Sunshine Citrus Pty Ltd
What's all this and a Citrus Production Nursery all about?
This web site is about providing basic and straight forward information about growing and caring for citrus trees. It is designed for the average gardener who would like to know a bit more about citrus and how to grow them successfully. It is not designed to be the ultimate reference guide for all things citrus as there are hundreds of reference books that you can find to do that.
Over the following pages of the web site you will find information on:
The origins of Citrus plants
Our production nursery
The basic care of Citrus plants
Different varieties of Citrus plants available
Why Plant a Citrus Tree?
If there was ever a plant over the centuries that could truly be known as a Global Food Source it would have to be citrus. Not only is the fruit delicious and full of vitamins, with a little bit of care you will have a great looking tree suitable for any size backyard. Even if you don’t have a backyard you can easily grow a citrus plant in a pot on a balcony or in a courtyard with great results.
Different varieties of citrus have originated from all over the globe including, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, even Australia has a number of native citrus varieties.
Where Did It All Begin?
The origins of citrus plants date back thousands of years and for all that time growers have never stopped trying to produce better and tastier varieties. In fact, the origins of some of the most popular citrus plants today date back so far that we may never know how old they truly are. For example, consider the following varieties:
Oranges: Originally grown more than 2000 years ago in India and China. It is speculated that the orange developed from a Pummelo / Mandarin hybrid
Mandarins: One of the earliest records of Mandarin being cultivated dates back to China in the 4th Century BCE. Originating in North West India and South West China cultivation spread to Japan in the 10th Century CE and then throughout Asia. But it was not until 1805 when Englishman Sir Abraham Hume imported Mandarins from China to Europe did its popularity in the West take off. Soon after orchards were established in Malta and Italy to meet the demand.
Grapefruit: Its origins may never be known however, it was thought to originate on English plantations in the Caribbean in the 17th and 18th century when it was a natural hybrid of a Pummelo tree. It was then imported into Florida between 1808 to 1823 where it started to gain widespread popularity.
Pummelo: It is the most tropical of all the citrus and has the largest fruit. Some fruit can get to the size of a basketball. Originating in Southern China it has had a wide distribution throughout Asia for many centuries.
Lemons: Recent research suggests that hybrids of citrus probably originating from the foothills in the Punjab in India created the first Lemon. Further development then took place in present-day Iran before being taken to Spain by Arab traders around 1150CE.
Limes: Acid Limes such as the Tahitian are thought to have originated in Central to South American's hot tropical areas. While the Sweet Lime also referred to as the Indian or Palatine Lime has its origins in the current day Middle East.
Citrus Production Today
Today citrus production is spread throughout the world. In the northern hemisphere, the major producers are the USA, China, India and Spain, whilst in the Southern hemisphere Brazil, Argentina and South Africa are the biggest producers.
Australia accounts for much smaller volumes of production and ranks alongside countries such as Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, Venezuela and Peru in the amount of citrus grown each year.