Meyer lemon seedling?

jandey1(TX8)December 3, 2012

Hi all! I usually hang out at the plumeria forum, but I could use some advice from you citrus pros here.

Several years ago I bought a Meyer lemon for a friend. When I repotted it, a little side shoot came off the root ball--it looks like it was a completely separate plant, like a seedling that was in the pot with the larger tree. I kept the baby and it's grown very well for me.

It looks exactly like Meyermike's pictures in the other post: wide leaves with purplish buds that open to white, and a short, dense growth habit. It's been producing for a few years now and makes huge sweet lemons.

My first question is: Is it possible for a Meyer seedling to be so close to the parent?

And secondly, what are the chances that its own seedling would be consistent in traits? Because I have a small 2 y.o. seedling of the suspected seedling that has completely different leaves so far.

I'll save my grafting questions for another time, LOL! Thanks for your help!
Jen

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johnmerr(11)

If it is producing already, it is not a seedling. If it has purplish buds and produces large sweet lemons, it certainly sounds like a Meyer. Some suppliers in your area produce trees from rooted cuttings; it is entirely possible you got two plants in one container.

As for seedlings being close to the mother, if the fruit falls to the ground and is not collected, it is quite common to produce a tree from seed. My Mother, who was less than diligent about collecting dropped fruit, had two new trees from under her Meyer; they ultimately produced "Meyer" lemons... at least, they looked and tasted like Meyers; but they took about 5 years before they produced the first fruit.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 6:54PM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

My neighbor's Meyer dropped fruit all around and one of the seeds actually sprouted and grew. It's now 17 yrs old, 10' across and 8' high.

I really can't remember when it first started producing lemons, but I believe our first small harvest was when it was about 3-4 yrs old.

Meyer seed is so low in viability as to be almost useless. I've got three Meyers and fruit drop happens all the time. No other Meyers have ever sprouted up except for that once. You're quite fortunate!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 8:33PM
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johnmerr(11)

I don't know that Meyer seed is low in viability; some years ago I planted 600 seeds and got 580 trees....it is quite a different thing than expecting a seed inside a rotting fruit on the surface of the soil to produce a tree.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 9:24PM
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jandey1(TX8)

Thank you for the information! It really looked like a seedling, very tiny and completely green stemmed. It did take about five years to grow large enough to fruit, but it really does seem exactly like a Meyer. Maybe it was a very small rooted cutting?

I tried growing several of the seeds and only one sprouted, this one with the strange, thin, narrow leaves. Guess I'll wait to use it for grafting stock, until I know it won't make a desirable plant. It's already a little on the thorny side.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 11:09PM
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