large fruiting citrus hybrids at the top of what they call "Asian Valley". Both are Poncirus hybrids, reliably hardy, look great in the yard - but the fruit is far from tasty. Though it is edible.

There isn't one local nursery or garden center that specializes in edibles. Most folks drive up to Afton VA (4-5 hours one way) to shop at Edible Landscaping (google him for his catalog). There is a loose group of fruit and nut enthusiasts to which I belong, and there should be a winter meeting coming up soon. Most likely it will be in Durham.

Check out the Carolina Forum here on Garden Web and send me an email if you need more info (address beside my name at the top of each posting).


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RE: cold hardy citrus

Hardy Citrus for the Southeast.
By Tom McClendon

That book should help. I disagree with poncirus guy. If you live in zone 7, you can easily grow some citrus that is edible enough for cooking and juice.

In 8a, a citrangequat should be bulletproof, a yuzuquat should have a great chance of survival. Oranges and grapefruit are a no go unless you're willing to take protection measures....


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RE: cold hardy citrus

manfromyard -- I do agree with you on your statement. I must ask anyone, how many key lime [((Key Thomasville citrangequat))] PIE. How many lemon [(( morten citrange))] meringue PIEs can you eat.
My cardiologist said "NO". Oh I thought about opening a citrus breakfast shop called Poncirusguy's and serve freshly squeezed poncirus juice with a ton of High fructose corn sweetener. I won't be able to afford the price on the volume of pure cane sugar that will be needed. For now we will buy our lemon for 79 cents a pound and key limes.

Look into some thing that goes dormant and fruits something you like. I have apples peaches, pers plums, persimmons, goose berries, grapes, kiwis, sour cherries, sweet cherries, nanking bush cherries, pawpaws, and Figs.

Figs are a good bet in texas, you will like them and they are hard to buy good figs. They are darn near maintenance free.

For gads sake don't through your work and money on citrus out there.

Steve


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RE: cold hardy citrus

"Look into some thing that goes dormant and fruits something you like. I have apples peaches, pers plums, persimmons, goose berries, grapes, kiwis, sour cherries, sweet cherries, nanking bush cherries, pawpaws, and Figs.

Figs are a good bet in texas, you will like them and they are hard to buy good figs. They are darn near maintenance free.

For gads sake don't through your work and money on citrus out there. "

I already have over 3 dozen different fruit trees from apples, peaches, pears, plums, nectarines, figs, etc... I was just looking for something differnet that might be able to grow up there. I have a couple of loquat trees I am about to plant out. I really don't need any citrus trees there since I have them at my house in Houston and they make more than I can use normally. The one that I don't have and don't have room for at my house is a grapefruit but I can buy them from the store easy enough.


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That sounds great. It sounds like you have room and time to do a sizeable orchard. When I started my kumquat trees I had no idea how hard it would be to container them up north. I also see how much trouble people have up north on this forum that I suggest dormant type of fruiting trees and vines so newbies don't make that choice without warning. Good luck on your citrus quest. Could you post some pics of your orchard. I'd love to see them.

Steve


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"When I started my kumquat trees I had no idea how hard it would be to container them up north."

I'm not sure I understand the problem with kumquats in containers. I have a nice Centennial kumquat in a 2-gal container and it's bending over with fruit right now. It blooms wonderfully over the summer - great fragrance!. The fruit is now turning a golden yellow. They should be ready to sample in the New Year.


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RE: cold hardy citrus

Dave

My statement above is not complete. My trees are seed grown. my sweetlee tangerines are doing extremely well and I am happy with them. However citrus up north in containers take a lot more work than in ground down south. If any newbie wants to try I would like them to know of the work and commitment needed to be successful before they start. I also see no reason to grow something hard to grow. I am not looking for challenges. This is for fun. Most other's probably feel the same about citrus. Yes the kumquat trees are very hard to grow and it was kumquats that I wanted. I would not have done this for any other citrus fruit.

Keep in mind that the CITRUS forum is the busiest because citrus has so many problems. It is so busy that citrus has its OWN forum. there are debates that kumquats should get there own private forum because they are so much problems.

