With glossy evergreen leaves, fragrant spring flowers, and bountiful yields of delicious, vitamin-rich fruit, a citrus tree (Citrus spp. and cvs., Zones 9–11) can be a high-value, highly attractive addition to the Northern California gardener’s edible landscape. As with any other fruit tree, there are tips and tricks you can learn to achieve optimal citrus success. However, choosing varieties best suited to your own particular microclimate and being prepared for possible challenges will go a long way toward achieving the desired flavor-filled results and abundant harvests! There is a citrus tree variety for every NorCal microclimate or garden size—some can even be grown indoors. I absolutely love my Nagami kumquats (Fortunella margarita ‘Nagami’, Zones 9–10), Meyer lemons (Citrus × meyeri and cvs., Zones 9–11), and Washington navel oranges (Citrus sinensis and cvs., Zones 9–10), but the three selections below are the shining stars in my citrus orchard.
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