A tail of very different lemon seeds

mgrandinJune 14, 2014

It was probably about two years ago that we put a number of seeds from some store bought lemons into some pots outside. We must have thrown at least 60 seeds from perhaps 20 lemons into the soil, but I do believe they were all the same type of lemon at any rate.

So many of the seeds grew, but we ended up planting the top 6 contenders that were moved from pot to ground. 3 were planted first with really very little preparation (1 bag of soil (perhaps about 5lbs worth) was put into a small dug hole). 1 of the 3 died, and two still survive.

So, the two left obviously have something very different going on even though they are planted within a few meters of one another. I have not applied any fertilizer to them, just watering, coffee grounds, and an occasional sprinkling of worm castings. One tree I guess is now around 142 inches (approaching 12 feet) tall while the other is about 27 inches tall (rough measurements). Neither have produced any flowers or fruit, but I find it interesting what different paths two seeds that are treated in a similar way can go. I am surprised at how quickly the taller one has risen. I am not sure if the slow rising one will ever amount to anything that can produce. I will keep it for now at any rate as maybe one day it will take off.

Anyway, I just thought I would share the results thus far of two seemingly very different lemon seeds grown here in Bangkok TH.

both together:

bigger lemon tree only:

smaller lemon tree only:

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

Looks like all my citrus trees compaired to my worthless kumquat tree. It happens.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 2:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yeah thanks Steve. I wonder if there is a chance that the smaller one will take off or potentially it is just from a genetically defective seed and there is no amount of care that will help. Have you ever found a plant you thought was pretty much hopeless make a turnaround that really surprised you?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 8:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

I would be inclined to leave it. It still looks nice and you may have a genetic dwarf for the future that will produce at a very small bonzai level.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 3:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes Steve I'll leave it just the fact that it averages just over a foot of growth a year (compared to 6 ft./yr for the larger one) isn't great but hopefully it will survive and hit a growth spurt soon.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 9:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Being from the northeast I have no experience with in ground citrus. Is 6' per year normal growth? That seems impressive for any tree, but then again trees up here take half of the year off.

The tree does looks pretty healthy though so it's funny how small it is in comparison. Depending on how it grows and if it ever flowers it could be useful to have a dwarf tree.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 4:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They are both lovely trees, especially that large one it will grow into a handsome fellow.

Do you know what the soil is like around where you planted these seedlings?
And I assume you receive lots of rainfall?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 3:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dtune: I can't speak to normal growth for citrus; I think lemon trees aren't common around here but there are a lot of mango, papaya, tamarind, coconut, and banana trees.

norwoodn: Thanks; We have a rainy season for I guess around 5 months of the year and the rain can come quick and heavy during that time. Also we have a lot of sun. As for the soil, I guess it is clay but I really don't know how to tell anything more specific than that. The large one is closer to a more sandy area of the yard so maybe it does have a more suitable soil in that area not really sure.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 8:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dtune, 6' per year is not normal for a citrus. I have a mandarin cross seedling that's about 4 years old and is about 4 ft tall, I think that's about average growth. I'm amazed!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 9:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

3 of my sweetlee tangerine trees grew very fast from seed to over 10 FT of linear twig growth, but have slowed to 1 to 2 feet in this second year.

Here is a link that might be useful: https://plus.google.com/photos/111099372377958308731/albums/5961857381151877457/5970294622503194642?banner=pwa&sort=4&pid=5970294622503194642&oid=111099372377958308731

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 11:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Steve: Is linear twig growth a measure of all the branches and trunk length or is it another term for height? If the former, that would be time consuming and difficult to measure once a tree gets a bit big.

eahamel: Maybe mandarin or what you crossed it with are just naturally smaller citrus trees? Not sure but I think the type of citrus and whether it is in a pot or the ground can be a big factor in average growth / year. Or perhaps I just have a Shaq O'Neil of lemon trees.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 8:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

linear twig growth is the combined growth of all twigs, branches, and trunk. The picture linked above is 53 weeks old from when the plant broke soil surface. They seem to grow very fast at start. Interestingly all my trees put on the majority of there growth while indoors under grow lamps. My poncirus trifoliatas only grow in spring through fall and do not grow under lights, so I let them go dormant in the unheated basement in front of a low light window.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 9:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Steve,

Thank you for the explanation. Your photo link shows up as pure black for me.

This post was edited by mgrandin on Sat, Jun 28, 14 at 3:39

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 10:50AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Sap on citrus leaves, but no insects
I have been studying the many comments regarding sap...
Citrus maxima flower buds?
When should I start fertilizing pomelos?
My first Meyer Lemon tree in the heat of Arizona
Hi Everyone, My last adventure with growing blueberries...
The whole Citrus Gang on the back deck....
Brought all the Citrus outside today for a good Neeming...! I...
greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a
Please diagnose my citrus
My indoor Meyer that I grew from a cutting is developing...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™