Asian Grapefruit seed sprout

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by Jennyc, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. Jennyc

    Jennyc Member

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    Hi,
    I threw some seeds into a small pot and weeks later sprouts appeared. I now have 10 sprouts ranging from 1/4" - 1 1/2" and it's situated next to a window with lots of sun. Now i need someone to hold my hand. At what size should i replant and start placing the plant outdoor? Can i just throw the sprout into it's individual pot? Do i need any special soil?
    Thanks for all information.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2008
  2. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Re: Asian Grapefruit eed sprout

    After the seedling develops it first true leaves the seedling can be transplanted, into a medium that has very good drainage. Don't transplant the seedling into too large of a container when you transplant. Depending on the container the tree is presently in, there is no hurry to up-pot a 1-1/2 inch tree. Being a new grapefruit seedling I would wait to put it outside when the thempeature is in the 60's. The grapefruit could easily survive outside at lower temperatures than the 60's but it will do better in the window until then. Fertilize the seedling at 1/2 the label rate every month at the very minimum. There is a LOT of threads concerning growing seedling grapefruit on this forum, read them. I hope you are not too old, as it will be a LONG TIME before your tree blooms and fruits if ever. Grapefruit is the worst citrus variety to grow from seed as a containerized tree. - Millet
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2008
  3. Jennyc

    Jennyc Member

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    Re: Asian Grapefruit eed sprout

    Thanks Millet. I might as well be too old. The seedling came from a tree that is well over 100 years old. I've even tried grafting the tree but with my black thumb, no results. Also, if the grapefruit is the worse citrus to grow from a seed as a containerized tree, then at what size should i plant it in the garden?
    Lastly, if it does grow fruit, would the grapefruit taste just as good as the original tree?
    Thanks again Millet.
     
  4. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Re: Asian Grapefruit eed sprout

    A seedling grapefruit will begin to bloom and fruit when the tree has grown the required number of nodes. Normally, a seed grown grapefruit takes 10 to 15 years to mature, when grown in Florida or Southern California. In San Francisco (my birth home town) which experiences cooler weather, it will probably be closer to 15 years. You can plant the seedling out this summer in soil that has good drainage, or you can keep the tree in a container until next summer then put the tree outside. Grapefruit, does produce a tree true to the mother tree. What you should do, is look up T-budding on the Internet, then cut a bud from the mother tree and graft it onto the seedling next year. This would reduce the wait from 15 years down to perhaps 3 years. T-Budding is a very easy and successful procedure, see the link below.. - Millet

    http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/citrus/budding/budding.htm
     
  5. Jennyc

    Jennyc Member

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    Re: Asian Grapefruit eed sprout

    Many Thanks Millet!! You've actually read my mind on my next question. I will try to graft the mother tree next summer (if it is still standing). I visit the tree once a year to pick the fruits and i never know if it's still there, so i been trying to graft the tree before it's gone. My husband call me black thumb (not green thumb) because i kill everything i tried to plant. My next step, if i don't kill them is to replant them in it's own pot. I have 10 sprout in a small pie size pan.
    FYI, I don't know if i can wait 10-15 years, that's almost early retirement age!!! Ha,Ha...
    Many Thanks for all of your help!!
    Jenny
     
  6. Jennyc

    Jennyc Member

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    I now have about 20 little trees but some of the tree leaves are curling/buckling. What does that mean? I water it twice a week and each plant consist of 10-25 nodes. I've also used organic soil and fertilizer and it sits next to the window in my office. What does that mean. Am i giving it too much water?
     
  7. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    Citrus trees need lots of oxygen in the root zone. Organic soil and organic fertilizers use up oxygen in the root zone. Organic fertilizers have to turn into the same chemical form that is found in commercial fertilizers to make the nutrients available to the roots. Organic fertilizer does nothing special for citrus and it is difficult to supply the ratio of nutrients that citrus need.

    Just so you know, I am not anti-organic, I even collect my neighbor's grass clippings and leaves to add to my garden and my compost pile. Some plants like a rich organic soil--some don't. There is nothing bad in commercial fertilizers--the down side of using commercial fertilizers on your garden is that they speed up the decomposition of organic matter by providing bacteria with nutrients to use the nutrient poor carbon. That is not a problem with citrus trees since they do not like organic rich soils because of the low oxygen content. Citrus trees are heavy feeders and require lots of N in the form of Nitrate or ammonia--in organic rich soil, that N is turned back into the N found in air by a process called denitrification. N in air is a form that can't be used by most plants (only legumes and a few other plants can fix N from air). Commercial N fertilizers are made from air using heat and electricity--there is nothing toxic added.
     
  8. Jennyc

    Jennyc Member

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    So, do i fertilize it with commercial fertilizer? Will that stop new leaves from curling? Should i open the window for fresh air? Can i still leave the plants indoor next to the window ledge till next year? I am so clueless.
    Thanks!
     
  9. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    Leaf curling is generally a sign of lack of water-- but that sign can come from the fact that too much water has caused root damage and the tree is unable to take up water. The root damage comes from lack of oxygen in the root zone. Water in the root zone displaces oxygen, degradable organic matter in the root zone uses oxygen.

    There is one other possibility--roots are not functional at high temperature (like above 100F) if your seedlings are in black pots exposed to the sun, the roots can easily heat to over 120F.

    If your media is not a fast draining media with lots of air space like 4:1 pine bark:peat moss or 4:1 CHC:peat moss, I would suggest repotting to one.
     
