Arizona Citrus Resources
Citrus in Phoenix
Citrus trees have a long history of cultivation in Phoenix and Maricopa County. Citrus are native to southeast Asia, and while many people associate citrus with rainy Florida, the trees have proved adaptable to the largely frost-free low deserts of Arizona, provided they are irrigated.
Phoenix was once home to acres of citrus groves, but over the past decades these orchards have largely been replaced by residential housing. The Phoenix climate remains well-suited for growing many kinds of citrus. Older homes commonly have one or more citrus trees on the property, often an orange or a grapefruit. New homeowners frequently make a citrus tree one of their first landscape additions.
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.
The health and fruit production of a Citrus tree will be maintained with regular fertilization. Several brands of fertilizer are marketed specifically for use on citrus. Other fertilizers, bother organic and inorganic, may be used. It is the element nitrogen (N) which is most significant for citrus health in our desert soils.