Choosing Citrus Trees For Home Garden
Question from Roberta:
What’s the best variety of a Clementine citrus tree or an easy peel orange? (I live in Zone 22.)
Also, will the fruit be good if I get a lemon tree with a lime grafted on the same tree? Someone said they have a lemon grafted on an orange tree and when they eat one they taste both of them.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Answer from Pat:
‘Clementine’ is a good choice for a home-grown mandarin orange in Zone 23 and has easy-to-peel skin. The benefit of this variety is it bears good fruit in cooler regions and can be picked over a longer season. In Zone 23 you have more heat and sun than close to the coast so you might also grow ‘Owari’ satsuma, often considered tops among mandarin oranges, but once the fruit ripens you need to pick it. It does not hold well on the tree nor keep long once picked unless refrigerated. ‘Pixie’ is said to be particularly delicious and juicy but again the harvest is shorter. With Clementine you can leave the fruit on the tree for months and it will still be good.
Regarding having a lime and a lemon on one tree I would say this is fine and the flavor should not be affected, but the question is would one have enough fruit? Also, can you get the best home varieties grafted onto one tree? Perhaps not. If space is a problem, I would suggest instead of buying two varieties on one tree to purchase a dwarf ‘Bearss’ lime and a dwarf ‘Improved Meyer’ lemon and plant both trees in the same hole. Prune off some branches so the two trees fit together and over time they may graft themselves together into one tree. This should provide a much larger harvest. Planting two trees in the same hole has been done for some years now as a space-saver in smaller gardens. It’s fine as long as you have two deciduous trees or two citrus trees in the same hole together.