Rio Red Grapefruit Tree

Availability: Out of stock

Best Selling Home Gardener's Dream Rio Red Grapefruit!

  • Pale Yellow Rind & Red Blush
  • Exceptionally Sweet Juicy Flavor
  • Dark Ruby-Red Flesh
  • Beautiful Dark-Green Evergreen Foliage
  • Naturally Dwarf Tree
  • Easy Care & Low Maintenance
  • Sweet Smelling White Flowers
  • Ornamental Beautiful Specimen!
  • Large Containers & Planter Ready!
  • Full Sun!
  • High Yield!
  • Resistance to Cold & Heat
  • Hedges & Privacy Screening

If you can only grow one Citrus tree, Rio Red Grapefruit (Citrus x 'Rio Red') should be it! This huge, heat-loving ruby red Grapefruit variety with an amazing sweet taste that is almost addictive!

The juicy, sweet and tangy deep-red flesh is delicious! Eat it fresh for breakfast or as a dessert. Bake it in a tart. Toss it in a salad. Stir it in a sangria. Squeeze it for juice - you won't even need to add sugar. Rio Red is the gold standard in Pink Grapefruit!

Container-sized with little pruning and low maintenance, the Rio Red is perfect for smaller-sized yards or planters while the fruit grows full-sized gems!

The green fruit becomes pale yellow and the rind develops a pink blush when ripe in winter!

Originating in the Rio Grande Valley, this Citrus variety features beautiful dark-green, evergreen foliage and creates the perfect backdrop for the fragrant white blooms and winter's glowing orbs! Ornamental on their own, these are compact and vigorous trees for any home garden application!

How to Use Rio Red Grapefruit In The Landscape

The pretty trees are easy to care for and attractive in the landscape. These natural dwarfs fit into even the smallest garden. Growers in colder growing zones won't miss out either, simply bring your tree indoors gradually for the winter and set them back outside after any chance of frost in the summers!

Standout specimens or accent tree, these provide low privacy or shade around your landscape and garden beds with little work from you!

The bushy, evergreen growth makes for a dual-purpose hedge and screen with compact branching for privacy! The healthy fruit and fragrant blooms mean this tree has year-round appeal and interest!

#ProPlantTips For Care

Citrus fruit trees need full sun to have the most flowers and therefore the largest crop of fruit! Indoor growers may need grow lights to extend their sunlight hours.

Grapefruit also require very well-draining soil on the acidic side. Any medium with excellent drainage is best, preferring to dry out slightly between waterings. Citrus prefers low moisture environments.

Sitting in water will lead to root rot, so be sure your site doesn't pool after a heavy rain, and your containers and planters have excellent drainage holes.

Fertilize with an acid-loving plant fertilizer such as Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Organic and Natural Premium Concentrate Fertilizer 3-4 times a year.

Keep your investment protected from cold drafts and sudden temperature or environmental changes, as this will result in leaf drop and stress. However, Rio Red is cold-resistant while thriving in the heat.

Protecting Container Citrus From Cold

Although it's famous for growing in warmer regions, it can also thrive in colder areas as long as the tree is brought indoors prior to the first frost of winter.

If you're growing these tropical trees in the ground in the lowest of their favored growing zones, they need to be planted in a sheltered spot to avoid the worst of the chill. If a spot like that is unavailable, then you are better off planting in a large, deep container.

In borderline growing zones, begin slowly acclimating your tree indoors or into a protected location, eventually moving your tree inside in bright indirect sun for the winter if the temperatures in your area ever dip below that 40F range. In spring, reverse this process and begin acclimating your tree to again be back out in the full sun all summer. This reduces stress and leaf drop.

The healthy three-year-old trees Nature Hills ships are garden-ready. Producing fruit between 3 to 5 years of age, you won't be waiting long for your first crop!

You will have so much fruit you'll have a kitchen full and still be sharing it with family and friends. Rio Red Grapefruit is the tree to work into your garden this year! Order your own sweet Red Grapefruit trees from Nature Hills before they're gone!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

Click Here to learn more

Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
4 Now
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates

Worldwide Red Grapefruit Favorite

The red Grapefruits of Texas are big, just like everything else in Texas. The marketplace is big, too, red Grapefruits are the leading Citrus crop grown in Texas. In fact, in 1993 Texas named the Red Grapefruit as its official state fruit. Reds are climate proven in Texas, and the Rio Red is the best of the best.

John H. Shary is known as the 'Father of the Texas Citrus Industry'. Upon his arrival in Texas from Omaha, Nebraska, he was inspired by how well the white and pink varieties of Grapefruit grew in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Shary felt that there was a future in farming this special fruit, and in 1914 he cleared 16,000 acres and began planting white Grapefruit.

In 1920, Grapefruits began shipping commercially and around 1929, the productive orchards of the Rio Grande began to produce red sports on limbs of white and pink varieties.

The red blush on these odd outcroppings were noticeable. Upon cutting the fruit open, it was discovered that the interior flesh was red. Darker red selections were discovered until finally it was decided to market these unique fruits under one name. Hence, the Ruby Grapefruit brand was born.

Record winter freezes in 1949, 1951 and 1962 killed back most of the older white and pink selections. Red selections proved to be a bit more winter hardy, but not enough to avoid major damage in these recurring freezes.

The research to breed a hardier red variety took on a higher priority after the 1962 freeze. Dr. Richard A. Hensz of the Texas A&I Citrus Center, now part of Texas A&M, began working with the Brookhaven National Laboratories to stimulate the development of sports, a process done more randomly in nature.

In 1965, Dr. Hensz introduced the Star Ruby, which was of fine quality and fairly hardy. However, unfortunately it sets irregularly so the Star was not widely planted in commercial orchards.

Then in 1976, Dr. Hensz discovered the Rio Red limb sport growing on a tree produced from Ruby Red seed. It was released to commercial growers in 1984.

Rio Red has all the qualities that the growers are looking for, which include superior hardiness, great flavor with high sugar and deep red flesh. Rio Red Grapefruit also grows well on alkaline soils, a problem so common for Florida and Texas growers. Over time, the Rio Red Grapefruit has become the preferred red Grapefruit throughout the world in both the commercial and the home garden markets.

A fast grower, the Rio Red begins production almost immediately and should be pruned to keep it below 10 feet. Once established in suitable climate conditions the Rio Red can be picked almost year-round, often holding two crops on the tree at one time.


Rio Red Grapefruit Tree Is Suited to Grow in Zones 9-10 (Patio 4-10)
Growing Zones 9-10 (Patio 4-10)
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Citrus x 'Rio Red'
Type Broad-Leaved Evergreen
Size Dwarf
Mature Height 8 - 12 feet
Mature Spread 4 - 8 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Well Drained
Moisture Low Once Established
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color White
Fall Color Evergreen
Harvest Time Late Season
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Fruiting Time 3 - 5 Years
Pruning Time After Fruiting
Fragrant Yes

Notice On Shipping Citrus: Agricultural Laws Prevent Us From Shipping Citrus Trees Into AZ, LA, TX, and Maybe Prevented in FL or CA