Citrus Trees in Florida

Florida's subtropical climates and sandy loams are ideal for citrus growth. With four distinct growing zones, the success of each type of citrus is dependent upon being grown in the right location. The growing zones of Florida include the north, central, south and tropical zones. These zones have different soils, climates and frost levels, all of which effect the citrus tree's growth. To ensure success, gardeners should always select a citrus with a cold hardiness that can withstand the location's climate variations. The wide variety of citrus variations provide every Floridian gardener with an opportunity to grow quality citrus.

Kumquat

The kumquat is a hardy citrus tree that thrives easily in the cooler climates of the northern Florida growing zone. This low-growing shrub originates from China. The tree produces long, dark-green foliage with white blooms and a sweet fragrance. The tree produces small, oblong kumquats with a golden yellow to orange color. The inner fruit and outer layer are edible, providing a sweet, spicy combination. The kumquat tree thrives best in hot, humid summers and mild winters.

Lemon

The lemon is an acid citrus that thrives well in the central Florida growing zone. This tree can grow up to 20 feet tall with an equivalent spread. It produces oblong, dark-green foliage with light-green undersides and fragrant blooms. The fruit of the lemon tree is oval with yellow skin and aromatic oil glands. Most lemons are seeded, however, some are seedless. Lemon trees prefer warm, humid climates with few temperature variations. The tree is intolerant to cold weather and will begin to defoliate when temperatures drop below 25 degrees F.

Orange

The orange tree grows up to 50 feet high with an equivalent, round crown spread. This vigorous evergreen produces ovate foliage with clustered, fragrant blooms. Its fruit is oval with a yellow to orange rind and orange-colored pulp. The orange has hundreds of variations, but the valencia, hamlin and pineapple variations are most common to Florida. This tree thrives in sandy loams, which are common to Florida. It can tolerate mild winter temperatures, but the average dormancy temperature should drop no lower than 35 degrees F for best growth. Though the orange tree can be found throughout the state, it thrives best throughout the southern Florida growing zone.

Grapefruit

The grapefruit is a hybrid citrus that derives from a combination of pummel and orange. This citrus fruit thrives well in most parts of Florida but especially in Florida's tropical growing zone. Grapefruit trees can reach heights of 20 feet with an equivalent spread. Like the orange tree, the grapefruit's evergreen foliage develops into a rich-green color with a lighter-colored underside. Its more sour taste is identified with its supple thorns and teeth-tipped foliage. The tree develops white blooms and large yellow to pinkish fruit with deep pulps.

Keywords: Florida citrus trees, Florida growing zones, kumquat

About this Author

Charmayne Smith is a business professional. She has worked in management for successful organizations since 1994, and her writing career began with her business career. Her business has successfully assisted many clients with start-ups, development, and expansions. She has a bachelor's degree in business and has published with Identity Theft Chat, Garden Guides, eHow, Travels, Associated Content and others.