The Tropical Fruit Forum

Citrus => Citrus General Discussion => Topic started by: Filozophr on August 22, 2022, 03:42:13 PM

Title: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: Filozophr on August 22, 2022, 03:42:13 PM
Blood orange, orange, mandarin and lemon. I grew out seedlings for these in hopes of one day grafting branches of them to another mature (what seems to be a seedling) citrus that I have in ground at home. The fruit it makes taste like soap, so instead of cutting it down and wasting rootstock I was thinking I could graft to, then I found ought citrus grafting is ďhardĒ so Iím not sure what to do now other than discard all my seedlings, chop the tree down and buy grafted trees.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: pagnr on August 22, 2022, 07:56:03 PM
You can rework trees by budding. Chip budding is fairly easy, T budding is fairly easy if conditions are right.
It would be good to learn budding and grafting.
Growing rootstocks and propagating fruit trees yourself might be the only way to obtain some varieties.
Also you may need to rescue some failing trees etc

Of the Citrus you mention, Lemon is probably the best bet for a good fruit. If it isn't the greatest lemon, i.e. smaller or thick peel, it is still a lemon.
Blood Orange seedlings could be variable in pigmentation. Light Blood oranges are still nice, if the pigment is lower.
Arnold Blood is a seedling of Moro, and is a very nice tree.
Mandarin seedlings could be a bit of a mix, depending on the actual variety. If the seedlings are pretty uniform, its probably true to the parent variety.
Oranges should be OK, seedlings could be possibly more seedy, or less sweet in my experience.
There are many Orange varieties. some do better in particular climates.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: Galatians522 on August 22, 2022, 08:23:21 PM
Here is my 2 cents for what it is worth. I have found citrus to be one of the easier things to bud or graft. I did T-budding an had great success with little experience. I imagine that bark grafting would be highly successful as well. Make sure that the tree is starting to grow and the bark will be slipping. Most oranges in the store are Washington Navel and most mandarins are Clementine. Neither does that well in Florida and the Clementine (Cutie/Halo) will likely not come true to type (although in this case that may be a good thing). The blood orange will probably not have red flesh because it will not get enough cold in your area (even if it does come true to type). I am a lot further north than you and our sanguinelli was only about 50% red most of the time--although the flavor was very unique and special. As mentioned the Lemon should be ok, but it does not need grafted. In the end, what have you got to lose? It won't cost much and you may get something special.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: 1rainman on August 24, 2022, 02:06:37 PM
This was the big debate on some other post I was having. In my experience citrus grown from seed reverts back to a wild form maybe 95% of the time. You get a larger, healthier tree, sometimes more thorny, usually with sub-par fruit. The fruit can be edible sometimes, but may not be the best tasting, full of seeds, oftentimes sour (not always). The only thing I have seen around here that grows good fruit from seed is grapefruit. These taste the same as the parent, or even better, but pretty close to the parent, though grown from seed is a much larger healthier tree. Its the size of a shade tree with fruit too high to reach sometimes.

If you have space to grow it- why not? Who knows what you'll get. Might get a good shade tree if nothing else. Can always graft something sweeter onto it if you want. If you get sour oranges generally you can use them exactly like you would a lemon and make a lemonaide type of beverage from it. If the tree sucks, you can pull it up and it cost you nothing to grow it basically.

They have citrus where every branch is a different variety. You could graft a lemon onto one branch, a tangerine onto another and so on if you wanted to.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: poncirsguy on August 24, 2022, 04:59:01 PM
If you are planting in ground then it is worth trying.  Most citrus grow true from seed as the mother tree.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: pagnr on August 24, 2022, 05:03:11 PM
This was the big debate on some other post I was having. In my experience citrus grown from seed reverts back to a wild form maybe 95% of the time.

