Can fruit be grown in the Pacific Northwest?

BTW, Bob Duncan lives on Vancouver island. So the ocean moderates the climate extremes. If you live on the mainland, you are probably at least half a climate zone cooler. So his Southern exposure plants will need a greenhouse and/or protection from you. The Sudachi or Yuzu that he grows in the open will definitely need a southern heat barrier for anyone not on the Island proper.

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I grew up in Southern California literally surrounded by citrus orchards. So I have a fairly well developed palate when it comes to citrus. Of the hardy varieties I like both the yuzu very much. I think they are good, and not in the inferior category like most hardy citrus. The rest are really just for the blooms, because I’m not a fan of the fruit. I also grow a lime and meyer lemon outside. I have the same set up as Bob Duncan and they do great in the central Willamette Valley. Granted I have a 20 foot south facing wall and my garden area is fully enclosed by a large cedar fence. It is definitely a heat island that trends about 3-7 degrees warmer than the downtown reading about 2 miles away. I’m also on a hill so the cold air drains away towards the valley floor on those cold mornings. I also have a greenhouse that I keep heated to about 40-45 degrees and keep lots of tender citrus and cactus in there. My yuzu don’t have any problem outside, and are planted in the ground right next to the meyer lemon and lime. I don’t wrap them at all the way I do for the meyer lemon and lime and they do fine. They are directly against the wall with a poly overhang. It hasn’t dropped below 18 here in a long time, but when it does I have always planned to wrap them. I don’t understand why your wife would want you to buy citrus if you are growing an yuzu and meyer lemon. In my experience those are more than adequate for all culinary purposes. The lemons in the store are fine but very expensive and I don’t think superior to what you are growing. I don’t think growing an yuzu in the PNW is really that difficult. Of course the caveat is that you must have a good location. Having grow up in Southern California I am well aware this isn’t prime citrus growing area, but it is certainly possible with a little bit of effort. I think that’s good for people. Helps them connect to the earth and better understand the climate. If the Texas guy meant to say you can’t grow the sexy varieties he wouldn’t get an argument from me. That’s not what he wrote. He was very adamant with his language and was not correct. Even if you grow citrus in pots and move them in and out of your house this climate is still mild enough to keep them outside most days even in the winter. Before I had the greenhouse I would move my citrus in and out every day with great success. It really doesn’t matter to me either way if someone isn’t interested in growing the few citrus varieties that are possible here. Obviously that’s fine. I just object to absolute statements that aren’t correct. The answer you provided in this most recent message is much better than what he wrote. Though I am 50 miles from the coast and manage successful citrus without a greenhouse.


We grow both types of yuzu in 8b in Pacific Northwest. It requires a well draining raised bed against a south facing wall. Very hardy and good fruit production.

The meyer lemon isn’t that hard either. Though I have to wrap those on the coldest nights. And I have a poly cover over head. Not a single one of my citrus have died outside here in western Oregon.

I never asked you where you are located and what’s your zone? I’m an 8b in central
Willamette Valley.

This thread convinced me to get a couple yuzu at the grocery store to germinate the seeds. Two small fruit had a lot of seeds!

I also had a delicious noodle soup from a local restaurant that used yuzu for the broth, the flavor was strong but very good, so I’m guessing there are lots of ways to use this fruit culinarily.

Now how many years will it be to fruit from seed… :sweat_smile:

There were quite a few interesting choices in the citrus display:


I am in 7b/8a, Metro Atlanta area. I guess some parts are even 8b now with the heat island…
So similar cold range to the Pac NW, but it gets a lot hotter in the summertime.

The yuzu is very high quality and hardy to 0F. I grow both types, sudachi and ichandrin, in the Willamette Valley near Corvallis. You need two things to get fruit from yuzu up here, exceptional drainage and a south facing wall with a polycarbonate cover. A south facing wooden fence would be perfect. The raised bed and the cover are very important because the roots will rot in all the winter rain. You won’t have to wrap them unless temps are going to fall below 20, which is very rare in regions west of the cascades. You can also grow meyer lemon and lime the same way, with the difference being you’ll need to wrap them when it falls below freezing and also run Christmas lights through the branches. I do all kinds of citrus, but really the yuzu is the only variety that is forgiving of our cold wet winter. Though the yuzu ripen early so you will get a yield before the cold sets in during the fall. Your yield will also benefit from being in the warmer inland valleys. Right near the water may be milder in winter but it won’t have enough spring and summer heat to set good fruit. Bottom line is this: growing citrus is possible in areas west of the cascades, but only a few of the hardiest varieties and only wi the some accommodations. However, yuzu is a very good citrus, with sudachi eating like a tart tangerine and ichandrin like a high quality lemon. In fact, yuzu juice is highly prized in Japan and China and costs $20 per pint. Here is a great resource if you are interested in growing citrus in the PNW:

You’ll be waiting many years. For about $15 you can get a yuzu tree that’s ready to yield fruit within a year. The sudachi is the more traditionally desired yuzu with far less seeds and sweetness when it get ripe in fall. If you are in a milder climate this info will be good for you:

