Stunted Seedlings: Trifoliate Orange
Hi Fellow Garden-web-ers:
Last fall I started some trifoliate oranges (poncirus trifoliata) from seeds harvested from oranges from a beautiful 12 foot tree growing outdoors at a friend of mine's.
I planted them without a grow light in potting soil in a coolish house (usually around 68, perhaps warmer in the summers) near a north-east facing window that has a bit of light interference from a rather tall and thick forest only about 20-30 feet away. Little direct sunlight really gets to them, though they are close to some streaks of it during the early hours of the day. I spritz them with a little water from the tap with a sprayer every day or two. I seldom give them food but have given them just a tiny bit of miracle grow through the year.
I'm happy to say I've sprouted a good dozen of them, although they have grown very, very slowly. The tallest of them are only 6 inches, and none are more substantial than a thin 2ish mm stem with 8 or so little signature triplets of leaves and 5 or so tiny, perhaps 3mm long thorns. They seem a little stunted. Though the thorn development is new, they've remained at this height seemingly forever, and they have retained a rather simple straight-stawked "seedling" shape with very little if any branch development.
How can I speed things up?
I've been a little lazy and transferred my seedlings to one big pot together and they're growing a pretty close to each other, many less than 1 inch apart. Would potting some of them separately and increasing the distance between them speed things up?
I've grown them (irregularly) with supplemental light from a typical "warm" LED lamp (11W strip, can light a 6x5 foot desk surprisingly well for reading)--though I have no idea if the lamp is within their ideal spectrum. I've sort of directed this lamp at some other seedlings recently since my oranges are at least somewhat established. Would more regular use of that lamp help them out?
Anything else I can do to make these seedlings look more like bonsai trees?
Would love to know about your experience with these beautiful plants!
This post was edited by OrangeMouse on Tue, Nov 5, 13 at 2:09