The most important factor in selecting citrus varieties for your home garden is the year round climate conditions where you live. Most citrus varieties will suffer damage if the temperature drops below 29 degrees F.
Citrus trees do make a nice addition to home gardens with their shiny leaves and fragrant flowering blossoms. Their colorful fruits stand out against the green foliage of the tree and can add that finishing touch to a home garden. If you live in a cold climate area, growing citrus varieties in pots that can be brought inside in the winter is good alternative.
Selecting Citrus Varieties
Some citrus varieties are more susceptible to the cold than others, so be sure to know the average cold season temperatures in your local area. Citrus tree grow best in temperatures between 70 degrees F and 90 degrees F. Lemons and limes do not do well in colder temperatures less than 28 degrees F. Other citrus varieties, such as grapefruit, oranges, tangelos, mandarin oranges, kumquat, and pummelo, are a more cold hardy and can stand up to temperatures down to 20 degrees F.
If you are planting citrus varieties to harvest the fruit and not just for an aesthetically pleasing flowering tree, there are also varying heat requirements to ripen the fruit. Some have a high heat requirement to produce the sugar in the fruit that makes it sweet, such as grapefruits and navel, tangelo, blood and mandarin oranges. Lemon, lime, kumquat and pummelo all require less heat to ripen their fruit.
Citrus varieties are a great part of a home garden, and are beautiful decorative trees. Even those living in a cold climate can enjoy citrus plants when potted indoors.