A Meyer lemon tree in the kitchen, a kaffir lime tree on the terrace, a blood orange tree on either side of the front door. If ever a plant evolved for living out its life in a pot, surely it's a citrus tree. Especially these. All Bay Flora citrus trees are grafted onto dwarfing rootstock that makes pot culture a snap. Not only do grafted citrus trees bloom and bear fruit at an earlier age than seedlings or cuttings, they also have greater frost and disease resistance. And of the hundreds of citrus tree cultivars, we bring you the most useful, the most beautiful and the easiest to grow.
Of course, citrus trees are garden mainstays in Zones 9-10 in the ground, but even in favored climates there's something about a citrus tree in a perfect pot that gives a garden a zing few other shrubs can match. The photo at left shows what citrus can do for a garden, although Villa Castello in Florence may have a headstart on the typical suburban spread.
All the citrus trees can be grown indoors, but they appreciate spending the summer months outside. Meyer lemon, kaffir lime, Bearss lime, Calamondin, kumquat and Trovita orange trees are the easiest citrus trees to grow indoors year-round, although they'll need an appropriate spot that gives them full sun and protection from heating and cooling vents. Citrus trees indoors also require ample humidity.
Citrus trees can be grown outdoors year-round in Zones 9-10, where dwarf citrus can reach 8' x 8'. Citrus grown in pots will be smaller, depending on pot size. Protect from frosts. Full sun and good drainage required for good results.
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|Australian Finger Lime 2 Gal|
Citrus australasica. If salsify can lay claim to being the vegetable oyster, then the Australian finger lime deserves to be known as the citrus caviar. Cut into this finger-sized fruit and squeeze out the juicy, citrus-flavored pearls. Garnish fish, top stir-fries or infuse noodles with the lime-infused vesicles and your taste buds will thank you. Native to Australia, these plants make excellent espaliers due to their flexible branches and tiny leaves. As of August 2014, trees are small, about 20" tall, no flowers or fruit. Crop ripens October through January. Our trees bear fruit that's dark purple when ripe, with translucent little pearls that are typically the palest lime green and sometimes a shell pink. It must mean something that the oyster season is in full sway when the finger limes are at their best. Grown on dwarfing rootstock in 2 gal containers.
|Yuzu Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus ichangensis x Citrus reticulata. Yuzu trees, upright up to about 10' on dwarfing stock, are the only citrus trees that can survive temperatures down to about 20 degrees. A necessary ingredient in many Asian dishes, the Yuzu fruit won't win any beauty contests, but its flavor and fragrance have no peer. Yuzu juice is used to make ponzu, the deeply fragrant rind is grated onto many dishes, and the fruit is plopped into a hot bath during the winter solstice. Fruit ripens during the fall and watch out for vicious thorns while harvesting. Grown on dwarfing rootstock in 5 gal containers. No flowers or fruit as of May 2014 on this small new crop of trees, about 2' above pot, 1/2" caliper trunk. Shipped in 3' x 1' x 1' braced box.
|Key Lime Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus aurantifolia. Also known as the Mexican lime, this small round lime packs a wallop of fragrance and flavor within its thin skin. Famous for its contribution to key lime pies as well as margaritas, daiquiris and mojitos, the Mexican lime also has the most pungent leaves of any citrus. Rub a leaf on your pillowcase and be immersed in a cloud of tropical fragrance at bedtime. Ripens generally October to December and falls from the tree when ready to harvest. Tree is bushy and grows to about 6' in a pot, more in the ground. Will not tolerate freezing temperatures. New crop of trees as of August 2014, no flowers or fruit, 2' tall. Grown on dwarfing rootstock in 5 gal containers. Shipped in 3' x 1' x 1' braced boxes.
|'Bouquet de Fleurs' Sour Orange Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus aurantium 'Bouquet de Fleurs.' If you’ve ever walked along the narrow streets of Seville and admired the shiny green shrubs covered with small orange fruit, you know the allure of the sour orange. The most ornamental of all the sour oranges, ‘Bouquet de Fleurs’ has rounded, glossy leaves and waxy white flowers that are used in the manufacture of neroli oil, a component of classic perfumes. The peel flavors liqueurs such as Grand Marnier and Cointreau, and the high-pectin fruit is the basis for classic marmalade. Perfect for pot culture, sour oranges become 6’ x 6’ shrubs that will flower in spring and fall. Fruit dangles on the shrub throughout the year. Well-developed trees as of July 2014, about 3' tall and bushy, no flowers or fruit. Shipped in 5 gal containers in 4' x 1' x 1' braced boxes.
