Citrus that does not require extended periods of hot weather to develop sugars, including some lemons and oranges, thrives in the Mid-South. This region may be loosely defined as the area between Northwest Alabama to Northeast Arkansas to the south and the Memphis metropolitan area and West Tennessee to the north. This region encompasses U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zones 6b and 7.
The 'Changsha' mandarin is a small tree with fruit that resembles satsuma mandarins, but is not as sweet. Fruit has a mild taste, is juicy and has loose skin. The 'Changsha' cultivar is hardy to 5 degrees F and may be grown in zone 7, which includes Northeastern Alabama, Northern Mississippi and Northeastern Arkansas. Grow in containers to protect from cold weather in zone 6b. Fruit ripens in late fall or early winter. 'Changsha' trees can reach 15 feet tall and thrive in full sun. Keep soil moist, but not soggy.
All varieties of lemons have low heat requirements and will bear fruit in cool-summer, mild-winter regions, including zone 7. The 'Improved Meyer' cultivar is hardy to 10 degrees F and is a lemon-mandarin hybrid. Often used in cooking, the fruit is juicy and sweeter than most lemons. This cultivar can grow to 15 feet, but may be kept shorter. Other cultivars, including the more acidic 'Lisbon' may be grown in containers or in protected areas of zone 7. Trees thrive in full sun with moderate water.
'Yuzu' ichandrin is a natural mandarin hybrid grown in Japan and China that is hardy to 0 degrees F. This cultivar may be planted outdoors throughout the Mid-South, but plant in a protected spot in zone 6b. The fruit, which ripens in late fall into winter, resembles a tangerine in size and is yellow, mildly sweet and has large seeds. The 'Yuzu' ichandrin tree grows to about 18 feet and has dense foliage. Plant in full sun and keep soil moist.