Citrus Tree

Citrus spp

Citrus trees are one of the best fruit trees to grow in the Phoenix area.  They are typically easy in cultivation, but keep in mind they are not native to this area and they are not desert plants.  Citrus require more water than standard desert landscape plants.  Citrus cultivation is different from that of deciduous fruit trees such as apples and pears.  While citrus can be tough and tolerant, it will be the healthiest trees, well irrigated and fertilized, which produce quality fruit in abundance.

UofA Cooperative Extension

Flowers: J F M A M J J A S O N D
Status: Non-native
Origin: Southeast Asia
Family: Rutaceae
Size: Varies by species
Sun: Full, but not reflected summer sun
Watering: Citrus like to dry out between waterings. Water deeply every 7-14 days in summer and every 4-6 weeks in winter. Newly planted trees require more frequent watering until they are established.
Growth Rate: Varies
Soil: Tolerant
Temperature: Starts to suffer frost damage at temps in the mid-20s F if it lasts a few hours.
Disease and Pests: No significant pests in Arizona.
Uses: Larval host for the Giant Swallowtail
Notes: Leaf burn in summer is common, especially on slower growing varieties. The trunk and branches can burn badly if exposed to full summer sun, and can ultimately kill the tree.

Fertilize in early March, late May and middle September.

Photo by dominion1


In Maricopa County the average first frost date varies from Nov 21st to Dec 12th. In Tucson the average first frost date is Dec 3rd.

  • Keep plants well watered
  • Place plants in a protected microclimate
  • Protect by covering plants, adding heat or increasing air circulation
  • Do not prune frost damage until plants begin growing

For more info: Protecting Frost Sensitive Plants

Smart Plant Tags

Imagine a world where every garden, school yard, and public space becomes an immersive and educational experience.

A place where nature and knowledge intertwine to create stunning interpretive trails.

With a simple scan using your smartphone, you’ll unlock a whole new level of information and convenience.