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Southwest Regional Reports

Citrus in the Desert | Southwest Regional Report

Orange tree. Photo courtesy of Hans Braxmeier via Pixabay

Growing citrus in the desert can be a challenge for some of us, but by choosing the right variety for your area, you too can have a bountiful citrus harvest!

With its cool evenings and warm days, the desert can be an ideal home for citrus. In fact, Arizona is one of four states in the United States that can commercially grow citrus, along with California, Florida, and Texas.

The hardiest citrus to grow in the Southwest are kumquats (Citrus japonica), mandarins (Citrus reticulata), and grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi), followed by oranges (Citrus × sinensis), lemons (Citrus limon), and limes (Citrus × latifolia). All are hardy in Zones 9–11. Since we are suckers for anything that can be popped into a cocktail, let’s focus on grapefruit, lemons, and limes.

Grapefruit tree. Photo courtesy of Kat Mau via Pixabay.

Grapefruit are cold hardy, whereas lemons and limes can be more frost tender, so it’s…

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