Ask a Question forum: Germinating Citrus (Grapefruit)

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Name: Tajuan
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
May 31, 2016 9:35 AM CST
Thumb of 2016-05-31/Teejay/0df254

Only when I got too busy with life, forgetting on numerous occasions to take my grapefruit to work with me for my lunch break, was I able to successfully germinate my seeds. It seems the best way came about by complete mistake namely forgetfulness and neglect. I never even extracted the seeds from the fruit. So there they germinated. When finally I went to eat the grapefruit I found roots about ½ inch emerging from two of its seeds. Immediately I washed them off and prepared the soil medium for planting. With careful observance assuring the perfect conditions thereafter, I now have a young grapefruit tree!

I’ve had many attempts getting grapefruit seeds to germinate. I had even tried a number of different methods with no success - finding different reason for each failure. So now I am truly surprised and excited about this new growth.

If anyone has experience with grapefruit seeds I’d love feedback about your experience for the life of a healthy and prosperous tree.

Thumb of 2016-05-31/Teejay/8de700

Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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Hummingbirder Garden Sages
May 31, 2016 9:38 AM CST
I have about 8 different citrus I have raised from seed. Take the seed out of the fruit and drop into a jar of water. Leave for a week (change water as needed) and plant. Of all the citrus Grapefruit is probably the easiest to germinate and grow, in my experience. Gene
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
May 31, 2016 9:56 AM CST
Not the best for a house plant, though. Grapefruit get to be very large trees, and they grow pretty fast, too.

Be prepared to prune a lot, find sunshine for it in every season and water often. If you don't have a greenhouse to grow it in, you really have no hope of fruit.

Oops, sorry to be so discouraging. I'd recommend you try a mandarin or tangerine orange for a better sized tree to keep indoors. Kumquat and Key Lime also stay smaller.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
May 31, 2016 11:36 AM CST

Your next question will be 'Why does my baby grapefruit have funny leaves and big thorns?'

Answer: The funny leaves will pass but the big thorns might be there to stay. Smiling

Name: Tajuan
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Jun 2, 2016 2:48 PM CST
Thanks so much @Daisyl! I try to do as much research as I can. So I've been made aware of and am eagerly awaiting the thorns as it will give quite a contrast to my other plants! I did not know about the funny leaves though.

Thanks again,

[Last edited by Teejay - Jun 2, 2016 3:01 PM (+)]
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Name: Tajuan
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Jun 2, 2016 2:57 PM CST
Thanks @gasrocks! I will certainly try that the next time!

Great help @dyzzypyxxy! You are why I enjoy this site. I can always find the answers about the right way to go regarding my plants here! Thanks for the quick response everyone!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Jun 2, 2016 3:08 PM CST
Teejay, your accidental technique sounds very close to what nature had in mind for citrus germination.

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