One set of grandparents lived in Laredo; we picked grapefruit from the veranda. Neil Schmidt is the Education Coordinator and Information Specialist for the Natural Gardener as well as one of the staff horticulturist at the information desk. Oh I know they were. All were from Brazos who unless it says "dwarf"  means most likely Carrizo. In addition to local merchants, he shops in San Antonio and Houston, where warmer winters contribute to more citrus inventory. Any of the Satsuma varieties, with ‘Owari’ being one of the best. It is hardy to 20°F. Calamondin. That 4-foot tree produced a dozen tennis-ball-size fruits a season. One just has to choose carefully which oranges — and lemons and limes and grapefruits — to grow, backed by a little knowledge. I grew up playing around prodigious producers of citrus. “My collection has over 100 trees and 60 different varieties,” he says, which he over-winters in a plastic-covered Quonset house. Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers, Quote from: DFWCitrus on April 15, 2017, 10:54:33 PM, Quote from: vlan1 on April 16, 2017, 11:24:19 AM, Quote from: Isaac-1 on April 16, 2017, 11:29:35 PM. Young Satsumas and Kumquats are hardy citrus that can be planted in the ground, provided they face the south-east side of a building or brick wall and have some winter protection, such as blankets, burlaps, Christmas lights or pop up greenhouses. © The Austin Common. Austin is hill country and has better soil composition and drainage properties for citrus than North Texas. According to the experts, the hot summer days and cool autumn nights are what give citrus grown in North Texas such beautiful color (and sweet flavors). It is cold hardy down to (10 F.) degrees. Bob Wells Plant of the Week – Arctic Frost Satsuma. My Meiwa was left out unprotected this winter in the same cold snap that killed my two in ground citrus and it didn't even get leaf burn. We’ve all got time for that! Another set lived in Miami, which is why the scent of oranges immediately signals vacation memories. Catch up on North Texas' vibrant arts and culture community, delivered every Monday. Grapefruits, Kumquats, Mandarins, Oranges, Lemons and Limes OH MY! His own collection, however, is more wide-ranging. By signing up you agree to our privacy policy, Stand with us in our mission to discover and uncover the story of North Texas. Remember, the best gauge of whether the tree needs water is to check the soil. Glowing like little lanterns, they were as bright as the lemon yellow Crayola of my childhood. According to the experts, the hot summer days and cool autumn nights are what give citrus grown in North Texas such beautiful color (and sweet flavors). But surprisingly, back then citrus was not as popular, or was considered hard to grow. during hard freezes. Free Class from the Natural Gardener – Saturday, May 18th at 10 am – “Growing Citrus in Central Texas” with Neil Schmidt. Citrus limbs grow heavy enough with fruit to almost touch the ground, so avoid planting in areas that receive foot traffic. Key word - mature! When I asked my neighbor why she thought her lemon tree fruited so successfully, she said: “I love the smell of lemon blossoms so much that I stick my nose into every blossom, every day. You Can Grow Citrus in Texas! A mature Satsuma, especially Seto and possibly Arctic Frost, should survive fine with covering during rare extreme cold events. When planting a tree, choose a location that allows enough room for the tree to fully mature. As a group, satsumas were named Superstars in 1993; ‘Miho’ is the first variety to be promoted to the Superstar strata. "All discussion content within the forum reflects the views of individual participants only and do not necessarily represent the views held by the Tropical Fruit Forum as an organization. Austin is hill country and has better soil composition and drainage properties for citrus than North Texas. The aspiring gardener can grow pretty much any citrus tree variety in Austin, provided they’re willing to protect certain varieties from winter cold. I was really excited about all the possibilities that could be grown in Texas. For years, I’ve dreamed about growing citrus on my ... Texas so you can bet his recommendations will do well on an East Texas homestead. Hi I'm in Austin ( well Pflugerville but close enough ) and I grow Lemon Meyers and many people grow various citrus trees here. One reason it’s a standout is that while many satsumas require grafting onto a hardier rootstock to thrive in colder climes, ‘Miho’ does not. Even Stein has no answer why trees fruit more successfully for some gardeners than others. It was such a cherished member of her family that I felt honored to tend it during vacations and assist in moving it into her garage on winter’s harshest days. Rob Bauereisen of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden has maintained an extensive citrus collection for 25 years. At the public garden’s plant sales every spring and fall, Bauereisen sells out of satsuma mandarins, Improved Meyer lemons and Key limes, the most popular with beginners. It would be probably best to try the more cold hardy mainstream citrus like Kumquats, Satsumas, Meyer Lemons etc. The avg annual lowest temp in Austin over the last 30 years is 22F (Camp Mabry) closer to town. The trick to being successful is to plant in a sheltered location by a south wall, cover and protect whenever there is a CHANCE of a hard freeze even if the forecast is calling for a low of 28-29,  too often the actual low is 8-10 degrees below the forecast temperature, and all it takes is to skip the covering one time, particularly in the first few years and you can loose the tree. Look out the window most January and February days and it is clear we are far north of the freeze-free zones. But in North Texas, lemon, orange and mandarin trees feel like rare and treasured things. Commercial citrus operations are typically found in the Lower Rio Grande Valley where the threat of hard freezes is lessened. That said, the heady perfume of citrus blossoms is not exclusive to the citrus belt. This plant is grown more for its looks than for its fruit edibility. There are people on other boards that grow hardy Citrus in Dallas, so Austin can easily grow citrus. There are some members here growing citrus near to Austin. Copyright © 2020 The Dallas Morning News. Saturday, May 18th at 10 am – “Growing Citrus in Central Texas” with Neil Schmidt. The Internet's Finest Tropical Fruit Discussion Forum! Combine this with a cold hardy citrus like Satsumas for the best results, but even less cold hardy varieties can survive if you are willing to stay on top of the freeze protection, which may include having a standby generator in case of winter storm power outages. While lemons, limes and grapefruits do best in containers that can be moved easily into garages or greenhouses, mandarins prove themselves surprisingly cold-hardy once they are fully established, after about three years in the ground. However, I noticed that in 2011 they stayed below freezing for two straight days with high temps in the 20'sF and a low of 17F. Growers and mail-order companies outside of Texas may not ship citrus to the state. But luckily there are many varieties that can be grown effectively in pots which can be more easily moved and protected.There are even a few varieties that can be grown in the ground. Key word - mature! Below are varieties he recommends for beginners. ", Login with username, password and session length. Well time, new research and weather have changed all of that. “I do experiment with as many varieties as I can find. The popularity of citrus has increased as many homeowners are creating urban backyard orchards in Central Texas. The following is a list of varieties and their descriptions, including notes on cold hardiness. It is adaptable from zone 7 to zone 10. Cultures around the world have used many types of citrus in a wide variety of ways from food to medicine to insect repellant. A mature Satsuma, especially Seto and possibly Arctic Frost, should survive fine with covering during rare extreme cold events. His passion for all things biology and citrus in particular is infectious! Texas gardeners can successfully enjoy most types of citrus, including lemon, orange, grapefruit and clementine. All Rights Reserved. In fact, Texas is ranked 3 rd in US citrus production. I would slip over to smell its blossoms when I was out walking the dog and more often just before bedtime because the waxy white flowers smelled like sweet dreams.