Top Citrus and Fruit Tree Options for Arizona

Many homeowners in Arizona want a lush, green look for their yard landscaping, but think they are doomed to rocks and cacti. 

That’s not true! There are plenty of ways to add greenery to an Arizona yard. One of the best is with fruit trees.

Fruit trees are an excellent option not only because they produce delicious fruit, but also because they are large, full trees that offer plenty of green leaves (and plenty of shade). But not every fruit tree will thrive in Arizona. Here are some of the types we recommend most often for Arizona yards. 

Orange trees

Florida and California may be more well-known for their orange crops, but Arizona can definitely stand their own when it comes to orange trees. Orange trees are a popular option for a backyard tree because they grow quickly, look beautiful, smell beautiful when they blossom, are easy to care for, and produce delicious fruit. Plant orange trees after the danger of frost has passed, but before temperatures climb too high. The ideal planting time is usually mid-late February into early May.

Lemon trees

Arizona natives will tell you that come late winter or early spring, people with lemon trees will practically beg you to take them. That’s because lemon trees thrive in Arizona. Eureka and Lisbon lemons, especially, will do well in the desert heat, and should be readily available at local nurseries. Lemon trees have the same ideal planting time as orange trees, and should be watered regularly to help them do their best.  

Grapefruit trees

Another popular citrus tree option for Arizona is the grapefruit tree. Like orange trees, grapefruit trees have a sweet-smelling blossom, provide a lot of shade, and are sturdy enough to survive brutal summer temperatures. Care for them properly, and you’ll get massive grapefruits at harvest time.

Fig trees

Citrus trees are definitely popular in Arizona, but other fruit trees can thrive too! One good example: the fig tree. Fig trees are very resilient and can survive well in hot, dry climates. One note here: fig trees need shade to do their best, so make sure you have a shady place to plant them. 

Pomegranate trees

Pomegranates have risen in popularity in recent years as they’ve come to be known as a superfood with numerous health qualities. These delicious fruits grow on trees that actually do quite well in the desert, mostly because they (like most Arizonans) do not like cold winters.

Bonus: One fruit tree to avoid

Olive trees thrive in a desert climate, but you should actually avoid planting olive trees in Arizona. In fact, you might not even be able to: some counties have made them illegal! This is because the prolific falling fruit can clog drains and stain sidewalks. Plus, they produce a lot of pollen, so they tend to aggravate allergies.

Fruit trees are a fantastic way to add lush greenery to your yard, and even if you live in Arizona, there are still plenty of options to choose from! Visit a local nursery or talk to a professional landscape design company to help you find the fruit trees that will work best for your yard and your lifestyle. Happy growing!

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