Citrus > Cold Hardy Citrus

F2 citrange winter hardiness trial

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3,000 is a little less impressive than it sounds, approximately half are genetically dwarf which is not unusual for F2 zygotic citranges. Many of them are too lacking in vigor to hold much promise. Long story short- I did a status survey today and believe 100 to 150 plants are relatively unscathed, but February can be brutal to plants. Some winter cold damage is accumulative, as any individual cold event can be. The best looking plants phenotypically favor Poncirus rather strongly. However, they are not identical to one another in appearance. Hopefully they will carry some Citrus genes.

The germination technique I used, was placing the seeds in mesh bags, then using a repurposed dishwasher with thermostatic control of water temperature, aerated/soaked them for 24 hours at 86 degrees F. I then removed them and scarified the seed coat for 30 minutes, followed by neutralizing the solution and rinsing them thoroughly. They were then returned to another 24 hrs of soaking, followed by planting immediately into a germination bed, again at 86 degrees F. They were planted 1 centimeter deep. Areas cooler than 86 degrees had a bit of seed decay. Seeds planted too shallow lifted out of the soil. Seeds planted too deep had delayed emergence. Emergence began at 7 days and continued a little over a week.

 The seed soaking procedure was used, as the seed was stored, dry seed. This would be unnecessary with fresh seed. Soaking the seed helps to synchronize the germination and subsequent emergence of seedlings.

The water used in the soak was slightly chlorinated to prevent decay. The water was drained and replaced every 6 hours. As the seedlings grew larger and May weather became warmer the bed temperature was dropped to 75 deg. F. The seedlings were field planted on June 12, 2018. By end of September the tallest seedlings were 48" tall. The average was closer to 30" - 36 " tall.

Ilya 11 Thanks for your suggestion of a leaf taste test. During field planting I noticed some plants were pleasantly sweetly aromatic, but I didn't trust that there was a definitive correlation between plant sap taste and fruit taste. Relying on such a test could dramatically reduce the time, labor, space, etc. required to plant seedlings.


--- Quote from: Ilya11 on January 26, 2019, 02:48:24 PM ---I wonder if citrandarins like US852 are  better choice for such large scale testings. I guess 5-10 mother plants will give sufficient quantities of starting seeds.
--- End quote ---
Yes, US 852 is a hybrid between Changsha mandarin (already pretty hardy) and trifoliate, and can survive well into zone 7.

Apparently their flavor isn't too terrible. There's a video where one guy is managing to enjoy eating them.

I've been away from my computer a few hours, but this hasn't been out of my mind.  Kumin. your results so far alreadyshow  that I was wrong that all the F2 would be less hardy than the F1.  You said ALL your F1s are dead, but some of your F2s live.  I really didn't expect that.
You made my day.


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