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Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Posted by norwoodn MT (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 10, 14 at 16:19

Started from a seed twenty years ago, that my sister planted.
It's doing apparently well recently, after it had lost most all of its leaves.
Used to have some spiders on it, but have been spraying a soap water solution. Pruned dead wood, when it lost leaves. Here it is now.
What do you think? I simply can't get rid of it, has sentimental value obviously. Would be nice if I were able to tell when and how I can help it produce. Has new growth on all the branches. Only water when soil is dry several inches. Takes awhile for that. Haven't been fertilizing it, but I do have some foliage pro 936


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

MMM snow.


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Advice?


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

My sister too had a Grapefruit tree that was over 30 years old...

They fed it and did all they could to get it produce, ut nothing.
What I can tell you is that they run very green by nature, are very hardy, look very beautiful as yours does, and love to be outdoors for the spring, summer and fall..

You are doing a great job with it..Maybe some day it will give you buds....Once it does, you will be jumping for joy!!

MIke


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

The tree looks healthy, I just wonder if the sun is too low or summer is too short and/or cool to produce grapefruit at that latitude. In any case, it's a nice tree, fruit or not.


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Is that the entire tree?
It looks incredibly small for a 20-year-old tree.

Josh


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Your tree is way too small to produce fruit from seed. The tree must grow past its juvenile period before it will flower. From seed that may be over 10 feet tall. Keep it for its beauty but don't expect fruit unless you can plant it in the ground, move to zone 9b or get a greenhouse of substantial size. If you can find someone with a grafted variety you could top graft yours and get a tree from seed that produces fruit from another variety.

Steve


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

I dont believe that is a 20 year old tree. It looks to be no more than 2-3 years old.


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

I just wanted to mention that a friend of mine has a lemon tree potted and indoors, in Troy, MT area, very northwest. She gets lemons twice a year. I imagine her tree is at least 10 years old. She lives in an "earthship" and there is lots of light from southern aspect windows and the house is very easy to heat- they use wood heat almost exclusively. Also, I believe she moves it within the house once in a while, and possibly outside during hot part of summer. Good luck with your 20-year old.


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Citrus, with their glossy dark green and aromatic leaves, make good houseplants. I use supplementary lighting (a 4 tube 216 watt fluorescent T5 unit) to provide light in the shorter days of winter. To maintain a reasonable humidity level, I grow my plants inside a clear plastic growhouse/greenhouse, which is kept in my bedroom! Also worth growing as atypical/unusual houseplants are: cardamom, allspice (pimenta dioica), soursop, kaffir lime, Australian finger lime, tea tree (melaleuca), Nagami kumquat, tamarind, starfruit, moringa, coffea arabica, tea (camellia sinensis) and dragonfruit.


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

GarryGreenfingers could you post pictures of this growhouse/greenhouse. I have kumquats-2 nagami and 1 meiwa along with figs sweetlee tangerines. I wrote of dragon fruit for its difficulty but hearing you are doing them i would like to see. I use CFL's in the 13 watt to 23 watts range, 20 of them. does your setup look anything like mine.
2 story grow box with citrus and veggies growing photo IMG_4916_zps4999f440.jpg

Would you start your own thread to show us how to grow the plants you are as ,far north as you place is (United Kingdom)

Here in the USA The christian far right has made it illegal to grow plants in the bedroom as it might interfere in the creation of more souls to bring on earth. calibrate your freedoms 4 once they are gone you will miss them

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: https://plus.google.com/photos/111099372377958308731/albums/5961857381151877457?banner=pwa


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

GarryGreenfingers,
I to would like to see your setup as well. I always wondered how I could keep my humidity up in my house. It would be so much easier to keep the humidity up in a container then it would be a whole house.


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

"Here in the USA The christian far right has made it illegal to grow plants in the bedroom as it might interfere in the creation of more souls to bring on earth"

What? Are these people nuts? Did I read that correctly or is it some kind of joke? Are you referring to 'naughty' plants (i.e. marijuana)?

