How to Grow a Pink Grapefruit Tree


According to Texas AgriLife Extension Service, grapefruits developed as a mutation of the pummelo and made their way to the United States in 1823. Originally white-fleshed and full of seeds, grapefruit today comes in pink seedless varieties. Grapefruit needs a tropical or subtropical climate to grow properly and is slightly less cold-tolerant than oranges. Commonly found pink grapefruit varieties include Ruby Red, Henderson, Rio Red, Foster and Star Ruby.

Step 1

Select a site on the south or southeast side of your home to maximize both sunlight and cold protection. Choose a location that offers full sun and is located at least 12 feet from any walkways or buildings. Unlike other fruits, the grapefruit is relatively unfussy about soil. It can tolerate acidic or alkaline soils, though it does need a well-draining soil.

Step 2

Purchase a pink grapefruit sapling, choosing one of the recommended varieties or another pink grapefruit variety. Your sapling will either come in a soil-less medium or in a container with dirt. The former type requires extra care before planting.

Step 3

Dig a hole for your grapefruit tree that is twice the size of the sapling's root ball.

Step 4

Remove a container-planted grapefruit from its container. Undo the burlap that's attached to the tree and place the young tree in the hole. For a grapefruit potted in soil-less medium, remove the tree from the container and rinse away the potting medium from the tree's roots using a hose. Then place the tree in the hole.

Step 5

Check to see that your pink grapefruit tree is planted at the same level as it was buried in its container. Then fill in the hole with soil halfway. Water the hole until the soil settles around the roots. Then fill in the rest of the hole with soil and water again until the ground is saturated.

Step 6

Water the grapefruit tree daily for the first two weeks. After that, increase the time between watering to seven to 10 days, over the period of two months. First water every other day for a couple of weeks, then leave two days in between and work up from there.

Step 7

Apply a fertilizer four times a year during the grapefruit tree's first year, using one-quarter cup each time. To properly apply the compound, scatter the fertilizer on the ground in a ring around the tree, then water.

Step 8

Wrap your grapefruit tree in a blanket or tarp for winter protection when temperatures fall below freezing. According to Texas A & M, grapefruit can tolerate temperatures around 20 to 30 F for a few hours. You can also string Christmas lights on the tree and turn them on in cold times for added warmth.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid mulching around your grapefruit tree as trees may develop root rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Grapefruit sapling
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Tarp
  • Christmas lights (optional)


  • Purdue University: Grapefruit
  • Texas AgriLife Extension Service: Home Fruit Production - Grapefruit
  • National Gardening Association: Citrus
Keywords: plant grapefruit, pink grapefruit tree, grow pink grapefruit

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.