grow from cutting

Ramrod48(9 - FLA.)August 6, 2005

Iam , sorry I see this was asked before , But for some reason I cant get the page to open , it just gets stuck , I tried several times , anyway , I been wanting a Lemon Tree, there like 35.00 dollars at Home depot , if I find a mature tree can I cut a branch/ limb , from it , add some of that rooting mix stuff to the end of it an get a lemon tree that will produce fruit ,, Several yrs I bought a Orange tree from the nursey , It was about 5 foot tall then,,, it took 8 yrs for it to produce fruit , then lost it in the last hurricane . I would greatly appericate any an all insite on this Thank You ,,,,,,,,,

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yearningone(6 NJ)

Hey, where's Ramathorn? (sorry, couldn't resist the SuperTroopers reference!)

It's been ages since my last post, but if memory still serves me, you should be able to take cuttings from a fruit-bearing tree and have it bear fruit as well. I believe the proper place to take the cutting is from a lateral (sideways) shoot than from an upright top shoot. The reason for this is because chronologically, even though both clippings are theoretically from the same aged plant, the ones coming from the side are older whereas the once coming from the top are young. If you clip from the top, you may end up waiting the same time it would take to grow from seed versus having fruit relatively quickly (within 2 years) if the plant develops roots. I believe the citrus know whether or not it can handle fruit. It will blossom, fruit will take, and remain if it is strong enough. Otherwise, any blossoms and/or fruit will just fall. I have a lime tree still on my cable box along with a navel orange. The lime had a total of like 15-20 blossoms of which one remains. It's amazing. The tree itself is no more than 18" tall, has only like 2 side branches and a dozen leaves, yet a 2" long fruit remains on it. Growing. I really wish there was an easy way to get rid of spider mites, but that's a different story...


    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 11:18AM
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Eugene, Glad to see you posting again. Ramrod, as far as taking a cutting from a MATURE tree (one that is already producing flowers and fruit), it really does not matter much what part of the tree you cut it from. Get a YOUNG cutting from a NEW FLUSH, after it has hardened off (stiffened up)6 to 8 inches in length, and clip off all but 2 or 3 leaves. Wound the bottom by making a virticle cut removing a little of the bark. Dip in a rooting hormone, make a hole in the growing medium with a pencil or stick and place the cutting in the hole and push the soil around the stem, being careful not to rub off the rooting hormone. Place the cutting under a misting system or if you do not have a mist system then place inside a plastic bag. Place the bag in a bright light area, but NOT in direct sunshine. Wait approximately 4 to 6 weeks for the cutting to root. Do not let the sides of the plactic bag touch the cutting. Your lucky you are trying to root a lemon, as lemons are amoung the easiest of citrus varieties to root. If you use a misting system you should get approximately a 100% success rate. Using the plastic bag method the success rate is approximately 50%, so if you are going to use a bag make 3 or 4 cutting to be sure you successfully root a couple cuttings. You should see the rooted cutting flowering the following year or at least in the second year. - Millet

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 8:52PM
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patusho25(z11 Mexico)

Woaw, didn´t know citrus can be grown from cuttings. That give me some ideas. lol

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 1:10AM
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Ramrod48(9 - FLA.)

well, Thank ya'll very much , guess I gotta go find me a lemon tree ,,,, I heard most citrus tree's are grafted from lemon , cause they grow so well, Tried that grafting bis. before didnt work out very well for me ,,,Thanks Again

    Bookmark   August 9, 2005 at 12:54AM
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what do you mean by misting?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 5:06PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Some growers use a watering system of spray nozzles above flats of rooting cuttings to increase their rooting success. The spray nozzles emit a very fine, soft mist every so many minutes. This is usually in a warm, bright greenhouse. The combination of warmth, brightness, good air circulation, and humidity creates an optimum environment for rooting. Hard to achieve with a plastic bag.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 8:40PM
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orchidguyftl(z11 FTL FL)

Ramrod48, where in FL are you?
I have a ponderosa lemon that is in a pot that I could take some cuttings from
the thing is LOADED with flower buds at the moment
I also have a Key lime if you wanted to try that too

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 8:52PM
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Ive got a minature greenhouse on my balcony

Is it alright if i cover the soil with cling rap so it retains the moisture and put it in my green house which gets to about 28degrees celcius (82degrees farenheit) and put a bowl of water in there so the water evaporates slowly leaving warm moist air??

