The Q&A Archives: Starting Orange Seeds

Question: During our long winter months, I like to experiment with seeds from fresh fruit. This year I'm having problems with germinating orange seeds--Clementine to be exact. Should I soak them first? let them dry? My next try will be Grapefruit. I need to keep busy until my new Burpee book comes!

Answer: Most citrus varieties can be grown from seed, but the resulting plant may not produce fruit "true to type"--that is, you'll get an orange tree from an orange seed, but the fruit might be of poor quality. Most fruit trees are propagated by "budding". <br><br>Most tropical and subtropical fruits germinate best if the soil temperature is maintained at a temperature of 70 to 80F. You might need to supply bottom heat (commercial seed starting mats are available).<br> <br>To raise by seed, sow in pots of seed-starting mix at a depth of about 1 inch. Water them as necessary to keep the soil moist, and keep them in a warm spot. Use fresh seed; citrus seed is quite perishable. You shouldn't need to soak them or give them any special pre-treatment. It's best to use seed from fruit that has not been refrigerated. Also, don't make the mistake of buying seedless grapefruit!<br><br>When the seedlings are large enough to handle (8-12 inches), transplant them into their own pots.<br>

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