Steve


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Hey Steve..I am with Dave in this too...Lol

If one is NOT well informed, which this forum does a great job at informing and that is why it is so busy, it can be a challenge whether growing in the ground or in pots..

Personally I think many that grow in the ground have as much challenges if not more than what we have in pots..
I know that root disease, fertilizing correctly, unexpected freezes, drought, pest and many other issues face others here growing in the ground..

In pots, I would say a lack of sunlight, poor mixes, pest and watering practices...

Growing in a pot gives the grower better control over ones plants, an advantage actually..

If one is well informed and starts with the basic...A good porous mix, good light , good watering practices and fertilizers, it can be rewarding and quite easy..I wish I had seen this forum when I first started.
Since I have joined here, growing citrus has become a piece of cake!

Have a wonderful night Steve...
Hoping your trees are well.

Hello Dave! Good to hear your Kumquats are doing so well...Nice.

This post was edited by meyermike_1micha on Tue, Dec 17, 13 at 21:26


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RE: cold hardy citrus

I agree with dave too. With this forum I was able to have 100% success with the 4 month old seedlings. Growing citrus is easy (for me) and others with lots of experience. The only problem I have is that the 2 kumquat trees are on their own roots. Keeping them alive is not hard. Getting them to grow is. But that is the rootstock causing the problem, not me. If the graft of meiwa to PT 1.5 years ago took I would have a very healthy and at least a 3-4 ft tree. I grew the sweetlee's for rootstock, not fruit. I can get the fruit for 79 cents /pound and grow something else like a dragon fruit at $7.oo / pound IF YOU CAN FIND the fruit. It still stands that citrus is very hard to grow in containers unless you can really "FEEL" what the trees need

I got 3 Nagami buds T-budded to PT If they take I will have something really worth keeping. If not the sweetlee trees will get budded.

Dave It is alway nice to hear of someones trees doing well. Long live your trees and (bushes)

click on the link below to see the nagami and sweetlee side by side and you will see what I am talking about. It is the 8th entry from the top.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/citrus/msg1117324421798.html?7


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RE: cold hardy citrus

Poncirusguy,

In my east coast 8a, I can't grow peaches, plums, apples, cherries, or grapes without multiple sprays per year. This is in the Southern range of pawpaws as it gets too hot for them to be fully comfortable.

Citrus for me has been very trouble free, whereas I'm on my 3rd fig tree.My citrangequat is just as useful as a mediocre lemon. I can use it for marmalade, juice, and baking, and all it uses is mulch and fertilizer.

I don't have to give it 4 sprays a year of multiple substances like apples or cherries, and I don't have to net it like figs or blueberries.

It's a winner for me IMO....


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Yes, I agree the citrus trees I have all have been trouble free. I never do anything to my navel oranges or tangerines I have at my house other than trim them back when they get too large. I have probably fertilized them once in about 15 years and every year they are loaded if the weather doesn't get the blooms. I have had only one year where they didn't produce and that was because of a freeze when they were just putting on.


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RE: cold hardy citrus

manfromyard and insteng:
I'm guessing you're both talking about in the ground citrus? I could not agree more with where your coming from... I would NOT be growing apples, pears, apricots, plums, peaches, cherries, etc. if I HAD to do any spraying at all. I'm lucky that I can grow these things without all that bother where I live.

And if I could grow some hardy citrus outside with some protection I would greatly prefer that over all the coddling that goes into having them in pots.

I guess like everything it is relative: I happen to dislike messing with potting mixes, moving heavy pots, repotting and root pruning, even though this can allow much greater control over the plants' growth. I much prefer working outside during the summer -- watering, pruning, mulching, caring for my trees even with the unpredictability of weather and pests. I really enjoy the winter rest too!


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insteng, I'm down near Beaumont so I'm further south than you. My Satsumas are probably the most hardy of my citrus. The calamondin does well, ponderosa lemons do well, and my meiwa kumquats do well. A blood orange and the lime I have (not sure of the variety) loose their leaves when it gets in the mid 20s.