|Buddha's Hand Citron Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus medica var. sarcodactylus. Buddha's Hand citron is a really fun plant to grow. The long and shiny leaves, with tiny serrations, have a rumpled but distinguished air, with a beautiful purple flush on new growth (and young fruit). The tree is shrubby and open in growth, to about 6' tall. Grow outdoors during warm weather and bring indoors during winter months because citrons can't take freezing temperatures. The crowning glory is the winter fruit, which really does look like the hands of Buddha posed just so in Tang Dynasty statues. Fruit has no pulp or juice--its claim to fame is its peel, which is loaded with fragrant oils. The pith, unlike other citrus, is not bitter, so no worries about separating it from the peel. Considered the most propitious of fruit in many Asian cultures. Showcase a Buddha's Hand on your dining room table and your entire house will fill with a clean citrus fragrance overlaid with jasmine. Use the peel to make candied citron, zest it onto fish or salads or citrus curds, or flavor alcohol with it. If you don't want to make your own, then buy some Buddha's Hand vodka from the Bay Area distiller Hangar One. Plants are grafted onto dwarfing rootstock. As of August 2014, trees are small, about 2' above soil line in 5 gal containers, 1/2" trunk, no flowers or fruit. Shipped in 3' x 1' x 1' boxes with wooden bracing. OUT OF STOCK UNTIL OCTOBER 2014.
|Kara Mandarin Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus reticulata x. The Kara mandarin is a cross between the Owari Satsuma mandarin and the King tangerine. It's a little more frost-sensitive than the Owari, but the plant is more vigorous and upright, and the fruit is larger. Blooms in spring and fruit ripens the following spring. Needs a little more heat than the Owari satsuma. Rich flavor to this easy to peel mandarin orange. Grown on dwarfing rootstock in 5 gal containers. Trees are about 2' tall, fruiting as of May 2014. Shipped in braced 3' x 1' x 1' boxes.
|Improved Meyer Lemon Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus x meyerii. Meyer lemons can't be beat for lemon curd or pastry specialties. Our Meyer lemon trees have a main trunk that's about 1/2" and stands about 2.5' above the container. Grown in 5 gal containers on dwarfing rootstock. New crop of trees is slightly smaller than tree in photo as of July 2014, no fruit or flowers. Shipped in braced 3' x 1' x 1' containers. ONE PER CUSTOMER, PLEASE.
|Italian Lemon Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus limon 'Genoa.' Italians take their lemons seriously. This Italian lemon cultivar was brought to California from Genoa, Italy over a hundred years ago. A little-known yet cherished lemon for most of that time, gardeners around the U.S. are finally able to grow 'Genoa' and experience its merits for themselves. The fruits ripen throughout the year on vigorous shrubs that are less thorny than 'Villa Franca'. Peel, high in lemon oil, is the base for the most divine limoncello you'll ever sip. Juice is perfect for drinks and marinades. Spreading, lush growth to 8' x 6.' More frost sensitive than Meyer lemon. Benefits from spending summer outdoors. New crop of trees as of August 2014, 2.5' tall, no flowers or fruit. Grown on dwarfing rootstock in 5 gal containers. Shipped in 3' x 1' x 1' braced boxes.
|Femminello Santa Teresa Lemon|
Citrus limon 'Femminello Santa Teresa.' Leave it to the Italians to name this famous lemon cultivar, with its voluptuous fruit showcasing protruding nipples, after a favored part of the female anatomy. A vigorous grower, this lemon boasts the highest level of essential oils in the peel of all lemon varieties. Highest oil level obtained on fruit on the verge of turning from green to yellow. Bears in fall and spring, with scattered fruit throughout the year. Its juice is flavorful and tangy and the fruit contains few seeds. A beautiful, vigorous, easy grower with a flavor profile all its own. Grown on dwarfing rootstock in 5 gallon containers. New crop of trees as of August 2014, smaller than photo, about 2.5' tall, no flowers or fruit. Shipped in 3' x 1' x 1' braced boxes.
