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Citrus in Sacramento

Citrus: Winter Sunshine for Sacramento

Winter’s here, which means saying goodbye to the sunshine for a while, but that’s no reason to feel sad! Citrus is in its prime now, and anyone who has grown their own citrus can tell you that first, sweet or tart bite is the closest thing you’ll find to sunshine in the winter time.

Let’s Start with Citrus Basics

Semi-Dwarf vs. Standard

We primarily stock semi-dwarf citrus because they’re easier to maintain at 8-12′ tall than standard varieties. The quality and size of the fruit is exactly the same, the difference is the trees have been grafted onto dwarfing rootstock, preventing them from reaching the standard size of 30′. Always wanted to grow citrus in containers? Semi-dwarf varieties are the way to go!

Did you know that citrus is one of the few fruits that produces nearly year ’round? Depending on the variety, you can harvest anytime and there are plenty of varieties to choose from!

Here are some of our favorites*

Sweet Orange

Cara Cara Pink Navel
Usual Fruit Season: Fall/Winter
This early-ripening navel orange has unusual pink-tinged flesh and a rich, sweet flavor.

Washington Navel
Usual Fruit Season: Winter
California’s famous winter-ripening orange. Sweet, seedless fruit ripens ten months from its bloom time in Spring.


Improved Meyer
Usual Fruit Season: Fall/Spring
This hybrid is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin, improved by Four Winds Growers in the 1950’s. The result is a slightly sweet, fragrant, thin-skinned fruit which is favored among gourmet chefs.

Usual Fruit Season: Fall/Spring
A traditional tart lemon that bears large fruit with thick skin and a bright, piquant flavor. Once established, it can produce fruit year ’round.


Usual Fruit Season: Winter
Also known as Algerian Mandarin, Clementines are a sweet, slightly tart, seedless variety. They were discovered by French missionary Marie-Clément Rodier in North Africa over 100 years ago.

Fun Fact: Cuties® Mandarins found in supermarkets come from two varieties: W. Murcott (late winter-early spring) and Clementines (fall-winter).

Owari Satsuma
Usual Fruit Season: Dec/Jan
One of the hardiest varieties, Satsumas are coveted for their juicy, sweet, seedless fruit in an easy-to-peel package. This variety is popular for canning, the fruit has a rich, intense flavor.

Clementine, Mandarin, Tangerine…What’s the Difference? Clementines and Tangerines are varieties of Mandarins, and the names are often used interchangeably. Clementines are very sweet, seedless and easy-to-peel. Tangerines are slightly more tart, and usually have seeds.


Bearss Seedless
Usual Fruit Season: Fall
True lime with classic tart flavor, green rind and flesh. Produces larger fruit than Mexican lime, nearly year ’round.

Usual Fruit Season: Fall
Small rounded fruit has a complex tropical flavor, which adds exciting tang to drinks and desserts. This variety is especially tender, be sure to protect from frost.

If you are lucky enough to already have one of these delicious fruit trees in your yard, be sure to protect them from frost in the chilly months ahead! Learn more below…

*Selection varies throughout the season, call one of our five locations for current availability.

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