Oranges and protecting citrus

Home gardeners grow a remarkably wide range of citrus. Winters are typically mild, but freezing temperatures do occur on occasion. It is prudent for home citrus growers to protect their plants when freezing weather conditions are expected.

One of my friends in College Station sent me an email at 6:59 p.m. Sunday that contained a photo of a backyard adorned with a light covering of snow, and snow was still falling. Even with the low probability of receiving snowfall in our area, many folks were understandably excited about it.

However, if you grow citrus in our subtropical growing region, you would likely be concerned about how well your citrus would fare if freezing weather conditions were to occur. It is important to understand how cold temperatures impact citrus trees.

Dr. William Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, The Texas A&M System. Visit his website at


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