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 1:42AM
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pezzuti9(z5 PA)

That I just placed on the fruit and orchard forum. I grew that and many other lemon trees from cuttings and one a few years ago that I air layered and it did well. Being on the fringe of zone 5 I have to take the tree indoors for the winter.
Lou NE., PA

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 9:26PM
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I am also planning on growing from a cutting. I am woried though that the tree that I would be taking a cutting from would be damaged by me doing so. Its an older lemon tree that has grown in my grandfathers back yard fruiting for as long as I can remember (I am only 21, so that may not be to long) I plan on taking a cutting from this tree, which is only around 8-9 feet tall at the most, and I would like to make sure that I am doing it at the proper time of year, and at the proper place on the tree itself, both to make sure I dont harm the lemon tree, and to help with making sure I can get it to take root. The tree itself is small for all these years and is never actually pruned now that my gran isnt there to take care of it. So I belive the tree itself is pretty strong, and could handle most mistakes I make, but Any information you can give me would be greatly apriciated!


    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 2:25PM
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There are a few reasons for most citrus trees being budded/grafted, rather than grown from cuttings. If you can put up with the disadvantages, then sure, go ahead and use cuttings. But here are the common disadvantages:

1. Phytophthora foot rot disease. One of the major killers of citrus, and most scion varieties are highly susceptible. By budding rather high (6" or more) to a resistant rootstock, you can have a far more resistant tree.

2. Water. Orange trees, specifically, make very shallow root systems that need more frequent irrigation, than do many rootstocks. That may not be a problem with lemons in your case.

3. Fruit quality. Grapefruit on its own roots tends to taste rather bland and dilute. Oranges, mandarins, and the acid citrus (lemons/limes) are good in that regard, though.

4. Cold hardiness. Most citrus can be made more hardy by grafting to a cold-hardy stock. Again with lemons, that's debatable -- they never really become very hardy, although some of the so-called lemons, really hybrids, such as Meyer and Pondarosa are more hardy than the true lemons.

5. Size. With own-root trees, the tree grows to whatever size its genetics dictate. A rootstock allows you to get dwarfing or more vigor, as may be desired.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 9:19PM
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Malcom, if cuttings are dipped in a rooting hormone, will this prevent diseases?
How about rootstock? Does using certain rootstocks prevent disease? If so, which types of stock work best? Toni

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 6:27PM
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Some rooting hormones have a built-in fungicide, which may help keep the cutting from rotting until it's rooted. But it would have no lasting effect on the final tree. AFAIK, rootstocks prevent disease ONLY in one of these ways:

1. (most common) A resistant rootstock, budded high, can help prevent crown-area disease, which is nearly always phytophthora.

2. (important only in the case of Poncirus) Poncirus roots will not support phytophthora, so if you have no true citrus roots in the soil, Pytophthora will actually die out of the soil (whether in a grove or in a pot), and so the probability of the trunk getting foot rot becomes ever smaller. The reverse of that is 'Cleopatra' which, while its own bark is fairly foot-rot resistant, its roots breed up fantastic numbers of phytophthora spores, which, if splashed onto the scion bark, are more likely to cause foot rot than would any other rootstock, simply due to the spore load.

But as for the common foliage diseases -- greasy spot, melanose, canker, etc., no, rootstock would have no effect.

Oh there is one other possibility -- some rootstocks which are susceptible to citrus scab can spread inoculum from a leafy rootstock sprout to the scion variety. But if you keep the rootstock sprouts cut off, that is not a problem.