|Lisbon Lemon Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus limon. The Lisbon lemon is what you want if you're looking for the lemon found in the grocery store. High-acid fruit develops well without high temperatures and the tree is vigorous in many areas. Blooms and fruits throughout the year, but main crop of fruit occurs in winter and early spring. Frost-sensitive and not suitable for indoor culture unless you have a conservatory. Grown on dwarfing rootstock in 5 gal containers. Shipped in 4' x 1' x 1' braced containers.
|Eureka Lemon Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus limon. Similar to the Lisbon lemon above, Eureka has fewer thorns. It tends to bear more fruit throughout the year on bushes that are vigorous yet easy to train and bear fewer thorns than many citrus varieties. A classic high-acid, flavorful lemon. Grown on dwarfing rootstock in 5 gal pots, trees are full and bushy, over 3' tall.
|Owari Satsuma Mandarin Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus reticulata subsp. unshiu. The Owari satsuma is more cold-hardy than other citrus, with established trees surviving temperatures of 15 degrees. Owari satsumas are also slower growing than other mandarins, so they do very well on semi-dwarfing rootstock. The low, spreading growth habit of this citrus tree is charming, with slightly drooping leaves. And there's nothing more exciting in the gardening world than picking your very own mandarin orange, peeling the loose skin and enjoying the fruits of your labor. Fruit ripens in late fall through early winter. Trees are small as of May 2014, about 2' tall and 3/8" caliper trunk, no fruit or flowers. Grown on dwarfing rootstock in 5 gal containers. Shipped in 3' x 1' x 1' braced containers. OUT OF STOCK UNTIL LATE SUMMER 2014.
|Gold Nugget Mandarin Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus reticulata. Gold Nugget mandarin bears after Owari satsuma, extending the tangerine season through June. And it extends the season with a bang. Gold Nugget is marvelously flavorful and sweet, usually seedless, and easy to peel. Tree is more upright and vigorous than Owari, but shares the same cold hardiness, down to about 25 degrees F. Most recent introduction by UC Riverside in many years. Grown on dwarfing rootstock in 5 gal containers. New crop of trees is small but new growth developing, no fruit or flowers as of October 2013. Shipped in 3' x 1' x 1' braced containers. OUT OF STOCK UNTIL SUMMER 2014.
|Fukushu Kumquat Tree 5 Gal|
Fortunella obovata. Oh my. The Fukushu kumquat, also known as Changshou, is our new favorite citrus fruit by far. The round 2" fruit packs a punch without puckering the mouth and the intense citrus flavor from one Fukushu kumquat will carry you through the day. It's perfect for eating on its own, slicing into fish or poultry dishes, and sprinkling over salads. We will choose the Fukishu kumquat over chocolate truffles any day. The tree is highly ornamental to boot, with its unique rounded leaves and spreading, thornless form. Flowers in summer and fruits in winter. As of August 2014 the trees are about 2.5' tall, no flowers or fruit. Grown on dwarfing rootstock in 5 gal containers. Shipped in 3' x 1' x 1' braced boxes.
|'Nagami' Kumquat Tree 5 Gal|
Fortunella margarita 'Nagami.' Of all the citrus trees, the kumquat may be the most decorative and suitable for pot culture. It's also fairly cold-hardy relative to other citrus, since it is semi-dormant in winter. Kumquats flower in the summer, and you need only a few to appreciate the fragrance. Its oval leaves are dark green and the olive-shaped fruit that appear in winter and ripen throughout the spring are a bright orange when ready to eat. In fact, the name kumquat is derived from the Cantonese word for golden orange. Fruit lasts a long time on the tree, usually until June. Kumquats are eaten whole, since the peel is the sweetest part of the fruit. The contrast between the sweet peel and the sour pulp is a mouth-watering experience. Thin slices of kumquat make any salad special. Or fruit punch, or iced tea, or grilled fish, or...you get the idea. Current crop of trees has a few small fruits forming. Feed with a citrus food that contains zinc, because this cultivar can become deficient in that nutrient. Grown on dwarfing rootstock in 5 gal containers. New crop of trees as of August 2014, no flowers or fruit, about 2.5' tall. Shipped in 3' x 1'x 1' braced boxes.
