Oro Blanco Grapefruit Tree (Citrus paradisi ‘Macfadyen’)

Oro Blanco Grapefruit Tree

  • Early Season
  • Delicious, Sweet Fruit Needs No Sugar
  • Large Size White Grapefruit
  • Nearly Seedless Fruit
  • Mild and Sweet Flavor
  • Fragrant Blooms in Early Spring
  • Wonderful in Containers

Even if you aren’t a fan of traditional, acidic grapefruit, you’ll love the sweet taste of Oro Blanco Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi ‘Macfadyen’). This is a special hybrid cross between a sweet Pummelo and a white-fleshed Grapefruit.

These citrus trees are easy to grow in the ground, or in containers. Why not add an Oro Blanco tree or two to your edible landscape? They ask for very little care but give you so much in return.

This is the most popular variety of white Grapefruit. The large fruit is nearly seedless and features pale yellow, juicy flesh. With a thick, soft rind inherited from its Pummelo parent, the fragrant fruit is easy to peel and segment. Gift yourself a sumptuously clean eating experience for breakfast or any time of day!

The flavor is out of this world. That’s because Oro Blanco Grapefruit hybrid is an improved version. Adding Pummelo to the pollinating cross means that there is no bitter, acidic aftertaste like other varieties.

Try it and see! You’ll find out there is no need to add sugar to this variety. The marketing name ‘Oro Blanco’ translates in Spanish to ‘white gold’ and it’s not an exaggeration.

Oro Blanco fruit really is that good. The taste is mild and sweet and a great way to boost your health with plenty of Vitamin C, fiber and potassium.

Like many other home gardeners, you’ll love the fragrant flowers, sweet fruit and the attractive, dense evergreen canopy of the Oro Blanco. Robust, large, deep green glossy leaves provide welcome shade and privacy.

Grow it in the ground or in large containers. If you are in Zones 9 or 10, you can keep the containerized Oro Blanco outside all year. These trees can happily grow in containers for many decades with proper care.

Growing your own Oro Blanco Grapefruit is a joy. You’ll love knowing exactly how your fruit was grown and being part of the Eat Local edible landscape movement.

How to Use Oro Blanco Grapefruit

How do you know when it’s ripe? When you start to see seasonal fruit drop in fall, it’s time to start picking Oro Blanco.

Here’s a helpful hint to make it easy. Simply cut the bottom of the fruit and use your other hand to tap it gently. If it’s ripe, it will fall off right in your hands!

Don’t worry, ripe fruit often has a green blush. Oro Blanco fruit varies in color. They can be golden-yellow, light green to almost white.

The rind is soft and thick. It does a wonderful job protecting the soft fruit. It also smells amazing!

Try zesting the peel like you would a lemon. You can slice and candy it or dry it for potpourri and sachets.

Oro Blanco Grapefruit is easy to peel and segment like you would an orange. The sections come apart smoothly.

Use a knife if you’d like or take some time to peel by hand. Appreciate this gentle, fulfilling experience that is all the more meaningful when you grow your own produce.

The pale yellow pulp is all about the sweetness of the natural flavor without the tart acid of other varieties. With the Oro Blanco, adding sugar would be a mistake.

Your harvest will keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, or in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Oro Blanco trees grow into great barriers or privacy screens. The leaves are evergreen and held in a dense canopy. You can keep it pruned to any size you’d like.

Oro Blanco is very productive. They produce the sweetest fruit if planted in full sun.

For in-ground trees, it’s a good idea to keep them mulched with wood chips underneath. Rather than using lawn or grass – which has very different growing requirements – plant groundcover plants under the trees or leave the mulch bare.

These productive and beautiful plants can be kept in large containers their whole life. Try them on either side of a patio area, or a single specimen sited in a place of honor.

Tips for Care

The tree offers a very dependable yearly fruit set. Even when young, the Oro Blanco is likely to set fruit. When young, only allow one fruit per limb. Remove the additional fruit to avoid limb damage for the first few years.

One of the most cold-hardy citruses, the Oro Blanco will tolerate cold down to 25 degrees for brief periods of time.

Developed at the University of California Riverside in 1958, this variety went through extensive trials and was not released for sale until 1980. It quickly gained an appreciation for its wide adaptability, far greater than any of the other Grapefruit selections.

For longer cold snaps in Zones 9 or 10, string C9 Christmas lights through the tree and cover the tree with a frost blanket. In colder Zones, you’ll need to bring the container indoors when the temperature begins to get in the mid to low 30’s.

Provide a window with as much sunlight as possible. Keep your plant away from any dry heat source, such as heater vents and fireplaces. In some cases, a grow light may be needed to ensure that the fruit continues to ripen and does not drop off the tree.

Plant in an acid planting mix typically used for Rhododendrons, Camelias and Azaleas. Add 25% 1/4 inch or pathway bark to the mix for porosity.

Citrus requires far less water when indoors. Be careful not to overwater your plant while it is indoors. Keep it on the dry side of moist.

Fertilize with an acid fertilizer, such as Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Organic Fertilizer. Feed containers every other month.

Ensure they have enough air humidity with periodic misting or using a diffuser. You can also rest the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water. As the water evaporates, the air humidity increases.

You’ll want to plan to repot them every 3 to 4 years. Always shift to the next size container and avoid going too much larger than the current pot size.

Don’t miss out on growing special sweet Oro Blanco Grapefruit.

Oro Blanco Grapefruit Tree (Citrus paradisi ‘Macfadyen’) Details

Common name Oro Blanco Grapefruit Tree
Botanical name Citrus paradisi 'Macfadyen'
Plant type Broad-Leaved Evergreen
Hardiness zone 9-11 (Patio 4-11)
Growth rate Medium
Harvest time 3 - 5 Years
Height 10 - 12 ft.
Width 8 - 10 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun
Moisture Low Once Established
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Pruning time After Fruiting
Flower color White