UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance
University of California
UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance

Sweet Spot for Sour Oranges

Advice for the Home Gardener from the Help Desk of the
UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County

Client's Request: First, your tomatoes that I have been purchasing the last several years massively out produce the nursery ones. So thanks all around!

Second, the question: I have a great producing Washington Navel orange in my backyard in West County and and am thinking that since my wife produces loads of marmalade, I would try a Seville orange tree. I was easily able to grow one where I grew up in southern California, but would like to add a tree and am wondering if it would grow as well as the Washington Navel in the area west of the hills around the Bay?

Help Desk Response: Thank you for contacting the UC Master Gardener Program Help Desk. 

Seville Oranges
Seville Oranges
You can certainly grow Seville oranges in West County. Sour oranges (e.g. Seville oranges) don't require as much heat as the sweet ones do, so you should be able to grow a fine crop of Seville oranges. While the Seville sour oranges are not usually edible off the tree, as you state in your request, it is the quintessential marmalade orange (for several hundred years no less) and has also gained quite a following by the “foodies” for both some exotic food and drink. I found an interesting article in the Los Angeles Times that goes into both the world and California history of the Seville orange: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/13/food/la-fo-sourorange13-2010jan13. Additionally, the following link provides information about growing citrus in Contra Costa County, and includes information about planting, care of new trees, and pests and diseases: http://ucanr.edu/blogs/slomggarden/blogfiles/4260.pdf. You should note that in the 10 years since the CC County guidance was produced, we have seen a new pest, Asian Citrus Psyllid, in the County and I recommend special consideration be given to your awareness of that potential problem.

Thank you for your kind words about our tomatoes. We are happy you found them to be successful, but I'm sure it's due in large part to your green thumb! We do expect to be selling tomatoes again to benefit the Master Gardener programs in East, Central, and West County during April. Hope to see you there!

Happy gardening!

Help Desk of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County (SEH)


Note: The  UC Master Gardeners Program of Contra Costa's Help Desk is available year-round to answer your gardening questions.  Except for a few holidays, we're open every week, Monday through Thursday for walk-ins from 9:00 am to Noon at 75 Santa Barbara Road, 2d Floor, Pleasant Hill, CA  94523, although we will be moving this spring. We will notify you if/when that occurs. We can also be reached via telephone:  (925)646-6586, email: ccmg@ucanr.edu, or on the web at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/Ask_Us/  MGCC Blogs can be found at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/HortCoCo/ You can also subscribe to the Blog  (http://ucanr.edu/blogs/CCMGBlog/)

Posted on Monday, February 12, 2018 at 12:20 AM

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