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djlen
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Location: Just East of Zone 7a

Germinating Citrus, Guava, Kumquat etc.

I would like to buy some fruit, eat it and then germinate the seeds
to see how they'd grow as bonsai.
I'm reading that you can just stick them into a pot and they will
germinate.
Can someone tell me if they need to be dried first or can they just
go into the pot. Also, approximately what is the germination period?
Any input would be appreciated.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

NOT a reliable source I'm afraid :roll: *but* I poke citrus seeds in flower pots clustered around the window especially during the winter months. Sometimes, I do give them their own pot. Anyway, usually sprouts within a month.

During spring repotting and re-conditioning, I take out the seedling citrus and pot them up on their own.

OT: Never tried guavas, but I also poke a generously trimmed pyramids of onion bottoms in flower pots and they grow onion greens all winter for garnishing salads, soups, baked potatoes, etc.

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djlen
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Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:37 am
Location: Just East of Zone 7a

Ah, another New Jerseyan....lol. Thanks for the reply.
I'm just so bored at this time of year that I'm looking for ways to keep myself into the hobby of growing trees in pots. :) I'm going to the supermarket later and figured I'd ask about the viability of picking up a few fruits and trying to germinate.
One thing I didn't get an answer on was the appox. germination time which you supplied.
Thank you.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
_________
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djlen
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Location: Just East of Zone 7a

OK, I went to the store and got a lime, a lemon, an orange and grapefruit.
Can you believe that there were no seeds in the lime?!!? Is there a special lime that one must get in order to have seeds?
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
_________
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!potatoes!
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Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

yup, most limes for market are seedless or nearly so; probably mostly if not all grafted stock...the one thing about germinating citrus of any kind is that it works better if they never dry out at all. in an experiment in college i had success germinating various citrus, papaya, cherimoya, starfruit, and even a coconut...

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Intriguedbybonsai
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Location: Escondido, CA (USDA Zone 9-10)

djlen wrote:OK, I went to the store and got a lime, a lemon, an orange and grapefruit.
Can you believe that there were no seeds in the lime?!!? Is there a special lime that one must get in order to have seeds?
Have you tried Key limes? Another thing I've noticed about citrus fruits in general is that Naval oranges never seem to have seeds. Valencia oranges do however. I always get lucky with grapefruit, the pink or red variety that is. I can't stand white ones because of their bitterness. Lemons always seem to be chock full of seeds.

Citrus seeds are very easy to germinate. And there's that great satisfaction you get when the first two leaves sprout.

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rainbowgardener
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Inspiration!

You folks are so much inspiration to me!! I have to run home and try it! The fruit seeds and the onion bottoms.

And for next year, I have to do potatoes in containers. And I just HAVE to have some of the gorgeous re-blooming iris, I just saw blooming NOW (purple! my favorite color) at a friend's house ... AND ... AND ... AND ...
:) :D

One of the many things I love about gardening... there's always new things to try.

davecito
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Location: Chapel Hill, NC

Citrus seeds should not dry out. They may sprout when dry, but the germination rate would be ~20% at best.

I don't know about bonsai for citrus, but they tend to have a shallow, spreading and fibrous root system, so keeping them in pots is not difficult at all. Because of the fine root system, they should be in something light that drains fairly quickly.

I spouted some tangelo seeds, which have struggled. My lemon seedlings however have done well, with slow but steady growth. I'm trying kumquat seeds now. The germination rate varied quite a bit - some of the tangelos only took 2 weeks; the lemons took more than a month.

Two things to look out for with citrus - they are succeptible to root rot if over watered. And I would suggest keeping them away from any nightshade type plants (peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, etc) - those plants can be magnets for mites and aphids, and while citrus won't attract those pests, they are sensitive to them. Seed-grown citrus can also take a long time to fruit - anywhere from 3-4 years (calamondin, kumquats) to more than 10 (grapefruits and pumellos). They LOVE light.

Lemons, limes and citrons can't take a freeze. Oranges, grapefruit and pummelos can take a few degrees below freezing for short periods of time. Some mandarins - satsumas in particular - can take temps into the mid-20s for a short spell, once the plant is mature. Kumquats and a handful of rare citrus can take temps down to the upper teens.

I have also sprouted guavas. They had a hard time kicking off the seed coat, which is very hard, so I think I should have soaked them first. They had a long, variable germination rate - I planted the seeds in September, and 3 weeks later I had 3 sprouts. A month later I had 3 more. As of this week, there are two more starting to show themselves. So I think the seeds have a long period of viability, and they will sprout when they are good and ready.

I don't know much about their bonsai possibilities, but it's my understanding that they are shrubby, can be kept small, and are somewhat vigorous. They can't take a freeze. In tropical environments, some varieties have a reputation for spreading and becoming weedy, and once established they have a reputation for durability. The flowers are apparently quite attractive.

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