How to Grow Red Grapefruit Trees


Red grapefruit tastes sweeter and has darker flesh than its pink counterpart. The fruit, commonly dubbed "Ruby Red," is very popular because it is seedless and delicious. Red grapefruit trees can with cope with drought but must be planted in hot climates to survive. Once they are in the ground, the trees are low maintenance. Another benefit to growing red grapefruit trees is that they produce fruit when young. The wait is short for a crop.

Step 1

Plant red grapefruit trees in the full sun or near a south-facing wall where they can absorb the warmth of the wall.

Step 2

Plant the tree in a location that has well-draining soil. Test the soil by digging a 4-foot deep hole. Fill it with water and let it drain. Pick a different planting spot if the draining is not complete in 24 to 36 hours.

Step 3

Cut diseased or broken branches off of the new red grapefruit tree. Make the cuts where the unwanted wood touches healthy branches. Cut off small shoots growing beneath the graft

Step 4

Dig a hole that is 1-1/2 times as wide and as deep as the red grapefruit tree's root ball.

Step 5

Center the tree in the hole and backfill it half way with soil. Add water to eliminate air pockets. Shovel more in until the hole is filled 1 inch above the roots.

Step 6

Water red grapefruit trees two to three times the first week then decrease watering to one to two times per week. Lay a hose at the base of the fruit tree and let it run slowly until the roots are saturated.

Step 7

Water the red grapefruit tree when the soil feels dry to the touch 1 inch down. Water more often if the climate is dry, using the touch test to determine if the soil is dry.

Step 8

Pull up all grass and weeds around the grapefruit tree trunk to ensure the best growth. Widen the grass-free zone as the tree grows to just past the tree's canopy.

Step 9

Apply fertilizer every four to six weeks between February and August. Follow manufacturer's instructions for dosage. Water after fertilizing to encourage the food to reach the roots. Make sure the soil is saturated.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not plant grapefruits near underground utility lines. Avoid buying grapefruit trees that have raised bumps or white spots, which point to scale insects.

Things You'll Need

  • Grapefruit tree
  • Pruning shears
  • Shovel
  • Fertilizer
  • Hose
  • Water


  • Pick Texas Citrus: Caring for Citrus Trees
  • Texas A&M: Home Fruit Production: Citrus
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Keywords: grow grapefruit tree, grow red grapefruit, red grapefruit

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.