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Old 12-07-2009, 02:02 PM   #1
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Can I Grow an Orange Tree From a Seed?

My grandmother has an small mandarin orange tree that spits out oranges like crazy. I would like one just like it. Am I better off trying to grow a tree from one of the seeds, or using a clipping?

How would I go about doing both???
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:43 PM   #2
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You certainly can grow a tree from a seed; After all, that's how Nature does it.

I had a grapefruit tree in a pot, grown from a seed when I was a kid.
Citrus fruits need a warm climate (don't allow to freeze), so if you live in a colder climate, you will want to bring it in during the colder months.

There are lots of plant foods available for helping it along too.


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Old 12-07-2009, 07:48 PM   #3
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Ayuh,.... My Grandma Bond used to grow orange, grapefriut,+ avacado in her front window back in Maine,...

God,....Whata flood of ole Memories,... Thank you Mopo....
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:50 PM   #4
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If it were me, I would see if Grandma would let you air layer a branch of her tree. As I remember, with air layering, using a sterile sharp instrument, you carefully strip away the bark and make some strategic cuts. You wrap everything in moss and seal it with plastic and whatever hormones and nutrients your local nursery recommends. The plant will be shocked and tricked into growing roots where you scraped the bark and made the cuts but while still getting nutritive support from the plant itself. Once roots have formed, remove the plastic and the moss. Snip of the branch and you will have an exact clone or offspring. Plant.

Citrus trees are soil Ph sensitive so work that out before you plunk it in anything and keep an eye on it and the minerals they love. They need adequate but not as much water as you might think. Good drainage is important so keep that in mind when you choose a planter if this is going to be an inside outside plant.

I haven't thought about air layering anything in awhile and don't remember all the details so do check with your nursery, arborist or extension folks. The library will have a book or two on the technique. They will walk you through it. Hopefully someone on this site will step in to help too.

If you start with just a cutting, you will have to hope it roots. With layering, it will almost always happen.

Seeds are fun but how patient are you? It's going to be awhile before your orange tree is ready to bloom and bear fruit.

Sounds like Grandma has a great tree! Air layer a branch for me!

My parents went a little crazy when they moved us out of the Midwest to California and planted at least dwarf versions of everything in the back property. The grapefruit never was edible. The figs, cherries, apricots, pears and plums were wonderful but all ripe at once. We did luck out with lemons, limes and tangerines but one navel orange tree never seemed to stop blooming and setting and maturing fruit. I think we had huge oranges near all year round. And the smell of the blossoms? Incredible. Our Hispanic neighbors were into citrus too but also avocados like you would not believe and have probably never tasted because they stayed on the tree until the very last minute.

Last edited by user1007; 12-07-2009 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:50 PM   #5
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PLEASE--someone correct me IF I am wrong on this: I was always taught, in High School Biology, and AG class, the you can grow a citrus tree from the seed of a citrus fruit but-the tree will not bear edible fruit. A citrus tree grown from the seed of a citrus fruit is commonly called a "mock" orange, lemon, grapefruit, etc. tree, and the fruit will have a "wilted" looking skin, and is not edible. I believe (correction needed here also) that commercial citrus fruit growers "propagate" their trees much like "sdsester" suggested. Somewhere in the back of my old, feeble, mind, I also seem to remember that lemon, lime, and grapefruit trees can only be grown this way due to their being a derivative of an orange. Back to the books for me on this one. Thanks, David
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:59 PM   #6
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Citrus can be grown from seed
But a seed (from fruit) is a product of (2) trees, so results can be different

First of all the hybrid seed thing DOES NOT PERTAIN TO CITRUS, except for a very few varieties, Clementine being one. Almost all sweet oranges, true grapefruit, lemons, limes, pure mandarins (other than King and Clementine), most Tangelos, hybrid tangerines and tangors (except Temple) do come true from seed
Propagation will result in a copy of the original plant

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Old 12-14-2009, 12:31 AM   #7
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Citrus Trees
Starting Citrus Trees From Seed

To start a citrus tree from seed, remove the seed from the fruit, rinse it thoroughly and plant as soon as possible in potting soil at a depth of between 1/4 and an inch. With sunlight, warm soil and moisture, the seed will germinate and begin to emerge as early as 7 days after planting. As the plant grows, train it to a single stem by removing any extra branches within 8 inches of the soil. One disadvantage of starting trees from seed is that it can often take as long as ten years before the first fruit appears, as opposed to three years for a grafted tree. So you may have to wait awhile to taste the first citrus from your new tree.
I hope the kids aren't waiting with glasses in hand for orange juice.

sunkist also states that you may not get a tree you will like from a seed but when using the methods listed here, you will get a copy of grandmas tree. So, you can use a seed, wait many years and get oranges that are not what you expect or; you can use part of grandmas tree, get oranges sooner and they will be like grandmas (of course, the soils and other conditions would also have to match g-mas to get the same taste in the fruit)
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
If it were me, I would see if Grandma would let you air layer a branch of her tree.
I would also suggest taking a branch and putting it in water till it sprouts new roots, then put it in soil. I always remember hearing that the plant from a seed would not produce fruit so I've always either purchased a seedling, or sprouted a branch. This will save time too!
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:20 PM   #9
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..Does Charley Daniels play a mean fiddle?.......

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
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