New to Citrus, Start From Seed or Buy Grown?

ashley_plant_addict(Zone 8)October 28, 2009

Hello everyone,

I have many house plants but no trees. I want to start to grow a blood orange tree but have heard a couple of things about them. Please correct me if I am wrong. I read that because they are varigated, one cannot grow a blood orange tree from the seeds in the actual blood orange. I also was told to put the seeds in water over night before I plant them, however this might have been because I was at work eating a blood orange and thought "hey! Why not grow one!". Not as easy as I thought.

I also want to grow an avacado tree (I know, this is the citrus forum) and this I know I can do from seed. Yay! :) But as far as citrus trees are concerned, should I grow one from seed or buy a established one from the store?

What would be a good type of citrus to grow indoors, in Texas? Would it stay in all year round? During the Spring, Summer and Fall I could keep the tree outside unless the heat in the summer would be too much. You know Texas weather, its Summer, Summer, Summer and then a breif mixture between fall and winter haha! :D Though this season we've been getting an oddly high amount of rain, my plants are in humidity heaven :P

Any help on easy growing citurs trees or trees in general to keep indoors would be great! As I only know of the ficus tree to be indoors. Though, Mike has explained that he grows citrus easily indoors, lets hope I'm as lucky as he.

Thanks for the help!


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I am not aware that all blood oranges were variegated. Growing from seed will not prevent the tree from being variegated but an open pollinated tree or any tree grown from seed may not necessarily be variegated. Just like human parents with black and red hair, the child may be blond. Trees grown from seed may take several years to mature to the blooming stage - 5, 7 or 10 years.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 11:53PM
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Welcome Ashley!

You are now part of the citrus forum..You will notice that this particular thread moves ALOT slower than the "houseplants" forums for
Still a great bunch of people here and very informative!

As for your questions..

I never heard of a variegated blood orange from seed. I have heard of them grafted though..I actually almost bought one from another forum for over 100 dollars and decided to hold off. They are beautiful though!

"But as far as citrus trees are concerned, should I grow one from seed or buy a established one from the store?"

It really depends what your are striving for, a matter of preference. What "you" like.
If you just want to grow one from a seed for fun and just for greenery, you can do it. A couple of friends and my sister have done it. In particular, my sister has a navel orange growing for over 20 years. HUGE with big shiney green leaves. Never a flower though. But she would never part with it. Says it is beautiful no matter what.

If you want blooms and fruit, then go the route of aquiring for yourself a cutting or grafted one.
There are so many sources for these types at reasonable prices, far worth it.
I personally wouldn't have the years of patients for what I can get overnight...Bad me..
You can cut off many years waiting to get fruit and blossoms this way..

Any tree can be grown indoors with a great amount of sunlight, even up here. I suppose more so for you..:-)

I would definately keep it outdoors though, as long as possible, since that is their preference. You don't have to give them direct hot sun all day as you say you can get there. They love morning and late afternoon sun. They also love dabbled sunlight under trees..

As far as Avacados? I never tried one...Sorry.
I know some that have, and have had great success. One of my friends tells me they are picky about lighting though.

Tell us what you do.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 11:02AM
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ashley_plant_addict(Zone 8)

Thanks Mike! Well to be honest, I want the best of both worlds so....I will probably end up buying a grafted one so that I get instant gratification ;) and then I'll also plant one to get the satisfaction of growing my own tree from seed.

Thanks for the help Tsmith, 10 years is a long time to wait. Like I said, I think I'll try both ways because I do want the wonderful scent that citrus trees can give off.

Hopefully I'll get one soon so I can get to know more of you on this forum and experience the wonders of citrus! :)

Any suggestions on where to purchase a fairly inexpensive citrus? Orange preferred. What are your preferences?

Thanks for the help!


    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 11:50AM
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Ashley, first find out if you can have citrus shipped to Texas..
I am not sure, but I do know that Florida is out of the question..

See if there is any bans first of all, then I will suggest a couple of nice places...