The southern zone 8’s are infinitely better growing zones than the 8’s of the PNW. Much longer warmth starting earlier. Which is easy to understand since Atlanta is at 33 degrees N, about the same as Los Angeles. I’m at 45 degrees N, so while very mild for the latitude, the growing season is slow to get started here. On the flip side a place like Atlanta gets colder Arctic snaps than places like Portland. Atlanta often drops into the single digits almost every year whereas it just doesn’t like to fall below 20 here in this region of the PNW. Which is why you can have reliable yuzu fruit with a well draining raised bed against a south facing wall. On average once a decade it will drop into the low teens at which point the yuzu would experience some leave loss. But it will rebound in the spring. Though if I hear the forecast is calling for temps below 20 I’ll just go ahead and wrap it. I grew up in an agricultural zone of Southern California and every winter we had two or three weather systems that required smudge pots and fans. Anytime you grow citrus in the mid latitudes you might have to battle the cold. Other than yuzu I keep all the rest of my citrus in a greenhouse at night from November until March. Luckily it is mild enough that the tender citrus is outside during the day almost all winter. There are only a handful of days where the temps don’t climb to near 50, so they get lots of outside time year round. I’d imagine you could grow citrus outside in Atlanta most of the winter too.

swincher: $10 mandarinquats. Ouch. If I could find some $5 quats, I would buy.

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They are small enough that I bet it takes quite a few to make a pound, but I didn’t like them much when I tried them last year. Very sour, and the skin isn’t as sweet as a good kumquat.

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I don’t mind waiting for seedlings, but if you have suggestions (or better yet scions) of specific trees that do well here, I’d be happy to use these as rootstock instead of waiting.

I’m in Seattle, about a mile from Puget Sound and on a lot with good soil drainage (clay-rich glacial sands), but poor cold-air drainage (whole neighborhood is surrounded by hills or ridges on all sides). I don’t really intend to grow citrus outside my greenhouse other than maybe as a novelty, I have given my best warm spots to hardy avocados (and a feijoa) instead.

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Hardiest good eating citrus is the yuzu, both the sudachi and ichandrin varieties. They can be reliably grown in zone 8 with very little accommodation. Drainage is the biggest concern in wet regions. So if you have excellent drainage you are in good shape. You really can grow yuzu outside in Seattle. I’m in the central Willamette Valley and get very good yields of sudachi and ichandrin. I also do
Meyer lemon, but wrap them during the cold snaps. I followed this guy’s instructions and have been successful.

I really love this guy in Virginia. His channel is really good for information about grafting and the best root stocks to use. He has many great videos for people growing citrus in cool regions:

I’m also curious about your hardy avocado. I’m originally from Southern California and would love to grow an avocado up here. I have a greenhouse if that helps. If you don’t mind giving me some info that would be great.


Here’s my thread on my avocado adventures. This winter proved to be a tough test, though, since I wasn’t here to protect anything during that 6-day cold snap with lows of 18°F followed by a few nights in the 20s and a final low of 15°F. I’m cautiously optimistic about the degree to which these small seedlings appear to have survived (which is to say, the fact they have survived at all).

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Thanks! I’ll check it out.

I lived in Sonoma County for 20 years in zone 9 about 30 miles from the coast. We grew a Mexican variety of avocado called a Mexicola. It’s a haas hybrid developed by Luther Burbank and handles temps in the high teens for many hours at a time. We had lots and lots of avocados. I’ve heard of them growing as far north as Curry County Oregon inland from Brookings. Which makes sense because they are a cool zone 9 with plenty of meyer lemon trees growing around that area.


“Virgina fruit grower” actually got me my start many years ago when we were on the old “citrusgrower”’ board, when it was that and gardenweb. And actually in Atlanta we haven’t had single digits since the last bad freeze back in 2014. It hasn’t dropped below 11 or 14 since.
All the hardy citrus I have has been unprotected since then (meyer excepted).

Yuzu/citrangequats/ sudachi is easily grown out here in the open after the tree is a few years old.

If you grow oranges, late satsumas, meyer lemon, you may need protection sometimes here, but I try to pick stuff that is hardier than that for the most part.
So short answer, some can be grown in the Southeast and Northwest as long as you don’t get too cold (below 10) and that you pick varieties that don’t need heat to ripen up.

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Where do I buy said $15 ready to fruit tree?

I meant 150. This ain’t San Diego! Haaha

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Okay, not quite as excited, but where do you get that $150 tree?

OGW used to list large specimens for pickup only, but not sure they’ve ever had them when I was looking.

I think it was on fast growing trees but can’t be completely certain. I’ve noticed that in recent years many trees are sold out when you go to buy them. I think the pandemic got more people into this hobby. I go down to Mendo and Sonoma county quite often. If you want I can see what they have at the nurseries I frequent. I’ve seen yuzu before at the places I go in Ukiah and Philo. I guarantee you it won’t cost 150. I could get it and bring it up for you.