And then of course there are the viral diseases, in which the proper scion/stock combination often gives tolerance to the virus.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 10:09PM
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I was recently given a potted Meyers Lemon Tree cutting and I repotted it from the clay type soil into about a 3 gallon pot with drain holes and detachable dish. I put about 1 to 2 inches of potting gravel in the pot and a single layer in the dish. I filled it with citrus/palm potting soil and used a small serving of liquid citrus fertilizer. There were about 4 leaves the size of a child's hand. The leaves wilted and fell off. The cutting was "Y" shaped like a slingshot base, about 12 to 14 inches above the soil line and about 1 inch abound the lowest point. It is now about 18 inches and has about 4 dozen leaves. The latest leafing coming in over the last 4 days. These leaves are a brighter green and appear larger than the others. They came in at branch endings and along the branches, thus I don't think they are suckers, but I'm not sure. I am wondering, based on the size and that it was taken from a mature fruiting tree, what an educated guess would be to expect blooms. Sorry for the length but I am brand new but excited by the prospects. I was told that some cutting plantings can grow large and bear much leafing but never blossom/fruit. Anyway to change that? Happen very often?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 4:54PM
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I'm wanting to graft onto an existing florida everbearing lemon tree,about 25 yrs old. I'l like to add meyer lemon, and key lime. Is it possible? Where can someone find just cuttings of these to use?


    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 2:27PM
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buylady(z5b IL)

hi all, mercy i been using root tone for years an have a total of 30 babies some are still very small didn't have much fruit til i now have my plants in the 5-1-1 mix thx to Mike an others have steered me in the right direction so hopefully they'll produce more fruit

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 4:42PM
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Erika, Unfortunately, since this thread was last active, we have had the great outbreaks of citrus canker and citrus greening (huanglongbing) diseases in Florida, and because of them, it is now illegal (Federal AND State laws) to propagate citrus in any quantity, by any means, for any purpose, within the state, unless you are a licensed (and therefore frequently inspected) citrus nursery.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 6:53PM
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I am sorry to bring this older post up, but I had a question I could not find answered.

How much time does one have between cutting the actual cutting off to giving the cutting moisture?

I have heard that once it is cut, you need to stick in in moisture right away.

I know someone is here asking for cuttings through the mail, but not sure that is possible?


    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 8:29AM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)


I have 20 acres with approx 3 acres of gardens. In order to fill up all my gardens I had to take a lot of cuttings. I have an easy fail proof way of taking cuttings.

1. Buy a plastic tote with a lid. Preferably as clear plastic as you can get.

2. Then I fill about 2 to 3 inches of soiless medium. 1 part peat moss and 1 part perlite.

3. I then make the medium damp, not soggy but it does have to be damp through and through (peat takes a bit to absorb water...remember that). For the size container I have in the below photo, I use one full icecream bucket of rain water or pond water and that seems to be the perfect amount.

4. Dip your cuttings into the growth hormone, place them in the medium. I usually make my hole first with a pencil and then tamp the soil around the cutting a bit.

5. place the lid on and forget them for several months. I do my cuttings in Oct or Nov and don't remove the cuttings until May or June. I will peek in the container on occasion to ensure there is enough moisture in the mix.

Here is a photo of my conifer cuttings so that you get an idea of what I'm talking about.

Here is one more with different conifers:

It is such an easy method that I've been able to root hard to root items for nursery friends. It is so fun!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 10:47AM
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Hi Does anyone have any cutting to give away of any citrus fruit, lemons, limes, grapefruit etc. I will send a postage paid large envelope to mail them in. Please let me know.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 5:27PM
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socoast(High Altitude Semi Trop)

I am also looking for cuttings of Tango and Kishu.
Its the only method I have for acquiring these delicious varieties in Panama.

I have a mailing address in Florida, so I cannot buy small trees in CA and have them shipped.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 7:30PM
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