    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 12:04PM
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Ashley, check Home Depot and Lowe's in the Spring and Summer. I'm sure I saw blood orange at one of them last season. Both usually have a decent selection of citrus.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 9:42PM
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ashleysf(9 San Jose,CA)

My local Lowe's, Home Depot, OSH have Fourwinds "true dwarf" citrus - even the rare varieties. They cost $22.95 per 3-5 gal container and they have flowers and fruit on them. I have found variegated pink lemons, Buddha's hand citron etc there.
OSH has lifetime warranty on the plants if you save the receipt and pot. So, I recommend checking the OSH first.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 12:28AM
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God I wished I live near you..I get most my mature varieties from 4winds and it costs me an arm and a leg to get them shipped here.
They have the best citrus trees going! In fact, most that I own are either from them or Logees.

Good for you....But some will

Have a great day Ash!


    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 7:50AM
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ashleysf(9 San Jose,CA)

If you ever come to California on a vacation or business, just drop into a big box store and you can get Fourwinds citrus (they are actually located in my backyard here in Fremont but they only sell to people with wholesale licenses and not retail - over @ the FourWinds location, a 50 gallon tree is supposedly only $80 if you had a wholesale license or a landscaper's license). Anyway, I always took citrus for granted living near the "citrus belt" in california. Even Walmart has high quality citrus over here. BTW/ Menlo growers is also located in N Cal and their quality is comparable to Fourwinds too, and they have interesting mandarins, but they are a mom and pop grower.
I always admire you guys for persevering in growing them in the face of all hardships. But, global warming is on your side - one day you will be able to grow citrus outside like us :)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 2:32PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Global warming is on your side lol What about rising ocean levels. Shifts in rainfall salt water intrusion??
In your case shifting tektonic plates?? You don't think the "BIG ONE" is coming?? In my case 10 feet above sea level,tsunamis and of course that old standby hurricanes. Got to quit watching the history channel!!
Hadn't even thought of magnetic shifts meteor strikes.
the inevitable ice age Fault line under Missoui?? Someday they may be the ONLY ones raising anything lol gary

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 5:31AM
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Ashley - I have grown plenty of citrus from seed, they are kinda slow growing up until their stems are large enough to have bark - then they seem to grow a foot or more a year.

BUT - most seed grown citrus take forever to bloom and make fruit. It is not the easy way to have fresh citrus. Some trees can take 15-20 years to bloom and some NEVER get there.

Grow from seed for the novelty of it but buy grafted trees that are already blooming for fruit production.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 9:47AM
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ashley_plant_addict(Zone 8)

Wow thanks everyone! Ashleysf, $22 is GREAT! I figured potted trees would range from 50 to 100 for me. Well, I'll start looking into Lowes and HD to see what they have. What is OSH? Variegated pink lemon and Buhhda's hand citron? I've never heard of these types before, they sound wonderful!

Should I wait until Spirng to buy one?

tsmith, you've given me hope that I'll find my beloved blood orange tree at a local store.

Mike, I think that citrus can be shipped here but the plants can't have any bugs or anything harmful to TX. I'm still a little confused on how this works. Do companies that sell citrus trees look out for things like this and make it easy to ship? Or is my best bet to buy from a local store?

Oh goodness, global warming is on no ones side! Haha! :) Iceage fault line in Missouri? Wha?

John, thanks for the help. I'll probably buy a grafted one to make things earsier on me but I will eventually try from seed for the gradification of growing my own citrus tree ;)

Know of any other tree that might be good for indoors? Grapefruit, lime, etc...?

Thanks a bunch!


    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 3:38PM
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ashleysf(9 San Jose,CA)

OSH = Orchard Supply Hardware :) Go there first - because they are priced the same as HD and Lowe's and have a lifetime warranty - so if the plant does not do well, just take it back anytime. I think that you need not wait until spring considering Dallas weather.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 5:00PM
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ashley_plant_addict(Zone 8)

Thank you Ashley, I'll start looking today! The weather last month in Dallas was very odd. Rainy (almost everyday) and I still in texas?! ;) But now the weather is in the mid 70's in the day and low 50's to 60's at night, how wonderful :)


    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 2:56PM
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Always check with your local extention agent and your Master Gardner program. If they are anything like here they have sales once or twice every year, plus they are a great help.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 10:32PM
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Ashley saying, "Oh goodness, global warming is on no ones side! Haha! :)"

Oh, I don't know.......anywhere cold it would be a great advantage.I don't really believe in all that, but I keep hoping! The things I could grow in Maryland if it were just a little warmer.......

However, we had 4 feet of snow on the ground in Baltimore last winter, the most of any city in the U.S., so I'm not planning on growing citrus trees in the ground anytime soon.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 12:38PM
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