All Things Cold Hardy Citrus, news, thoughts and evaluations


I have 15 Ichang seedlings growing in a pot and about 6 inches tall. Thank you for the seed K.

The Birmingham seed are just now germinating with half a dozen seedlings showing. I expect quite a few more to pop up over the next few days. I’m still debating whether to plant them in ground and see how they handle the local climate.


Hi, All,
I need all your help and experiences - I am in Zone 7A northern VA and I plan to try a hardy citrus in ground. I know zone pushing is risky, but I still want to give it a try even if it may fail. Has any one actually grow a hardy citrus in Zone 7A? Regardless success or failure, I really would like to hear your experiences and thoughts.

I reached out to Stan from McKenzie Farm. He told me that Owari Satsuma would be the best bet. Will require winter protection of course and a lot of luck. It may still fail and I know that. I just want to try before giving up.
Below is the list of varieties.

The rootstock is trifoliate and it can grow here in ground without any problem. I see trifoliate trees around in this area.


You didn’t actualy read the thread and all of the warning to not attempt this.

All I have to say to that is Do it. Do it.

I am going to try Citrumelo in DC.


I have not put them in the ground yet since they are just barely sprouted seedlings, but Iordered seeds from Stan. I have Yuzu, Ichang lemon, Dunstan, Swingle, and Tennessee citrumelo, US 852 Citrandarin, and trifoliate orange, including the Flying Dragon variety. I do not have any satsumas unfortunately, but I’ll probably order some seed once Stan says it’s available. I am in the same zone as you.

I think the trifoliate rootstock will be fine, but you might have problems with the satsuma part. It will probably still need winter protection.

I have read a lot from other people about the inedibility of citrumelos and Ichang lemon, although some people have contested that they enjoy the flavor of Ichang. I think for me, it’s not so much about having immediate satisfaction in cold hardy citrus. I want to keep selecting for cold hardiness, improved flavor, and less acrid flavor and resin until there’s a variety that’s cold hardy and delicious. After all, the watermelon ancestor was a gross tasting melon, but nowadays we have so many luscious varieties available.


Glad to see someone in DC too.:blush:
Citrumelo should work. I hope at least.

I did read all the messages above, but I did not see anyone in zone 7A trying Owari Satsuma or other cultivars of Satsuma. In theory if Satsuma won’t survive in DC if it can’t survive in Raleigh NC. But has anyone actually tried it and protect it in DC area? Is it possible to protect it during colder days in winter (or totally impossible unless in a greenhouse)?


Maybe you can add a Owari Satsuma as well? Just to compare the experiences against mine in NoVA Zone 7?
I think we should start from something marginal and very edible first. And going down from there if it fails. At least we know for sure if it works or not.

This is someone in Zone 8A Southeast VA. Maybe a member here too. His experiences (and comments) are very helpful too.


I’m hoping to add an owari satsuma as soon as I can. Then we can definitely compare. (:

Thanks for sharing the video!


A very cold hardy citrus that is sweet


I dont think most people would regard Yuzu as sweet.


Yeah, doesn’t sound very “sweet”
According to Wiki;
Culinary use


Though rarely eaten as a fruit, yuzu is a common ingredient in [Japanese cuisine]where the aromatic zest) (outer rind) as well as juice are used much in the same way that [lemons]are used in other cuisines. The yuzu’s flavour is tart and fragrant, closely resembling that of the grapefruit, with overtones of [mandarin orange]


“A sweet variety of yuzu known as the yuko , only present in Japan, became severely endangered during the 1970s and 1980s; a major attempt has been made to revive this varietal in southern Japan”

Not sure how sweet that variety is, yet it’s claimed that it’s sweet.


I never tried Yuzu here in US. By guessing its pronunciation, I think it meant Youzi 柚子 in China, but I am not 100% sure. If Yuzu means Youzi, I am more confused. Because Youzi is a popular cultivar in southeast China. Not famous for its cold hardiness. Youzi usually has very thick skin and tastes sweet & tart, similar to grapefruits, but with a better balance. Youzi is also big. See the photos below.
I hope someone knowledgeable can clarify if they are the same variety. But either way, as far as I know, Satsuma is the most cold hardy SWEET citrus fruit. Anything more cold tolerant is not considered as SWEET accepted by the general public.