I have grown many Citrus from seed, and got exactly the same thing as the tree I collected it from.
I have also grown many from seed and got something from slightly different to way off, to complete duds.
More so, I have collected from numerous found seedlings, that are clearly a particular variety.
Also I have grown so called "true to type" Citrus from seed, and found slight variations in the plants and fruit.
More than occasionally an interesting off type appears.
It really depends on the cultivar or species, and the plants breeding system.
Monoembryonic, or Polyembryonic, Nucellar, and any pollination event on top of all that.
Also in different years, the results of a variety can be different, more or less variation.

Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: Filozophr on August 24, 2022, 11:44:02 PM
I went ahead and planted every seedling under the soap tasting citrus tree, wish I came here and saw these comments, thanks for your input guys, but my seedlings are around 5 months old, Iím not sure if thatís old enough to graft to a larger tree?
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: Millet on August 25, 2022, 12:23:03 PM
Citrus seedlings DO NOT revert back to the wild forms.  Most all citrus seed produce true to the mother tree.  Some might be a little less or a little  better than the mother tree, but most will be the same quality as fruit produced on the mother tree.
 
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: kumin on August 25, 2022, 12:59:27 PM
I went ahead and planted every seedling under the soap tasting citrus tree, wish I came here and saw these comments, thanks for your input guys, but my seedlings are around 5 months old, Iím not sure if thatís old enough to graft to a larger tree?

If the bud or scion tissue is mature enough to avoid desiccation it can be used for budding/grafting. The rootstock needs to be at the appropriate stage to be successful. That refers to active cambium tissue for a long enough period to allow the tissues to heal and knit together.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: Aiptasia904 on August 27, 2022, 03:19:55 PM
Citrus seedlings DO NOT revert back to the wild forms.  Most all citrus seed produce true to the mother tree.  Some might be a little less or a little  better than the mother tree, but most will be the same quality as fruit produced on the mother tree.

This is what I read from a professor at U.F.. That most of the sweet style citrus will grow true from seed with few exceptions, such as trifoliate, meyer lemon and pomelo.

That being said, did everyone know that it is currently considered illegal for Florida residents to cultivate their own citrus trees? You have to be a certified and inspected nursery registered with the state in order to grow and propagate citrus. I guess due to various fungal diseases and bacterial citrus greening being such a problem.

It's also illegal to own or grow a pink finger lime tree in Florida at this time.  Only green finger limes have passed whatever authorization is required to grow and propagate them at this time.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: 1rainman on August 28, 2022, 03:34:07 PM
They sell citrus at Walmart and Lowe's last I checked unless something changed recently. I'm surprised UF would say this. Citrus from seed is 99% of the time not as good as a top variety that UF literally radiates cuttings to get new mutations which is easier than going through 100 seedlings 99 of which will be tossed. Though they do propagate seeds too.

Literally no serious grower like a commercial operation none of them grow from seed. It's like saying you can grow grapes from seed. You can but they won't be like the parents usually less good. Or pecans from seed.

Find one seller that sells grapes or peaches or pecans or citrus or apples or pears etc etc from seed. You won't find it because they aren't true to seed. 100% are grafts or cuttings and new varieties usually created through large breeding programs like UF. The fact that most people who have tried it get sour or soap oranges should tell you something as well.

Is it possible to get good fruit from seed? Yes. But usually they are of lower quality and more similar to a wild type. Hence why we had crabapples all over the place growing up. Grown from seed sour apples. Sour oranges, tiny thick shelled pecans, small grapes with low sugar etc typical results of seed growth.

I do grow from seed just to breed tougher grapes that are better adapted or see if anything interesting comes out of it. But my expectations are low when it fruits. Better to have low expectations and be surprised that it was good than to expect good fruit that tastes like soap. I was actually pleasantly surprised with my grapes from seed though some tiny regression was there less sugar. I'm breeding mainly for disease resistance.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: Galatians522 on August 28, 2022, 04:50:46 PM
I have had good success over the years growing citrus from seed. Here is a list of the ones that worked for me. Many of these were not just a one off, but were grown in batches all with the same results. One of the most notable of these was the Orlando Tangelo (an F1 hybrid). Out of half a dozen seedlings all produced fruit virtually indistinguishable from the parent tree.

