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Is Tomato a Citrus Fruit?

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While there can be confusion about whether tomatoes are a fruit or a vegetable, they're definitely not a citrus fruit. Unlike citrus fruits that grow on perennial trees, tomatoes grow on much shorter vine plants. Though technically perennial plants, tomatoes are most often cultivated as annuals.


Citrus fruit trees include oranges, lemons, grapefruit and tangerines. All citrus fruits have inedible skins that you must peel away to get to the pulpy sections on the interior. Citrus fruits are also highly fragrant. Tomatoes, however, are part of the nightshade family, which includes the potato and the eggplant. Although many people think of tomatoes as vegetables, they are technically fruit, according to Cooking Louisiana.


Tomatoes grow best in regions with hot, sunny summers. Tomatoes do not tolerate frost and stop producing fruit when it gets cold. Subtropical citrus trees, on the other hand, need a warm climate year round to survive.

Time Frame

Tomatoes are relatively quick growers when compared to citrus fruits. While tomatoes will go from seed to fruit production in a matter of months, citrus trees can take a few years to establish themselves.

Properly Irrigate For Citrus Fruit Trees

Calculate the amount of water your citrus tree will require based on its size, type, the soil in which it stands and the time of year. For example, an orange tree with a 10-foot canopy will require about 14 gallons of water per day during the month of August in sandy soil. Remove the spray nozzle from your garden hose and install a more efficient water-saving soaker attachment. This technique will save precious water and provides more effective results for your citrus trees. Continue the irrigation process during the winter months if the trees are subjected to hot sun, high winds or drought-like conditions.

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