Once I have bought myself a decent digital camera I will definitely upload some photos of both my plants and my set up. The advantage of using T5 growlights is that they produce gentle residual heat, which helps the plants. The growhouse/growtent is kept next to my west-facing window so that my plants can benefit from the sunlight. On hot clear summer days, the temperature inside my growtent can reach a sweltering 35 degrees C, but my plants love it! My growtent is one of these clear polythene 'walk-in growhouses': http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lacewing-Greenhouse-Grow-Green-House-48-x48-Walk-In-Plastic-Plant-Vegetables-/231010483049?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item35c94c3b69

These clear plastic growhouses are truly EXCELLENT for maintaining a humid microclimtate around plants that require at least a moderate level (i.e. 50+%) of relative humidity. Ever since I started growing my citrus, etc, inside these clear polythene/PVC growtents, I have had NO problems whatsoever relating to low or inadequate humidity! I've experienced NO mould/fungal problems, despite the humid, moist environment contained inside the growtent. These growtents allow you to grow humidity-loving tropicals such as mango, cacoa (yes, cacao or chocolate tree!) or miracle fruit, with ease, but these growtents work equally well for citrus, which like a moderate humidity level. If relative humidity or temperature inside the growtent gets too high, the door can be partially or fully unzipped to allow fresh air to enter. If you live in a cold northern part of the US AND have the space inside your home, try growing your citrus in these growtents! For best results, position the growtent next to a south or west facing window and provide supplementary lighting during the shorter months.

This post was edited by GarryGreenfingers on Fri, Feb 14, 14 at 15:33


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Garry

Yes you red it correctly but I kneed to explain it.

Here in the USA the christian right is pushing for stiff law against women. No abortions. pregnant women left brain dead in accident must be kept alive at all costs to get the baby out. Women who are raped can not get pregnant because the body knows it is wrong and kills the sperm, therefore if she gets pregnant that she must have wanted it. Women in life danger from pregnancy must be kept body alive to get the baby and then disconnected from life support and discarded. 47% of the USA population believe that the universe was created 6000 years ago and that humans rode on domesticate dinosaurs. There is a major push to push creationism in public schools and ban evolution and any science that teach astronomy or earth history. The far right wants to bring harsh punishments for girls that might explore with boys.

The well educated and thinking Americans are loosing out to magic and hocus-pocus toting"brain-dead" idiots. These idiots push Europe as a bunch of socialist lazy people on government subsidies and free medicine at the mercy of large hard working corporation.

When you mentioned growing in the bedroom I got a chance to ridicule the idiot 47% that are destroying this use-to-be great nation BY INSINUATING THAT THEY PASED LAWS TO PREVENT IT

Thanks for listening, I was not thinking of any illegal plants

"sweltering 35 degrees C" --- 35 x 9 / 5 + 32 = 95 !!!!! HOLY COW


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Steve, those comments have no place here in the Citrus Forum.

Josh


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Josh

It should not have been posted, but the comment is very accurate to the way our country is collapsing.

To keep this citrus I would like to share how I get rid of all dry spots in my root ball so I don't have tree decline while I winter it over.
Sweetlee tangerine tree #4 getting soaked in larger pail to eliminate any dry spots photo IMG_5085_zps34a554e4.jpg
Seed grown sweetlee tangerine getting soaked in water to insure that the roots are thoroughly wet. This tree is now 13 months old since seed sprout.

I will refrain from of topic subjects in the future.

Steve


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Steve, you should not have to worry about dry spots and go through all the work to make sure your trees don't die if you use a very good mix that stays evenly moist yet porous.

I never have issues with dry spots in my root balls and never have to worry about my mixes being unevenly moist any time of the year.

