Starting from scratch

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by OREGATO, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. OREGATO

    OREGATO Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Well, i've taken over the job of looking after some nice citrus trees that were treasured by my late grandmother and i have to say i really enjoy it as its something i can do that reminds me of her.

    what i want to do is try and start a few new citrus plants from scratch with seeds.

    i asked a friend about it, who said that its near impossible to do it with the regular fruit we get out of the supermarket, is this true?

    i'm thinking of a mandarin tree as that was the first type that my grandmother started with.

    the plant will be containerised and kept in doors all the time as i live in ireland (temperatures are low (3 - 20) and sunlight is ok-ish)

    can anyone recommend what type of citrus i should grow? i'm really hoping to get fruit from them, i know its ambitious as my climate doesnt really allow it, but never say never. also, what exactly do i do after i take the seed out? stick it straight into a container of moss? let it dry out?

    any hints/tips/pointers/suggestions/critisms are welcome, thanks for reading and helping in advance.

    William
     
  2. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Denver,Colorado USA
    Oregato, fortunately your friend was incorrect. You can easily grow almost every variety of citrus from seed, and expect the tree to one day fruit. Some varieties are better choices to grow than others, due to the length of time it will take until the tree grows to maturity and begins to bloom and fruit. Key Limes are the quickest editable citrus to fruit as a seedling tree. A Key Lime can fruit as early as the second or third year from seed planting. However, Key Limes are VERY susceptible to cold, and even cool, growing temperatures. Mandarins are an EXCELLENT variety to grow from seed, and are excellent varieties grow as a containerized tree, as they do quite well when grown in containers, Further, mandarins are among the more cold hardy varieties of citrus. A seedling grown mandarin can fruit as early as five years. All varieties of mandarins will grow true from seed except Clementines and King. Oranges can be grown as a container tree, but will take 8-10 years to fruit. Grapefruit take 15 years to fruit when grown from seed. William, by reading through the posts on this forum, you can learn most everything you will need to know concerning growing citrus. Lastly, I have been to Ireland numerous times, and always thoroughly enjoy my visits. Ireland is a wonderful country. Take care and the very best of luck. - Millet
     
  3. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Pensacola, USA
    Growing citrus from seed is a little different from other plants-- don't let the seeds dry out! That is the biggest difference, but one other difference is that you may get multiple plants from one seed. Any seeds that give you multiple plants will be just like the mother tree (true to type).

    You can plant the seeds directly in soil and place the container in a warm place (75-85 F), or you can sprout the seeds first by placing them on a moist paper towel on a saucer and covering with plastic wrap--then place in a warm place. The latter is the method I use--I put the saucer on top of my hot water heater. As soon as you see roots-- transfer the seed to potting soil.

    It can take 2-3 weeks for the seeds to sprout-- even longer at cooler temperatures.

    Good Luck-- Skeet
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2008
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,808
    Likes Received:
    505
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    I keep my trees indoors full time as well. They're behind south facing windows where they get much light. Temperatures can dip into the high single digits celsius in winter.
     
  5. isaac

    isaac Active Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ohio
    Oregato, In starting fresh seeds I soak them in water overnight. If some of the seeds stay afloat after 24 hrs I toss 'em. and use the seeds that sank to the bottom.

    I also do the same as Sheet in his above posting for germinating. If you can get some Rangpur lime seeds they fruit very early in age. The also make a great root stock for Cleft grafting.
     
  6. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Denver,Colorado USA
    As pointed out by Dale, many people presoak seeds, no matter what the variety, in a effort to insure both an earlier and more consistent germination. Normally, citrus seeds take 18-25 days to germinate, when maintained at a constant temperature between 86-90F (30-35C). However, if the hard outer coating, called the Testa, is removed, a citrus seed normally will germinate is 7-10 Days. Interestingly, all citrus seed planted by the Brazilian citrus industry, which is the largest commercial citrus industry in the world, have their seed coats removed before planting. - Millet
     
  7. OREGATO

    OREGATO Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    thanks for the help

    @ junglekeeper - its good to know that someone else on here as maintained these plants in doors!

    @skeeter & isaac i'll make sure i'll not let them dry out

    @millet i doubt i'll be adverturous to remove the outer shell to be honest

    @all thanks for the advice above.

    i went to the supermarket on saturday, bout 5 mandarins to fine that none of them had seeds, think they were too small.
    however i did find a lemon in the fridge and put two seeds into two seperate containers, so hopefully i'll get something!

    any other tips advice would be great! thanks lads!

    William
     

Share This Page