growing citrus


*** by Gabriela Tulian
Via Flickr:


Several of the key lime seeds are turning out to be polyembryonic! That means that for each set of (fraternal) twins one is a clone of the parent plant, and the other should be a unique, sexually produced individual. Now I have to try and grow these limes to bearing age so I can figure out which is the clone - although I vaguely remember someone, maybe biodiverseed, posting about how polyembryonic seedlings will show differences in growth and vigour. I can’t find anything in the archives though so I could be making it all up.

I finally found a tangelo that was full of seeds, so I planted them today. As I was peeling the outer shells off the seeds I noticed that they appeared bumpy, like there were several sets of dormant cotyledons - I wouldn’t be surprised if they turn out to be polyembryonic as well, with at least 3 embryos per seed.

So far the lemons seem to be regular, single embryo seeds. I haven’t seen any growth yet from the meyer lemon seeds, but it took almost 3 weeks for my first batch of citrus seeds to emerge.


I’m absolutely rubbish at growing citrus. My meyer lemon barely made it this year and I only got 2 fruits that refused to turn yellow. I plucked them green anyway and they were surprisingly juicy and amazing in flavor.

Don’t know how much longer my current tree will survive, so I saved the seeds and started life anew.


There’s some serious action happening in my experiments with grocery store fruit! The grenadilla is doing very well, although it could stand to be closer to the light. I also have key limes from 2 different seeding dates and some lemons coming up. It’s taken about 3 weeks from seeding, or a week and a half from when I dug the seeds up and removed the outer seed coats.

I have no idea where I’m going to keep these guys when they’re bigger, especially throughout the winter. I don’t have a cat-proof area where I can keep several trees and large vines with high light requirements. I may need to give them away to good foster homes until I have a home with a sunroom. Of course, I have to keep them alive that long! I have never grown a tree from seed before, so it wouldn’t surprise me if I manage to kill everything.

I’m still waiting on the meyer lemon, and I have some tangelo and purple passion fruit seeds waiting to make their way into soil.