Plant Citrus with Cachet

May is ideal for adding to the citrus trees already perfuming your garden. If you already have lemon and orange trees, branch out with some exotics. Here are some to consider:

Blood orange (Citrus sinensis) - Fruit has red-blushed rind and ruby flesh with hints of raspberry flavor. Color is deepest in warm, dry areas. Available grafted on dwarf and standard root stock. Look for 'Moro,' 'Tarocco' and 'Sanguinelli.'


'Improved Meyer' Lemon (Citrus limon 'Meyer Improved') - Cooks like these juicy fruits that are thinner skinned and less acidic than 'Eureka' lemons. Often bears year-round. Grows to 12 feet tall on own root stock; 6 feet tall grafted on dwarf root stock.


Pummelo (Citrus maxima) - Fruit is like an oversized grapefruit in a puffy coat. Pink flesh is tangy. Needs less heat to fruit than grapefruit. Seedless 'Chandler' is a favorite. Grows to 15 feet tall on dwarf  rootstock.


Satsuma Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata subsp. unshiu)  - Why settle for canned mandarins when you can pick them off your own tree?  These trees bear sweet, usually seedless fruit starting in late fall. 'Owari' is readily available. Grows to 6 feet tall on dwarf rootstock.


Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix) - The distinctive hourglass-shaped leaves and lumpy rind of kaffir or kieffer limes add unmistakable flavor to Asian dishes. Grows well in containers on dwarf rootstock. Likes some humidity.


Buddha's Hand Citron (Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis) - A symbol of good fortune, these many “fingered” fruits are a cook's delight. Dry the fragrant rind for baking, grate it into salads, or add peel to flavor alcohol. Shrubby to 6 feet tall, it's an ideal container plant.


Plant these trees in the ground or containers now before summer's heat. Sprinkle granular fertilizer lightly on top of the soil and water well after planting. Keep soil moist but not wet during the first year as plants become established. For more citrus growing tips, click here to download a growing guide.


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