Rio Red Grapefruit Tree
Grapefruit, Rio Red
Scientific Name: Citrus × paradisi
History/general species info: Rio Red was discovered in 1976 by R.A. Hensz as a limb sport (a mutation of one limb which has different fruit characteristics than the rest of the tree) on a tree being grown from Ruby Red budwood. Released in 1984. Sweeter, less acidic and darker then the Ruby Red!
Characteristics: Evergreen. Short thorns on the twigs. The bark is prone to sunscald if not shaded by the leaves, especially in higher temperatures. Fruit flesh is red, with peel having a reddish tinge. Color persists throughout the season. The biggest disadvantage of 'Rio Red' is that its basic shape is more spherical than oblate and sheepnosing of the stem end is a persistent problem. “Sheepnosed” grapefruit are large and pear shaped with a pronounced neck at the stem end. Fruit ripens mid to late October and can hold well on the tree til June.
Flower: yes; white, fragrant
Planting / Care: Can be planted in containers; choose at least a 5 gallon container, though 15 gallon containers are recommended. Suckers, growth emerging below the graft, should be removed any time they are observed. Place the tree in a sunny location, but with afternoon shade. Do not position the plant next to a frequently watered location, such as grass. Make sure there is enough space for the tree to grow to its full width and height, with clearance to walk around and where overhead lines will not be a problem. The best time to plant a citrus tree is in fall, late winter or early spring. Plant the tree so that the root crown is at least one inch above ground level. The top roots must extend out from the trunk, just above, and uncovered by, soil. For more information click here.
Size and Spacing: 15-20’ tall. 20’ spacing
Pollinator needed to bear fruit: No, self-pollinating
Texas Citrus and Subtropical Fruits
The history of Texas Grapefruit:
Citrus/Fruit & Nut Resources
Diagnosis of Common Citrus Problems:
Bexar County - Growing Your Own Citrus
Growing Healthy Citrus in the Backyard