PS: I heard you could get various citrus fruits from Mckenzie Farms. It may be a fun thing to do.

46s10002668965505n84 Youzi Yuzu


I have 27 seedlings from the tree in Birmingham. I don’t expect them to be much different from the parent, i.e. resin, poor flavor, thorns, etc. I have some nice Ichang seedlings. I’ve been debating growing them in pots for a few months then setting some of them outside for the winter. I will cover them up to keep them alive the first year or two.


That clearly looks like a cultivar or hybrid of Pomelo ie Citrus Maxima.

Yuzu is a hybrid of Citrus Papeda and Citrus Reticulata (mandarin)

Papeda are known for there bifoliate leaves and are second only to Trifoliate for cold hardyness.

Introgression of Papeda gene gave rise to common limes today.


Despite being pretty much out of space, I’m adding to my citrus collection again. I just ordered a Pink Frost grapefruit which is supposed to be quite similar to Ruby Red but cold hardy to below 16F. I’m also getting Grand Frost Lemon which is basically a seedless Ichang lemon. And finally I’m getting an Ambrosia Lemon which is supposedly very similar to Meyer Lemon but a little more cold tolerant.



I was reading that cold hardy citrus, needs warmer winters than they can handle at their coldest, in order to have decent fruit. So lets say that a fruit from a potted very sweet navel orange variety were to fall to the ground here, and the seeds made their way in to the ground that one seedling proved to handle even the 3 degree freezes here in the ground due to some DNA mutation. That tree would produce very sour oranges like lemons, and the peel would be thicker than if it grew in San Diego, in San Diego that same exact tree would produce very sweet lemons, so it’s not just that some of the fruit being used in a hybrid has bad fruit traits being passed on, the cold winters make the fruit even worst.


That’s true if it stays cold on the tree the whole time while the fruit is trying to ripen. That’s not how winter, especially early winter typically works here in 8b / 9a SE Georgia. Here we get quite a few 70F days peppered all through winter. If your winters tend to be pretty warm with the occasional cold snap that dips down to just above 26 F where fruit gets damaged anyway, the cold snaps will actually cause the fruit to become sweeter. Sugar acts as an antifreeze, and citrus trees are stimulated to protect the fruit from freezing by pumping them full of sugar after a slight nip of frost.

Most commercial growers here in Georgia (there are some) mostly grow satsumas because they typically ripen before there is a really serious likelihood of temps going below 26F. Grapefruit, including the cold hardy ones, tend to ripen later and tend to need to sit on the tree for a while after they turn color to really sweeten up. Some years winter will force an early harvest resulting in sour fruit. It’ is what it is. Thanks.


Satsumas aka tangerines would be neat to grow in the ground, yet here is too cold for even that. I am fine with in pots, except that we can grow only so many plants in pots.


I don’t think I can pull off pots. I’m tempted to try with limes, but I know myself well enough to realizes that I will eventually space bringing the pots in.

But back to the difference at a nip of frost makes on citrus. It makes a huge difference on my lemon frost lemon. Before that first frost, lemon frost is as sour as any other lemon. But if you get a frost followed by a couple of warm days, the fruit tastes like a sweetened lemonade. It’ is absolutely the best tasting citrus I have ever put in my mouth after it’s the lemons have gone through a little frost of two.


Mind you, I have a high tolerance of sour. LOL! I’m the only one in my family who prefers to just peal a grapefruit and eat the wedges. Everyone else goes to the trouble of cutting it in half and putting sugar on it. My thought is that most grapefruits absolutely do not need to be any sweeter than they naturally are. I just ate a Ruby Red from the grocery store. If my sister watch me eat it, she would make a sour face. But to me, it was as sweet as candy.