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Ruby Red Grapefruit

Ruby Red grapefruit trees are an excellent choice for a Tampa yard, growing to a height of 10 to 20 feet. Its scientific name means “fruit of paradise,” and once established, Ruby Red is practically maintenance free. A great alternative to the larger Duncan grapefruit, they produce large, thick-rinded, yellow fruit with a pink blush. The fruit is bright-red, juicy and tart, with only a few seeds. Fruit gets sweeter in hot weather, and more acidic if the growing season is cool. Make the most of your home orchard with one of these easy-care trees.

Names Citrus paradisi
Hardiness Zones 9,10,11
Flower Color White
Blooms Spring, Fragrant
Light Needs Full Sun
Water Needs Steady While Young, 40-45 inches per year
Soil Needs Moist, Well-Drained
Fruits November to May, flesh fades in color after December
Seeds Few 0-6
Size Large, 3″-5″
Cold Tolerance Very Good


Ruby Red grapefruit can be planted at any time of year in Tampa. Plant in moist, well-drained soil, near the south-facing side of the house to protect it from cold winter winds. If you’re planting more than one, set them 10 to 15 feet apart. Water in well after planting. Apply fertilizer a few weeks after planting. Over time, the tree will need less fertilizer. Prune out crossing or rubbing branches, especially if they rub against developing fruit. Other than that, Ruby Red needs very little maintenance.

Design Ideas

Ruby Red can be planted near other Cocktail Citrus trees in 15 and 30 gallon sizes from Keep it Green, or by itself. Because it’s smaller, it can be grown in large containers on a Tampa lanai, and can be brought indoors during Florida’s occasional cold snaps in winter. Come in and talk to the crew at Keep it Green for more landscape design ideas and expert information on how to care for this beautiful citrus tree.

Like all citrus trees at Keep it Green, Ruby Red is available in 5, 10, 15 and 30 gallon sizes, though stock at the Keep it Green Nursery is most plentiful in the 10 gallon size.  A ten gallon container will usually plant out to about 3-1/2 feet and bear fruit in its first year.

All Keep it Green citrus trees are inspected and registered by the state of Florida for one year. All trees come from high-end growers and are grafted to hardy, vigorous rootstock.