How to handle grapefruit seedlings

dimitrig(SoCal z10a/21)March 5, 2011

My girlfriend gave me four grapefruit seeds she obtained from a grapefruit she ate. The mother plant was planted in the 1930's or even before and from what I know of its origins it is probably not a commercial hybrid. I managed to germinate all four seeds. I gave one of the seedlings to my mother-in-law when it was a year old and about 6 inches high. She managed to kill it. However, I still have the the other three growing in containers.

They are now two years old and about two feet tall. Last year one of them even flowered, but there was no fruit. My questions are:

1. At what point do I cut the tap root? I expect to keep these in containers for life.

2. Do they need to be topped or pinched or otherwise pruned? Even though they are growing well, they aren't really branching in any way. Will that happen later? Right now growth is strictly upright. One of them has a branch bear the base. The other two are single stems. The mother plant was well-branched in form.

3. Is there anything else I should know about growing citrus from seed in containers?

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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

I dont believe removing the tap root is all that necessary. At least I have never seen anyone advocate for it to be done. I know bonsai growers encourage it to promote finer roots, but I dont see many people talk about it on larger container trees.

I have 3 year old lemon seedlings that branched on their own but pruning the top should encourage it to sprout lateral branches.

caring for seedlings, cuttings, and grafted trees in containers is all relatively the same. Provide them a good draining medium, give as much sun as you can, water when they dry out a bit, re-pot and root prune when required(every 1-3 years or so) and fertilize regularly with a good soluble fertilizer that either has the micro elements or provide them with another source. Thats pretty much the basics.

Mike

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 2:58PM
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