|Winter is the dormant season, but it doesn't have to be drab and dull. Along with our camellias, Loch Laurel Nursery carries a line of cold-hardy citrus suitable for growing in USDA Zone 8b.
Door Yard Citrus - Many gardners are not aware of the wonderful citrus that can be grown in North Florida and South Georgia. Loch Laurel Nursery is proud to offer varieties that are cold hardy and produce tasty fruit you would assume could only be grown in semi-tropical climates. In fact, many of our varieties that are well-suited to our region (USDA Zone 8b), produce inferior fruit in Central Florida.
Satsumas - Mandarine Orange, The fruit is easily peeled and contains loose segments that are easily separated. They are sweet and a bright orange color when ripe and nearly seedless. Satsumas are believed to be native to southern China and are widely grown along the gulf coast of the US. Satsuma trees grow 10 to 15 feet tall. The most popular variety is Owari that ripens in mid to late November. Hardy to 20°F. The variety Miho, developed in Texas is much earlier ripening in early to mid-October. Grafted on trifoliate orange, (Poncirus trifoliata) for improved cold hardiness.
Juanita Tangerine - Citrus reticulata 'Juanita' - Discovered in Lake City, South Carolina is a remarkably hardy tree with a very upright growth habit. The fruit is easy to peel and of excellent quality with a perfect blend of sweet and acid similar to satsumas. Grafted
Ambersweet Orange - this complex hybrid orange is very similar in appearance to a navel orange and ripens in December in south Georgia. Fruit is sweet and mostly seedless depending on what other citrus are near it. It is excellent for both juice and as a fresh fruit. It is more cold hardy than navel orange but less than satsumas. Grafted.
Sugar Belle® hybrid mandarin - A new variety developed by the University of Florida that is easy to peel and nealy seedless resembeling a Minneola tangelo but ripening several weeks earlier. Not available outside of Florida until 2016 and now grafted onto Rubideux for more cold hardiness.
Sunquat - X Citrofortunella sp. - This citrus is a hybrid between F. crassifolia (Meiwa kumquat) and C. reticulata (tangerine). It grows 8 to 10 feet tall and bears oblong fruit that is larger than a kumquat and sweeter with an edible peel. Hardy to mid 20's. Will rapidly grow back if killed back.
Keraji Mandarin - Citrus reticulata - produces 2-inch fruit too small for commercial production but an excellent dooryard fruit. Fruit has a sweet lemonade taste unlike any other citrus fruit. Peel is easy to remove. Tree is very cold-hardy surviving short dips into the upper teens.
Kishu Mandarin - Citrus reticulata - When it comes to Mandarins, it doesn't get any better than the Kishu Mandarin. This seedless variety of Mandarin has everything you could want in a quick and healthy snack. The Kishu Mandarin may be the smallest mandarin you've seen, but don’t let that fool you. These bite-size citrus fruits are very sweet, seedless, easy to peel and packed full of flavor and nutrition. Ripens in Early December.
Meyer Lemon - produces good quality lemons on rapidly growing trees. This variety is sought after by chefs for it's unique flavor and often specified in gourmet recipes. Meyers thrive along coastal areas of southeast including south Georgia and north Florida.
Eureka Lemon - produces the grocery store lemon with the dimple at one end. This seedless lemon has excellent juice and the peel is used as lemon zest. It is not as hardy as the Meyer lemon and should be grown in a well protected area or on the east or south side of a building.