By Jason Tromblay. August 26, 2010.
While most people tend to think of citrus fruits as those coming from warm climates such as you find in Florida, there are a few varieties that can withstand temperatures as low as 14° Fahrenheit for short periods and still produce quality citrus fruit. However, the best cultivation occurs when the temperature does not go below about 28°. In fact, there is only one citrus fruit that is hardy enough to withstand the colder temperatures: Mandarin oranges. Even tangerines, tangors and yuzu can be grown outside in sub-degree temperatures, but the quality of the fruit will suffer when the temperatures are too cold.
The key to quality citrus fruit lies not only in the cultivation but also in the temperature. While it is possible for some citrus fruit trees to survive colder temperatures, they thrive best when the temperatures are consistently above freezing—or not much below the freezing point. Citrus fruits need sunshine and warm weather in order to provide the highest quality fruit. Attempting to undermine this requirement will destine the citrus fruit grower to a crop that is inferior to expectations and will thus affect the ability to sell the cultivated citrus fruit to an individual buyer, wholesaler or retailer.
If you live in an area that is not warm enough to produce quality citrus fruit, there are a number of dwarf citrus fruit trees in which you can invest. You can grow these smaller varieties indoors and cultivate them the same way as you cultivate the larger varieties you grow outdoors. In fact, in some regions these dwarf trees are used as decorations in the gardens rather than just as sources for citrus fruit. It is essential to maintain a consistent temperature, plenty of sunlight and moisture in order for your trees to produce citrus fruit.
If you are thinking of growing citrus fruit, you make to make sure you have the climate to grow trees outdoors. If you live in a region that is prone to cold weather you may have better luck growing citrus fruit with one of the dwarf varieties. The important thing to remember is to make certain you keep your trees in a consistent climate where it is not too cold and where they have plenty of sunshine. If you are in doubt about your skill as an arborist, speak to a professional before you begin attempting to grow citrus fruit.