I have covered my trees on nights below 30F when they were young, and even later as they were older, like several years back when temps dropped into the teens three nights in a row. That year, my young blood orange was frozen to the ground. I was unable to cover my ponderosa lemons because they were too tall. They lost a lot of leaves and some new growth but all survived.


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I have potted and in ground citrus here in the Georgia Appalachian mountains.

Here is what I have outside: Owari (early) Satsuma mandarins, seed-grown "mystery" mandarins, Citrangequat, and Poncirus Trifoliata.

The Satsumas are doing quite well, though Ive covered them with an enclosure their first three Winters in the ground.
They've seen temps in the low 20's with no damage.

As an experiment, I grew some trees from seeds from store bought mandarins. After they were two years old, I planted them outdoors in a microclimate near the house. Last year they completely defoliated, but came back last summer. Right now they seem to be completely undamaged despite exposure to low 20's and frost.

My citrangequat was planted last year, so not old enough to produce. This saw temps down to mid-teens last Winter and was undamaged.

Currently I have some Kumquat trees I grew from store-fruit seeds, they will be big enough to put in the ground next Spring.

I also grow cold hardy banana plants like Musa Basjoo, Musa Sikkimensis- these are completely hardy here. I planted a Musa acuminata (eating banana) right next to some musa basjoos in front of my house as an experiment, I guess I will see how these do this winter.

Other hardy "exotics": three types of figs, cannas, pineapple guava, windmill palms (trachycarpus F.), dwarf palmettos (Sabal minor), jelly palm (Butia capitata) , needle palms (raphidophylum hystrix)

My general experience with cold hardiness of plants is that the older they are when they are put in the ground, the hardier they are. Also, plants should be taken care of especially in the first three years, afterward they are much hardier.


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I figure I will try a few and see how they do. I can build a shelter around them in the winter. I have 56 acres to play with so I have plenty of room to experiment. I actually have a nice spot behind my barn where I could build a big greenhouse and plant them in there. The biggest problem then would be the heat in the summer time.


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crispy

Could you post pictures of you seed grown kumquat trees. I would like to see them. I was fairly unsuccessful with my kumquats from seed.

Thanks Steve


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I have a 'dunstan' citrumelo that fruited this year for the 1st time and the juice from these fruits is wonderful used in place of lemon in pies, over salmon etc. It is fully cold hardy in zone 7 at least in the south.


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Try Kat (pronounced kot) mandarins. You may need to learn to graft or plant seedlings. I had one in Houston in March 2002 when we had a Canadian front which turned an early spring into winter. My Kino Kuni Kat was in 1/3 bloom. It dropped from the 80's to 20.5 deg F. I threw a sheet over the tree but the wind blew it off. The tree never even flinched. It kept blooming and loaded up with fruit.

These are the most under utilized of all cold hardy citrus. The others you may try besides Satsuma are, Keraji, a small lemony flavored mandarin, and Changsha mandarin.

There are other less flavorful varieties. But these will work.


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RE: cold hardy citrus

crispy:

The late botanist, Stu Nagle PhD, studied citrus in the Texas freezes of '83 and '89 and concluded mainstream citrus; oranges, mandarins, and grapefruit and their hybrids, can be cold hardy down to about 23 deg F at which point they die at the rate of 1/4 inch of wood diameter per hour. This assumes the trees are "hardened off", that is, not growing.

Citrus Industry Magazine published an article about ten years ago, defining "hardened off" as 500 degree-hours below 50 degrees.

He further explained the what he termed as "over night short term" hardiness that is seen in a few of these varieties. Those include, Satsumas, Keraji, Bloomsweet GF, Kot & Changsha mandarins. I believe Yuzu and Ichang papeda & their hybrids were on his list too. I lost his booklet in Hurricane Ike five years ago.

Fortunella species, the kumquats, are a lot better and can be unharmed down another ten degrees or more.

Clemintine xYuzu 3-3 hybrid is the so called "ten degree tangerine". I may still have a seedling of it but I am not sure. Damn racoons keep pulling off my aluminum tags
or just chewing them till can't read them. It is not that great but is a nice looking tree.

Of all these, the Chagsha is sweetest. but they don't hold sweetness very long.


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