Citrus in the desert is hit or miss

Question: Do oranges grow in Las Vegas? Also, when is the best time to plant a new tree?

The simple answer is “no,” but the more complicated answer is “in some places.” It depends on the type of orange, where it is planted in the valley and if it is in a warm microclimate in the yard.

Plant it in a warm spot in the yard subjected to little wind.

Make sure your citrus has a cold-hardy rootstock such as sour orange, sometimes called trifoliate orange.

Stay with more cold-hardy oranges such as Satsuma Mandarin orange or citrus-orange hybrids such as citrange, yuzu and orangequat. It is best planted in the spring or early fall but with special care could be planted in warmer months.

Try other citrus, as well, such as cumquat, grapefruit and Meyer lemon.

Bob Morris is a horticulture expert living in Las Vegas and professor emeritus for the University of Nevada. Visit his blog at