There's nothing better than a healthy, vigorous, happy citrus tree. Not only are they beautiful—a lush green tree dotted with orange fruit is hard to beat—but citrus trees can spend up to 100 years churning out fruit that is both tasty and nutritious.
Citrus does best in moderate climates, so residents of Florida and California are at a huge advantage here. But a lot of people in less-desirable locations are growing citrus in pots and having success with it, albeit at a smaller scale.
Sound enticing? Here's an introduction to growing your own citrus tree.
The Popular Types
Citrus encompasses a wide variety of fruit trees. Here are some of the more common citrus that is grown at home:
Lemons: The most well-known lemon is the Eureka, which is common at grocery stores. Another tasty variety gaining in popularity is the Improved Meyer, which has a hint of orange or mandarin in its lineage. Other common lemons are Lisbon and Ponderosa.
Oranges: There are several different types of oranges, but two rule the roost. Washington Navel oranges are widely considered the best to eat due to their easy peeling and lack of seeds. The Valencia orange is known as the king of all juicing oranges. Other orange varieties include Cara Cara, Moro Blood, and Hamlin.
Mandarins: The varieties of mandarins are seemingly endless. The most popular by far are the "Cuties" brand which is a type of mandarin called Algerian Tangerine. Other tasty options are Satsuma, Gold Nugget, Page and Kishu.
Limes: The more popular varities include Bearrs, Mexican and Key Limes. Fun fact: limes turn yellow when they ripen, but are typically picked and sold while they're still green.
Grapefruit: These trees require warmer temperatures than most citrus. Ruby Red and Star Ruby are popular grapefruit varieties.
Other types: Fruits like kumquats, citrons, pummelos and tangelos also fall under the citrus family.