Orange Trees for the Totally Clueless - Mini Oranges??

MelliebelleDecember 19, 2010

Hello, all! I found this group after a web search to identify a type of orange tree. You guys seem to certainly be the experts!!

My fiance's grandmother has a fruit-bearing miniature orange tree that he absolutely adores. The tree is grown in a pot that stays outside during nice weather, and is brought back in during the cold (even though this is GA, we dip below freezing quite a bit).

The fruit is small - about the size of a table grape - and looks just like an orange. It is sectioned, has seeds, but is as sour as a lemon - like turn-your-face-inside-out sour. :)

A few people in his family have attempted to grow their own from seed from this tree, and they can get a nice, good-sized tree, but they never bear fruit.

I have some seeds now, which I washed and let dry on napkins. I was planning to plant them and try my luck - any tips or hints for making these produce fruit? I know that my fiance's grandmother won't be here much longer, and these oranges are a common bonding point for the two of them. I'd just like him to have something to remember her by.

Any help would be appreciated. As this will be my first attempt at propagating citrus, I'm going to need it!!

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If the peeling is sweet, the inside sour, and the fruit oblong, it is a kumquat. They can stand quite a bit of cold.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 4:09PM
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I agree it is probably a kumquat. There are two types, one has round fruit the other is more oblong or egg-shaped. It could also be a calamondin, although fruits are usually a bit larger - about golf ball size.
All seedling citrus take many years to flower and produce fruit. In ideal conditions perhaps five or six years, but generally 10 to 12 years and sometimes up to 15 or more. However, if not continually pruned they will all eventually fruit. There's not much you can do to speed things up - apart from plenty of year-round warmth, light, fertliser and patience.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 2:13PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Citrus seeds shouldn't be dried before they are planted. Save yourself some disappointment and get some fresh seeds, then plant before they dry.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 12:56AM
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Plant fresh or keep them moist in the frig. until ready for planting.
Soak seeds overnight, the following day discard the seeds that remain floating.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 12:53PM
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My guess would be a Calamondin if it isn't one of the round Kumquats. Calamondins are very sour but if you eat the whole thing peeling, rind and flesh at one time it is easier to eat, but the seeds can get in the way of a good snack. I just spit them out.

Getting seed grown citrus to bloom and set fruit can be very hard. It has nothing to do with your skills as a gardener. Seed grown citrus just tend to be locked in a juvenile stage that can last for over 10 years. The best bet is to buy a potted Calamondin from a garden center. Get one that is already blooming or setting fruit that way you know that it can bloom. They come in many sizes and there is also a variegated form with splashy white and green leaves.

I like the fragrance of their flowers better than any other citrus.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 3:02PM
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My guess is Calomandon or Kumquat or one of the hybrids of a Kumquats, such as Tavares "limequat" which is really sour.

I know some people disagree but I have better results if I slosh them around in a metal tea strainer under a very warm water stream until all the gooy sugary coating is removed. Then either store in the fridge or plant immediately. Never let a citrus seed dry out.

I sprout some of my seeds in damp paper towels in a clear deli caryout box.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 2:08AM
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Sounds like an Orange Jessamine to me.

Here's a link...

Here is a link that might be useful: Orange Jessamine

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 1:59PM
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