Mike

This post was edited by meyermike_1micha on Sat, Feb 15, 14 at 22:23


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Mike

My mix is comparable to any of the best mixes. The pots (5 gallons ) are too big for a tree that size. I did not have anything different to use. To compensate I have to suck out excess water and then a week later water only the top 2 -3 inches of dry soil. However when I water every other week I have to be careful to make sure that no areas are dry-ish because the surface tension of water will not penetrate those areas and 2 week later the roots will be dead in totally dry soil. Now if I had a 2.5 gallon container I could just pull the plants out give them a thorough watering and put them back. I will be inspecting the trees for insect and other problems and clean the leaves.

using vacuum cleaner to pull excess water from the container photo IMG_5087_zps67d6e2db.jpg
vacuum cleaner sucking out excess water from my sweetlee trees from seed


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

I found a sprouted seed in the grapefruit half I was eating on my birthday in 1972. My father potted it and kept it bonsai at 5' tall until he passed away 13 years ago. It's in my house now and has over 50 fruits started!! It's only produced two other fruits in the past 41 years!!

Should I thin the fruits myself, or let it naturally drop some by itself? Most of all, I am eager to get some new seeds to create a new generation!

Jenny


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Steve, with all due respect, your mix is nowhere near to comparable to the best mixes. Your mix is much heavier than one would recommend for Citrus, or any container plant outside of certain wetland plants (ferns, rushes, bog plants, et cetera).

Josh


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Josh I cant speak for any mix other than my own so I can't truly argue on my behalf.

MY SOIL MIX
1 part crushed brick (not pavers as they're concrete )

3 parts sand of varied particle size and angular shape.(not powder or dust)

1 part pine bark fines.

1 part totally rotted, leaves, wood, food scrapes from compost maker.

The brick pieces range from 1/8 inches to 3/4 inches. they are slightly water holding.

The gravel ranges from 1/15 inch to 1/2 inch and not lime stone.

The pine fines are recommended as a good water retention agent with about a 3 year life expectancy.

The compost is about 10 years old. it is totally rotted. and serves as an empty void filler and contain a living culture as well as moisture.

I have to have this for my trees up on my AHS 8 roof. The water passes very nicely through. Even when saturated is has a clean non soggy feel to it.

I will be planting up to a 16 gallon bottomless container this spring and I will not pot up this fall as I had to last fall.

My much heavier soil mixdoes not blow over in 50 mph winds. With this mix the trees quadrupled in size from mid October to mid January, After getting home from a 2 week vacation I made the mistake of topping of my tree and wrote it down as a drench. One week later I topped it off and before a week passed it was wilting. I tested to soil moisture and it was bone dry. Once any soil is bone dry water doesn't pass through very well. You must soak it to get all the air out and then drain it. Because my pots are over sized I have to take extra precautions to suck out any more extra water. Other wise my soil mix works very well but right now 3 of my sweetlees look stresses. The 4th one did not dry out and still looks fantastic and has New shoots.

My soil mix is good, not the best but it serves me well.

New growth on the undamaged sweetlee #1
sweetlee tangerine #3 with new growth photo IMG_5091_zpscd3d7c3e.jpg
13 month seed grown sweetlee tangerine bush

Steve


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Jen303, WOW! That's a beautiful grapefruit! What size pot (please give pot diameter and height in cms) do you keep it in? Have you ever had to root prune to prevent the plant from outgrowing its pot and eventually suffocating itself at the roots? I find it encouraging that your SEED GROWN grapefruit is bearing fruit, despite the fact that it is kept pruned at 5 feet and has been confined to a container throughout its life. I've read that SEED-GROWN (as opposed those propagated by grafted scions or cuttings taken from mature parent trees) containerised tropical/subtropical fruit trees rarely bear fruit if they're regularly pruned to maintain a manageable size. Apparently, pruning keeps a SEED-GROWN fruit tree/shrub in the juvenile stage, which inhibits fruiting. Obviously, your grapefruit doesn't play by the rules!

