Best Bay Area, California Citrus Varieties

Best Bay Area, California Citrus Varieties

5 minute read

There is nothing quite like picking a freshly ripe piece of citrus fruit right off the tree. Bay Area growers have a variety of options from Lemons, Limes, to Oranges and Kumquats. Find out more about what varieties grow great in the Bay Area.


The "Bay Area" boundaries are different depending on who you as so we will leave that a bit open-ended and pay more attention to the microclimates within. There is the cold, foggy, windy coastal climate and the hot, dry, (windy North bay) inland/valley climate. One thing you need to remember when selecting citrus is; if you want sweet, you need heat.


Why citrus trees? Citrus trees are self-fertile, need infrequent deep watering but aren't water hogs, and can do great in a container or in the ground. These stunning evergreen trees can even be grown indoors so long as you provide enough light. This versatile fruit tree can be kept in almost any home!



Best Varieties for Coastal Climate(Cold) Bay Area citrus growers:


  • Improved Meyer Semi-Dwarf Lemon TreeMeyer Lemon: The California favorite is very juicy, less tart than Eureka, and is abundant with fruit nearly year-round once established. The only con is they are slow-growing, but certainly worth the wait.



  • Eureka  Semi-Dwarf Lemon Tree
    Eureka Lemon: This vigorous grower is a powerhouse when it comes to production, making it a commercial favorite. This heavy-bearing lemon tree will bear fruit nearly year-round. Great for cooking, juicing, or sharing with the family.



  • Bearss Seedless (Tahitian/Persian) Semi-Dwarf Lime Tree
    Bearss Seedless Lime: The best lime you can grow on the coast. These flavorful limes are large, juicy, and cold-hardy. Juice, zest, and slice into all your citrus recipes.



  • Makrut (Kieffer/Kaffir) Thai Semi-Dwarf Lime Tree
    Makrut /Thai Lime: This unique lime is a must-have for any chef especially if you love Asian cuisine. Leaves, zest, and juice are packed with intense citrus flavor and aromatics. Makrut is used especially in many Thai, Cambodian and Indonesian dishes.



  • Eustis Limequat: This Mexican Lime and kumquat hybrid produce a delightfully yellow kumquat-shaped fruit with tart lime flavor. A great cold-hardy lime alternative that produces fruit year-round.



  • Trovita Sweet  Semi-Dwarf Orange Tree
    Trovita Orange: Trovita is a wonderful piece of fruit for both fresh eating or juicing. The fruit is sweet, juicy, and hangs on the tree well. This heavy producer has a thin rind and few seeds. For the sweetest results, let the tree hang on the tree as long as possible.




  • Moro Blood Orange: This spring ripening blood orange produces orange fruit with dark burgundy flesh even in cold coastal climates. The red color comes with a distinctive tart berry flavor.




  • Calamondin/ Calamansi Semi-Dwarf Tree
    Calamondin / Calamansi: Calamondin is another great cooking citrus. This sour kumquat hybrid is great for juice/cocktails, soups, and dressings. The rind can be candied into a tasty treat or used to add that wonderful citrus essence to your favorite dish. This gorgeous tree also comes in a variegated variety.




Best Varieties for Inland/valley Climate(Warm) Bay Area Citrus Growers:


  • Mexican Thornless Semi-Dwarf Lime Tree
    Mexican Thornless Lime: This thornless version of the Mexican Key Lime makes for easier harvesting of your favorite lime. This versatile lime can be used for all sorts of recipes including key lime pie, margaritas or freshen up your tacos with a squeeze of lime juice picked right from your yard.



  • Valencia Sweet  Semi-Dwarf Orange Tree
    Valencia Orange: The King of Juice Oranges! This summer ripening orange produces loads of sweet fruit with just a pinch of tartness for balance. This tasty orange can be grown all over the Bay Area but be sure you can provide lots of sun, heat, and time to let the fruit hang as long as possible for the sweetest fruit.



  • Owari Satsuma Semi-Dwarf Mandarin Tree
    Owari Satsuma Mandarin: This hardy mandarin ripens early winter and produces seedless, easy-to-peel fruit that is jam-packed with flavor. Slow growing at first but certainly worth the wait. These tasty treats have a short season so pair with a Clementine to extend your mandarin season.



  • Clementine/ Algerian Semi-Dwarf Mandarin Tree
    Clementine Mandarin: Clementine pairs extremely well with Owari Satsuma if you want to extend your mandarin fruiting season as their fruit ripens just after the end of Owari season and through the summer. Clementine mandarins are full of juice and have a very bright flavor.



  • Kumquat tree for sale
    Kumquats: There are so many great varieties of kumquat that I want to include them all! These bursts of flavor need heat to set flowers so be sure your Bay Area microclimate can support it. Fukushu and Marumi tend to bear slightly better crops in the colder parts of the bay. These also make a very unique indoor plant and will even fruit if you keep them in a sunny south-facing window. Make your next indoor plant a citrus tree!



For all of our growers in the Bay Area, your goal for growing the best citrus is to emulate the following growing conditions as closely as possible. Citrus trees love full(8+ hours) sun, well-draining soil, infrequent deep watering, and regular monthly feeding during the growing/fruiting season. Our growers in extremely windy areas will want to protect their trees with a physical barrier for best results.


Check out our Citrus Growing Tips for more information.


Protect your fruit trees from the hot summer sun and winter cold with Plant Gaurd tree paint and foliar spray.


Get in the know about HLB(Huanglongbing / Citrus Greening Disease) and help save your community's citrus. Only source citrus trees from reputable growers.


Author: Israel Osuna


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