Does Citrus Seed Give fruit ? Plzzz Answer the Answer :)

AsrarJune 21, 2014

I asked some one that A Seedling or a plant grown from seed can give fruits in short period of 2/3 years without grafting / layering etc... Few gardeners says about citrus that it need grafting or it should be cutting to get fruit.. and the person answered me like that :
"OK I just wanna say 1st that I am not trying to sound rude. But it does kinda ERK me that they tell people that. I have heard this from many people about many plants. Don't listen to them. That makes absolutely no sense. Everything starts as a seed even you. Why would a fruit seed not produce fruit? There is no logic answer. The sad fact is they don't want you to grow your own cuz then why would you need them. Let your own common sense guide you not hear say."
:) if you have time please answer with m/f nature of citrus plants, self pollination etc :) thanks.

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Just be prepared for a long journey. Citrus from seed take years to grow large enough to become mature.

Citrus are self pollinating. They have all the sex parts right there in one flower, it just needs a slight breeze or a bump for pollination.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 5:37PM
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Some citrus seedlings can take more than 10 years to produce fruit and you never know for sure what you will get until the fruit ripens. Seeds can have a notably different or totally different DNA than the "Mother".

Considering the Meyer, with which I have considerable experience, I have planted seedlings that have not produced a single flower in 5 years; but after 7 or 8 years (in the tropics), they begin to make a few fruits. Judge that against my grafted Meyers which produce first fruits in about 14 months. Consider also that the original Meyer did not come from a Meyer seed; it came from some sort of cross believed to be of orange, mandarin, and lemon.
If you plant any seed from a hybrid plant, you will not likely get the hybrid plant; so yes, any fertile seed will produce a plant which will ultimately produce other seed; it just might not be anything like what you want. On the up side, it COULD turn out to be something even better.

Lastly, it is of little importance; but as an author who uses words as tools, what "Erks" you should probably be "irks".

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 7:35PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

John. Not to argue with you about meyers as you are the king of them but didnt the meyer have to have been a seedling at its inception. How else could it have been done. Or am i reading your message wrong.

Asrar. As the others have mentioned its not a matter of if a seedling will fruit but when. Fruit quality can and most likely will different from the fruit the seed came from. That doesnt mean that it will be a terrible piece of fruit. Heck amost all cultivars of citrus, apples, peaches, plums, etc are a hybrid of some sorts. The difference is all the desirable fruits we have now are results of years of crosses and trials. The best of the best crosses are selected and the rest forgotten about.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 8:25AM
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:) Thanks for discussion. So, cuttings and grafting is the best approach to attain and keep the fruit in its Good (latest, healthy, size , plant size). So conclusion is that all lemons will produce fruit from seed, the only question is when..... hmm.
One more thing, does plant follow the height of rootstock or scion ?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 9:19AM
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Of course the first Meyer came from a seed; but the parents of that seed were something else, believed now to have been mandarin/orange/lemon.


The answer to the size question is "both"... the rootstock modifies the size; but the ultimate determination is the genetics/species of the plant.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 12:34PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA


Your question does not have an easy answer.

First, MOST citrus do grow 'true' from seed. By true, I mean they are essentially 'clones' of the parent plant. Most lemons do, grapefruits, oranges, mandarins do.

But some DO NOT...such as Meyer lemon, pummelos, Minneola tangelo, Temple oranges, Clementine mandarins, and a few others. Don't quote me on which ones. You can do a search in this forum and find out. Malcolm Manners gave a list here once.

Second point: Seedlings of many citrus have a very long juvenile period -- for example grapefruits require up to 10 to 14 years before they eventually put out the 'mature' wood that is capable of blooming and bearing fruit. By this time plants must get quite large (maybe over 14 feet high).

Key limes, calamondins, and perhaps kumquats take much less time - perhaps 3 to 5 years from seed.

Of course all this depends also on the growing conditions. Optimally, in the ground in Florida with great year-round weather - they take fewer years to bear. In a pot in the cold Northern US, they can take many more years - or maybe never.

Also, many oranges and lemons for example are extremely thorny from seed. I mean we're talking 3-inch or longer thorns! Only the older mature growth tends to have shorter thorns.

Because of this 'juvenility' problem (as well as root disease issues), many citrus (scions from mature wood) are grafted onto a hardy rootstock. This imparts not only a bit of hardiness but also disease resistance to the scion, and assures that you will get fruit in just a few years (vs the many, many years from seed). It also assures that the exact variety will be propagated in the cases where that particular variety won't grow true from seed.

I'm hoping this helps you understand why it's not a simple answer to your question.

This post was edited by dave_in_nova on Wed, Jun 25, 14 at 9:31

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 8:43PM
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