  10. Jennyc

    Jennyc Member

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    OMG!!!! It's root damage. It's only happening to the ones that is potted in terra cotta pots and it takes longer for the water to drain. I'll have to replant them.
    Many Thanks!
     
  11. drichard12

    drichard12 Active Member 10 Years

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    Jennyc: terra cotta pots has been used for centuries. It's a matter of adjusting your soil mixes. Citrus needs a good draining mix thats a must The container should also have good drainage, terra cotta pots normally have one opening at the bottom which is fine for most plants
    Citrus needs a bit more for drainage what happens if the main hole gets plugged? Problems! Using a mason bit to drill extra holes in the terra cotta pots is very important. 1/2 to 1" holes, don't use stone or screen . The holes will plug and will give the drainage. I hope you all understand this posting. Dale
     
  12. Jennyc

    Jennyc Member

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    Yes. I totally understand.
    Thanks
     
  13. Jennyc

    Jennyc Member

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    Now another question. Some of the plant leaves are turning slightly yellow. Is it a lack of something or is from the little fruit flies thats been hanging around? I've been killing them but they keep on producing.
     
  14. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Citrus leaves turning some shade of yellow can result form more causes than any other occurrence. Ninety percent of all the problems that can possibly befall a citrus tree, will result in some form of yellowish leaves. We would need MUCH MORE information to answer such a question. However, it is not from fruit flies. - Millet
     
  15. drichard12

    drichard12 Active Member 10 Years

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    I been using these sticky pads for mice to control insects such as fruit flys. Can be found at Wal-Mart cost is less than a few bucks getting 4 pads in each pack. I invert them on the container soil by cupping them. They work the same as those sticky fly tapes that hang and move around in the breeze getting stuck to ever thing. This pad has been in use for less than week.
     

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  16. Jennyc

    Jennyc Member

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    Thanks for the great idea. I'm going to purchase some today. The plants sit next to the window in my coworker office. I don't want her to start complaining.
     
  17. Jennyc

    Jennyc Member

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    Since i have no pictures and some of the plant leaves are turning slightly yellow, can it be a cause of lack of fertilizer?
     
  18. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    Lack of fertilizer is but one of many possible causes of yellow leaves. Overwatering, disease, mineral deficiencies, old age, insect pest are some of the other possibilities.
     
  19. Jennyc

    Jennyc Member

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    Wow. I water the plant twice a week, is that too much? This is becoming much harder than i thought. I now have fruit flies coming out of my ears. I have to buy the sticky pads this weekend, they ran out in my neighborhood.
    Thanks for all of you help.
     
  20. Arvid

    Arvid Member

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    Jennyc: I was spontaneously thinking about two things regarding your leaves yellowing.
    1. Mineral deficiencies/soil composition/fertilizing
    2. Over watering

    Both are easily fixed by using citrus soil:

    (1) By using citrus soil you get a basic composition of minerals and the acidity that many citruses need. Use a citrus fertilizer and use half the concentration described on the product.

    (2) Repotting your plants into well-drained containers with citrus soil (you can use LECA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LECA in the bottom to ensure good drainage). Having perpared your pots like this, it is very hard to overwater the plants.

    General regarding watering:
    In most cases it is enough if you water twice per week during the growing season and less often during resting.
    Some say that citruses should be allowed to dry out completely before watering again, but I water a bit more often. If the pot feels a little lighter when lifted (don't use the plant as a handle or you may get a dirty floor) it is time to water.

    Judging from your story (your plants are alive and grow fairly well) it appears as you have good natural hand with citruses. I hope that I was able to provide you with some help anyways...
    Good luck!
    /Arvid
     
  21. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Using items such as LECA, rocks, gravel etc. in the bottom of containers does not increase drainage, it actually reduces drainage. This is due to the Perched Water Table, which has been discussed on this forum many times. The Perched Water Table exists at the bottom of every container, even in containers without bottoms. When items such as LECA, gravel, rocks and so on are added to the bottom of a container, they raise the Perched Water Table higher into the container. This leaves less drainable potting soil for the plant's root system. Drain holes, LECA, rocks, gravel do not control drainage from a container. The texture and porosity of the growth medium and the depth of the container control drainage (assuming there is some opening in the bottom). - Millet
     
  22. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    Those are not really fruit flies, they are probably fungus gnats or springtails, --they are a sign of overwatering--they will disappear if you let the soil dry properly between watering.

    Without seeing your plants, soil and containers, it is hard to say for sure that twice a week is overwatering---but I think it is. My seedlings and key limes in containers have extremely good drainage--large chunks of pine bark with a small amount of potting soil--I water them about once a week if it does not rain in the summer and less than once a month in winter.

    As for fertilizer, the easiest way is slow release fertilizer with trace minerals--Osmocote or Dynamite make one with about 18-6-12 plus minerals. You apply it based on container size only 2-3 times each year. You can use soluble fertilizers like Miracle Grow with water if you prefer--but you need to use the one with trace minerals or you have to add them separately.
     
  23. Arvid

    Arvid Member

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    Thank you for correcting me, Millet - I am really surprised that it works like that! (going to check perched water table up later)
     
  24. Jennyc

    Jennyc Member

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    OMG!!! I think I've been watering them too often. I do not let the soil dry properly between watering. I just assumed all plants soil should be moist.

    Also regarding fertilizer, I've been using Kellogg 4-5-4. Is that incorrect and should i change it to Osmocote or Dynamite with about 18-6-12 plus minerals?

    Thank you for all of your great advice.
     

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