artisanoo
Senior Member
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:53 pm

citrus (citron) seedlings - growth habits?

Hey guys -
I just planted some citron seeds (a whole bunch) and it looks like at least 4 are growing. the largest is already over an inch tall and the two first leaves are separating and the smallest is still straightening out from the seed.

anyway, just a few questions about them
1) since i have a few, i thought it would be fun to keep some small while the others grow out. do citrus (citron in particular) lend themselves to intersting looking bonsai? what is their growth habit? do they just grow straight up - do they do interesting things? do they readily branch a lot? etc

2) if anyone knows, what is the growth habit specifically as seedlings? i want to make sure they look ok and healthy so I know I am not killing them. is it correct to just leave them alone to grow or is there anything i should do early to induce some initial branching

3) do the leaves of a citrus tree smell or is it just the fruits? and if yes, is it only after they are rubbed or crushed, or can i expect the plant to eventually have a scent all the time?

4) one last thing - when is it safe to repot them into individual pots? they are already in bonsai soil (thats what i planted them in) so can i just scoop the whole soil/seedling bundle out with a big spoon and put it in some fresh soil of the same type? should i wait till they are a certain hieght or exhibiting a certain behavior that indicates they are ready to move?

Thanks

arboricola
Senior Member
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: Minnesota zone 4

Hi Art;

I started a few in Sept. Here's how I see it..

1) They can make interesting bonsai. They do grow straight up.

2) If the leaves are green and glossy with a good growth tip, then you're ok. You can induce branching if you nip the growth bud. Little too soon. Wait for about 8-10 leaves.

3) Yes, they do smell. I have to get close because my old nose isn't what it used to be.

4) Repotted mine at 3 inches. I cut the tap root on mine with no ill effect. Same soil should work fine.

Here's mine...

[img]https://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e188/coloradus/lemon-1Small.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e188/coloradus/treeSmall.jpg[/img]

I put some bend in the stem with sticks to give it a little shape.

Phil...

artisanoo
Senior Member
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:53 pm

what a coincidence that started the same kind of seed at (almost) the same time

your seedlings are cute :)

anyhow - my largest one is still between 1-2 inches and just one pair of leaves, with a visible grow tip. so i guess i have a little more time before i need to do anything other than water them. its good that you were able to trim the tap root off with no issues, hopefully i will be able to do the same. are you planning to grow all of yours as bonsai? do you plan on doing that trimming you mentioned to start off some branching?

do you have any links or photos of already established citron bonsai? im curious what has been done with them before.

arboricola
Senior Member
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: Minnesota zone 4

Havn't a clue what to do with them. I started the pips as part of an experiment with Zeolite. Two of them seem to be branching on there own, so I'll let them go.

Phil...

artisanoo
Senior Member
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:53 pm

what kind of experiment were you doing?
i assume it was a success, as you seem to have some healthy seedlings growing?

btw when do you start fertilizing a new seedling?

arboricola
Senior Member
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: Minnesota zone 4

I'm using Zeolite in a soil mix. The Zeolite has many times the surface area of gravel and is able to absorb and hold water and nutrients.It then slowly releases water and nutrients, such as nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, calcium and trace elements as the plant needs them. Don't ask how the plant asks for them, it was explained to me in terms a little over my head. (If the the plant wants it, the Zeolite gives it up) This reduces fertillizer washout due to frequent watering and keeps the plant from checking its growth due to lack of nutrients.. Sort of a continious fed cycle. This might help with 100% inorganic mixes. The plants I started have not checked and are growing about a ½ inch a week. They have been fertilized with every watering (5-6 days) with 2 drops 10-15-10 per quart of water from the time they were 1 inch. The tap root was cut, then repotted last week with no checking. I'm going to pot 3 scheffs up in a couple of weeks. One will be in my standard mix and others in the Zeolite mix. All 3 will get 16 hours light, water as needed and fretilize with 4 drops per qt. every 4th watering or about every 2 weeks. So the experiment goes on. So far, so good.

Phil...

artisanoo
Senior Member
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:53 pm

that is very interesting. is zeolite expensive? based on your description, if it works for you, it sounds like a simple but powerful soil mix that is nice and easy to make.

btw, youd mentioned that they have a smell - my largest ones are starting to look like real leaves now, but when i sniff them i don't sense much aside from the normal smell of soil and leaves. do they have to be a certain age or size to smell? do they need to be rubbed to smell? im just curious, it would be nice to have a natural citrus air freshener :)

i also wonder if they will flower indoors. i assume it would take a few years for that at least though?

arboricola
Senior Member
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: Minnesota zone 4

I'm not sure what the cost would be. A friend of mine who works at a golf course gave me 10 Lbs. to play with. They buy the stuff by the ton.He called it Molly Green. So I looked it up and talked to a person I know in the Ag business to find out more..

" MOLLY GREEN is a 25 pound retail package of BRZâ„¢ natural zeolite for lawns, potting soils, flower and
vegetable gardens. In addition to improved fertilizer utilization and water retention, it also creates a time-release
mechanism to prevent pollution and the burning of the plant by nitrogen."

The web site is https://bearriverzeolite.com/ if you want more info.

They do have a smell to them, but I think it takes time and a lot of leaves. They do flower. I believe Alex has one, so he could tell you a lot more than I can.

Phil...

artisanoo
Senior Member
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:53 pm

that sounds really cool. keep me/us posted (i guess in another thread perhaps) on the results

you mean alexinoklahoma? maybe he will see this and chime in with any citron info he may have

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