|'Meiwa' Kumquat 5 Gal|
Fortunella margarita 'Meiwa.' These kumquat trees are the devil to propagate, but well worth the trouble, with their thick sweet skin and counterpunch acidity to the pulp. Trees as of August 2014 are well-branched, 2' tall and 1/2" caliper trunk, no fruit or flowers. Grown on dwarfing rootstock in 5 gal containers. Shipped in 3'x 1'x 1' braced boxes. ONE PER CUSTOMER, PLEASE.
|Kaffir Lime Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus hystrix. If you don't want to wait for the younger trees to grow, then here's your chance to have a year's supply of kaffir lime leaves fresh off the tree. About 2.5' tall, with one-half inch trunk. Slightly smaller than photo as of August 2014, a few fruit forming. Grown in 5 gal pots on dwarfing rootstock and shipped in braced 3' x 1' x 1' containers. ONE PER CUSTOMER, PLEASE.
|Bearss Seedless Lime Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus latifolia. Bearss seedless lime tree originated in the Porterville, California citrus tree grove of T.J. Bearss in 1895. The classic lime for cooking and bartending, Bearss limes ripen even in cooler coastal areas. This citrus tree is a fast grower with fruit ripening in the fall. Its leaves are especially good for coating with melted chocolate (use the underside of the leaf). After the chocolate sets, pull off the leaf to reveal a chocolate twin with a tantalizing hint of citrus. Perfect for decorating cakes and lemon curds. One of the easier citrus trees to grow in pots outdoors if you're willing to bring the pot indoors when temperatures drop below freezing. Grown on dwarfing rootstock in 5 gal containers. As of April 2014, a new crop of trees is about the size of the one in photo. Shipped in 3' x 1' x 1' braced containers. OUT OF STOCK UNTIL LATE SUMMER 2014.
|Calamondin Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus x Citrofortunella mitis. Like teenagers, Calamondin trees may go through a difficult period in their early years and can sulk for no apparent reason. If you'd like to avoid such challenges, then try an established tree like our 5 gal specimens. The fragrance of these flowers is truly intoxicating. New crop of trees as of August 2014, no flowers or fruit, smaller than photo, about 2.5' tall. Grown on dwarfing rootstock. Shipped in 3' x 1' x 1' braced boxes.
|Variegated Calamondin 5 Gal|
Citrus x Citrofortunella mitis 'Variegata'. The most subtle of variegations are found on this charming citrus, with leaves as well as fruit displaying soft striations of creamy yellow. Grown on dwarfing rootstock in 5 gal containers, plants as of July 2014 are larger than photo, over 3' above soil line, very full with graceful branching and 1/2" caliper trunk, flowers forming, prime condition. Shipped in 4' x 1' x 1' braced boxes.
|Moro Blood Orange Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus sinensis. For Moro blood orange fruit to ripen properly, plant it in front of a stone wall. The retained heat will help ripening in early spring. Moro blood orange trees must be planted in a lot of sun to develop the sugars that make their fruit so appealing in salads and so rich in color. The tart juice has a fresh raspberry flavor. An amazing public garden south of San Francisco, Filoli, grew this citrus tree to perfection on a decomposed granite terrace. The space was a long rectangle, with weeping Camperdown elms at each end. Five blood orange trees were grown in terra cotta pots around each weeping elm, forming a double pentangle. Sublime. As of May 2014, the Moros are fully branched and bushy, about 3' tall, 1/2" caliper trunk. Grown on dwarfing rootstock. Shipped in 3' x 1' x 1' braced containers.
|Trovita Sweet Orange Tree 5 Gal|
Citrus sinensis. Get a jump start on those sweet Trovita oranges with a 5 gal specimen. Well-developed trees, about 3' tall, sturdy main caliper about 5/8" thick, small fruit forming, larger than photo as of June 2014. Grown on dwarfing rootstock. Shipped in 4' x 1' x 1' boxes.