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Can you grow citrus from cuttings?

Posted by eahamel 9a (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 25, 12 at 8:58

A neighbor wants me to grow some of my citrus for him. It would have to be cuttings, not grafted. I don't have any idea whether you can do this or not. He did me a big favor, and I'd rather buy him one, for various reasons, mainly it would be grafted and that has a lot of advantages. He wants a Rio Red grapefruit, satsuma and Meyer lemon.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Can you grow citrus from cuttings?

In pots, absolutely fine.

In-ground, not sure of that one. I'll bet someone will be along before the day is out:-)


RE: Can you grow citrus from cuttings?

Mike is right, of course; and many of the citrus available in the Northern climates are produced from cuttings. The primary advantage of rooted cuttings is they are true clones, meaning they are the same age as the parent, and will produce fruit sooner.

If you are going to put the trees in the ground later, I would advise against rooted cuttings in favor of budding/grafting onto a rootstock that is known to produce the size and vigor you want and is more resistant to soil diseases/imperfections than the roots from a cutting. With citrus the root is critical because it gets 80-90% of its food and water from the first 18 inches of soil; and first the root must grow, and after that the leaves and branches will grow.

RE: Can you grow citrus from cuttings?

Grafting isn't going to happen, that's why I didn't ask about it. I don't have access to root stock. You can't buy it in nurseries. Trifoliate is used here, but isn't available to someone like me who has a couple of plants that I'd want grafted. Then, I would have to find someone who could do it, and would have to pay them. Cheaper to go to the local nursery and buy a grapefruit or satsuma, frankly. I took a grafting class once, and nothing that I grafted took, so I wouldn't do it myself even if I had access to trifoliate.

A lot of people grow citrus from seed here, and they grow great in the ground. The neighbor I want to do this for has one grown from seed, but it's about 20' tall and has a lot of thorns and has never even bloomed, so growing from seed doesn't guarantee anything. It isn't trifoliate, I think it's supposed to be a grapefruit. The leaves are large and taste mild. It doesn't get cold enough to kill citrus. In fact, they get quite tall, without that dwarfing effect from grafting. I've seen 25' tall citrus here, grown on their own roots, and loaded with fruit.

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