Citrus – Low Maintenance Eye Catchers
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Citrus are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the taste. This family of sub-tropical evergreens with lush glossy leaves and fragrant white flowers are perfectly suited to the West’s warm days and cool nights, requiring very little maintenance. They can be planted in groves or individually, in pots, as hedges or along walkways. Standard citrus reach 15-20 feet in height and are as wide as they are tall. At about half the size, dwarf varieties still produce the same full-size fruit in a much more manageable size. These edible ornamentals can be grown indoors, outdoors, in containers or in the ground. Citrus in shrub form offers a new artistic potential to showcase the fruit using the espalier technique or pruned into hedges. Unlike most other fruit trees, citrus don’t require regular pruning although hand pruning opens up the trees to allow more sunlight into the center.
'Washington Navel Orange'
– Brighten your winter with oranges that ripen from December to February. This vigorous tree grows best in warmer climates.
– Preferring warm environments given it has some protection, these oranges mature in summer and store on the tree for months. Plant with ‘Washington Navel’ for year-round fresh fruit.
'Moro Blood Orange'
– This unique orange has a red skin and blood-red flesh. The blood-colored juice has an exotic berry flavor. This tree is very productive and matures early. Requires cool temperatures to turn its deepest red.
– The number one market lemon, the Eureka matures slowly to produce some of the best lemons. A somewhat open growth yields fruit that are perfect for aesthetic purposes as well as excellent juice.
'Meyer Lemon' (Improved Meyer)
– The year-round fruit is rounder than commercial lemons, with a thin skin that is more orange in color and an abundance of flavorful juice that is less acidic.
– This hybrid of a grapefruit and pummelo looks like a normal grapefruit but its white-fleshed fruit is much sweeter and requires less heat. Produces from November to February in hotter areas and sweetens up along the coast from March to April.
– Prized for its beauty in pots and hedges, the oval-shaped fruit is lush and compact. Another draw to this productive cultivar is its self-fertile nature and low maintenance.