Germinating Lemon Seeds - Knowledgebase Question

Knoxville, TN
Avatar for JerryACES
Question by JerryACES
November 27, 1997
My wife has always admired potted lemom trees. I enjoy watching the entire process so I tried to germinate lemon seeds, twice and both times unsuccessfully. Can you give me any hints? I'm using sandy soil in a well drained pot and watering daily, butnothing happens.

Answer from NGA
November 27, 1997
Well, you may be trying too hard. We find them growing in the compost sometimes! Plant only fresh seeds - if they dry out, they die quickly. The soil you're using sounds well-drained, but make sure it will retain moisture throughout the day (add somepeat to the soil if necessary to boost moisture-retention). Keep pots in a warm place, such as atop the fridge, because they need soil temperatures of 80-90F to germinate. Here's a neat fact that adds even more interest to the process - some seeds contain two embryos which results in two seedlings. One embryo is the result of pollination, so the resulting seedling may exhibit carachteristics of either/both parent trees. The other embryo produces a clone of the tree from which it grew! If you want to grow a lemon that you can keep in a pot and that will produce fruit, I recommend purchasing a 'Meyer' lemon from a nursery or catalog. But don't let that discourage you from your gardening experimentation!

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