This post was edited by GarryGreenfingers on Tue, Feb 18, 14 at 6:49


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Oh jeez quite the comments.

Yes.. it is twenty years old, but how big do you expect a random seed from a grapefruit to be growing in Montana. Come on!

Foliage smells amazing. Like fruit loops.


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

norwoodn

How tall are your ceilings, how much window light do you get, and how much fuss do you want to put into your tree.

"Foliage smells amazing. Like fruit loops."

Sounds like your tree has "produced" for you. A grapefruit tree from seed would never produce even 300 miles south of my Cincinnati home, much less so in Cincinnati. I am much farther south than you. You do have one thing I don't. WINTER SUNLIGHT. long live your tree.

Steve


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

I forgot to state that the grapefruit tree that Jen303 is growing is the only TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA GRAPEFRUIT TREE. in the world. Otherwise it would not be producing.

Steve

This post was edited by poncirusguy on Wed, Feb 26, 14 at 8:39


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Thank you. We get so much winter sunlight, especially being so low on the horizon AND all the white snow help bounce rays everywhere. Ceilings are eight feet at least. And I'm paying attention to this baby like its mine!

I can't get over the smell of citrus, I need to chop a bunch of leaves (kidding) cause the scent it emits is intoxicating


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

In 20 years, it really could have been much, much larger...unless perhaps it's been pruned down?

Josh


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Well at the base there are three 1/4 stems cut, I assume they died out and were cut.


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

  • Posted by Mr.Z 10a/9b (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 2:00

This is a very small tree for being 20 years old. My 3 year old navel tree is monstrous compared to this tree. I assume there was hardly any light given to this specimen?


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Pay no attention to the (men & women ) behind the curtain. The great poncirusguy has spoken. SIZE DOES NOT MATER. It looks great. Grapefruit trees are know for their beauty and dark green leaves. Don't push it to grow now. Let it grow this summer. You are already getting what what you most want, incense and sentiment. When grapefruit is in season is sells for $0.40 / pound and when it is out of season your tree wont have any either.

Check out the link below for people growing in containers to see what you might have to do to get fruit.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/citrus/msg081305578468.html


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Thank you.

On a side question, would cleaning the leafs make them smell better, and/or more able to recieve light?
They are pretty dusty, how do I clean them?


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

I sprayed my trees with soap water(1 tablespoon dawn dishwater/1 gallon 110 deg F water with a spray bottle several times. Then I showered the leaves using a kitchen sink sprayer with a stiff spray. Then I followed up with the same formula and added 4 tablespoons of canola oil and sprayed for insects. They are doing very well.


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Cleaning leaves does help.
Neem Oil is actually marketed as a leaf polish/shine.
But a great trick is simply to add a little lemon juice to water, and use that to wipe off the dust. This works very well to help remove hard-water spots or residue from overhead watering (done by a nursery, for example).

Josh


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Ah nice I do have neem oil, thank you.
One more thing I want to do is re pot this tree.
Should I use clay? Cause our soil mix is not draining well I'm pretty sure.
It can be heavy that doesn't matter, we have it on rollers.


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Wait to re-pot for another month, at least....

Many folks in cold regions have found that terra cotta or other clay containers actually keep the root-zone a bit too cold. So their advice has been to use black plastic pots that warm up in a more timely fashion.

The key, of course, will be a coarse, fast-draining mix. This will allow you to thoroughly water (and flush the mix), while also ensuring the mix dries out in a timely fashion during the gloom of Winter.

Josh


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Okay sweet, warm roots yes. I have been reading about the thorough coarse mix importance and the water table in the container.

This post was edited by norwoodn on Sat, Mar 1, 14 at 23:00


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

Here's a new pic of the rapidly growing new growth. She's leaning for the light :3


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RE: Twenty year old Grapefruit plant indoors, in Montana!

She will grow like rocket and you'll have a big tree very soon (year or 3). Looks good.

Steve


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