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orange from seed?

Hi! My boyfriend was thinking about growing orange tree from a seed. I read that it is really hard to provide sufficient conditions to good growth, so I am a bit sceptical about this idea. Have you ever tried it? When does it start to sprout? Every tip will be awesome!

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Posts: 27807
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: orange from seed?

Orange/citrus seeds — I have best success sowing freshly extracted seeds. Use a well-draining mix. They sprout in 3-4 weeks. Dried up seeds are not always viable. My understanding is it can take 7 years or so before they even start to bloom, and also they can be crossed/hybrid and not be true to parent fruit characteristics.

I have many citrus plants of all kinds (lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits), at different ages, and sizes all started from seeds — they Are fun to grow and make good winter houseplants. They do best outside during the summer. There are different minimum temperature ranges that they tolerate, and they need to be brought inside about while lowest temps are 10 degrees above, otherwise they shut down and lose leaves, etc.

None of them has fruited yet. One or two have started to bloom, but, as typical of fruit trees, they do not set fruit until they are older, even after they start to bloom. Mine are not cared for very well, usual agricultural recommendation is for pretty heavy fertilizer application, and I don’t do that. Also tend to let them dry out and stay in too-small containers for too long. So my own experience is not indicative of how they would grow under ideal conditions. But only thing they suffer from is overwatering. Otherwise pretty forgiving and takes well to pruning.

While waiting for blooming/fruiting, the leaves of different citruses have distinct fragrances and can be used in teas, as herbs for cooking, and body care products.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: orange from seed?

You can grow most citrus trees from seed. However, it does take 5 years or more for the plant to flower and a few years more for there to be adequate fruit production. Seeds will have more genetic variability, so it is likely the orange will not taste the same as the original. It might be better, or it may not be as good.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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