Orlando Tangelo, Meiwa Kumquat, Duncan Grapefruit, Calamondin, Key Lime, and Pineapple Orange. I will not bore you with a list of rootstock trees that produced true to type. The only failure I've ever had was Persian Lime--the fruits priduced were not sour or juicy and had no lime flavor.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: pagnr on August 28, 2022, 06:11:39 PM
"This is what I read from a professor at U.F.. That most of the sweet style citrus will grow true from seed with few exceptions"
Seed introduction of Citrus cultivars has been the past common practice due to either difficulty or restrictions of moving budwood in the past due to disease or logistics.
Just go through the UC Citrus collection accessions notes, and you will see very many of the varieties were seed introductions.
Personally I wouldn't say "with few exceptions". It is reasonably reliable, but it won't work for some hybrid cultivars. Many Mono embryonic types might be close enough, but often will be too variable or a mix of both.

"Literally no serious grower like a commercial operation none of them grow from seed."
It is still done in other countries, i.e. tropical were diseases knock over trees fast.
The main reason Citrus are grafted, not seed grown is probably the long time to first flowering from seed.
Of course all new Citrus cultivars have been bred and grown from seed, the duds discarded.

The only failure I've ever had was Persian Lime--the fruits priduced were not sour or juicy and had no lime flavour.

Do you still have that one Galatians 522, still sounds interesting.
One of my projects has been collecting Tahiti Lime seeds. Got a few interesting plants but no fruit yet.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: Millet on August 28, 2022, 06:16:12 PM
The actual reason that commercial growers never grow citrus from seed, is not because the seed will produce fruit different from the mother tree, or poor quality fruit..  The reason is because a seed grown citrus tree takes much, much, much longer to come into fruit then a grafted tree, .Purely economic.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: Galatians522 on August 28, 2022, 06:36:26 PM
Pagnr, it is still there, but probably not for long. It just fruited for the first time last year.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: kumin on August 28, 2022, 06:41:42 PM
Citrus trees grown from nucellar embryos may initially be somewhat distinct from the mother trees due to lingering effects relating to juvenility, just as the mother trees did in their own juvenile stages. The juvenile characters expressed can be : excessive thorniness, rough peels, thick albumen and tougher, coarser flesh. These are not genetic changes, simply influences relating to the lingering vegetative phase.

Prolonged juvenility is a major challenge confronting tree fruit breeders. Tree crops such as peaches having a short juvenile phase have been seed propagated in the past in Spain.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: pagnr on August 28, 2022, 06:57:19 PM
Pagnr, it is still there, but probably not for long. It just fruited for the first time last year.

Have you thought of growing next generation seedlings from it, might assort to something better.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: Galatians522 on August 28, 2022, 09:09:42 PM
Pagnr, it is still there, but probably not for long. It just fruited for the first time last year.

Have you thought of growing next generation seedlings from it, might assort to something better.

Actually, I had not considered that. With my luck I would probably end up solidifying the poor genetics. ::)
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: 1rainman on August 28, 2022, 10:14:37 PM
Yeah the length of time to mature is a big factor with citrus. So that is a huge factor besides variation. I would grow pecans, peaches etc from seed purely because they charge way too much for a tree. Even if the seed had slightly less desirable traits it's better than paying $100 for a stick.

With citrus you may be referring to a ban on selling citrus. All the stuff sold has been treated for disease and is clean. Also illigal to import or export citrus from the state but kind of pointless nothing has stopped the spread of disease.

I'd like some dwarf Meyer seeds. Those sound interesting. Seeds can be imported.

Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: Aiptasia904 on August 29, 2022, 01:16:37 PM
Yeah the length of time to mature is a big factor with citrus. So that is a huge factor besides variation. I would grow pecans, peaches etc from seed purely because they charge way too much for a tree. Even if the seed had slightly less desirable traits it's better than paying $100 for a stick.

With citrus you may be referring to a ban on selling citrus. All the stuff sold has been treated for disease and is clean. Also illigal to import or export citrus from the state but kind of pointless nothing has stopped the spread of disease.

I'd like some dwarf Meyer seeds. Those sound interesting. Seeds can be imported.

Time to maturity is the only factor that would preclude me from raising sweet citrus from seed. That, or if they're some of the varieties i've mentioned that indeed do not grow true from seed.

As to the illegality of non-nursery propagated citrus trees, here's the 2022 Florida Statutes definition that makes it illegal.

"581.1843 (2) Effective January 1, 2007, it is unlawful for any person to propagate for sale or movement any citrus nursery stock that was not propagated or grown on a site and within a protective structure approved by the department and that is not at least 1 mile away from commercial citrus groves. A citrus nursery registered with the department prior to April 1, 2006, shall not be required to comply with the 1-mile setback from commercial citrus groves while continuously operating at the same location for which it was registered. However, the nursery shall be required to propagate citrus within a protective structure approved by the department. Effective January 1, 2008, it shall be unlawful to distribute any citrus nursery stock that was not produced in a protective structure approved by the department."

In other words, if you're propagating your citrus at home or at a non-inspected and approved facility with the structures in place to protect the stock, it's actually illegal.

As to growing true from seed, a quote from Dr. Carl Campbell (U.F.) from an interview in 1983: " I checked with Dr. Carl Campbell at the University of Florida Extension research center. Carl has given me many in-depth, insightful answers to tropical fruit questions sent by several of our readers. He said that a great number of citrus trees will come true from seed. There is a way you can tell by examining a few seeds from the tree. Peel off the outer and inner seed coat. If the seed is polyembryonic, i.e. has many embryos, it will come true. I asked what it would look like if it were polyembryonic. Carl said that the various embryos would be convoluted upon each other. If it is mono-embryonic there will be one embryo with two distinct cotyledons. Almost any sweet orange will come true from seed, as well as key limes, grapefruit, tangerine and tangelo. Two varieties that will not come true from seed are temple and pomelo."
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: pagnr on August 29, 2022, 06:17:58 PM
Hi Aiptasia, I think most everyone here would agree with you and Dr Campbell, everything said is correct.
However Citrus seed propagation is further complicated than that.

"If the seed is polyembryonic, i.e. has many embryos, it will come true. I asked what it would look like if it were polyembryonic. Carl said that the various embryos would be convoluted upon each other. If it is mono-embryonic there will be one embryo with two distinct cotyledons. Almost any sweet orange will come true from seed, as well"

Polyembryonic Citrus are the most useful types for Citrus rootstocks, basically they are 90 to 99 % clonal rootstocks.
And yet it is common practice to rouge out off types from the rootstocks before grafting. Mostly these are unusual looking versions of the rootstock type.
Within the Polyembryonic embryo there is often a mono embryonic embryo, that can also develop into a non clonal plant.

Some Mono embryonic Citrus varieties types can be highly true to type, Some can be highly variable.
On top of that there is the possibility of cross pollination with another Citrus. That throws another level of complication into the mix.

"Almost any sweet orange will come true from seed, as well" 
Yes they will produce a sweet orange tree, in fact uniform enough to be used as rootstocks for other Citrus.
On the other hand there are hundreds of known Sweet Orange varieties, many from years ago and all raised from seed.
All distinct enough in fruit or growth to be separated.

Further to all that is the Ploidy situation. Plants can still function if their total Chromosome numbers are increased.
Triploid and Tetraploid Citrus types are common. Even Haploid plants are known to grow.
Triploid plants can be sterile but occasionally produce unique diploid seedlings.
Also the DNA information in the Chromosomes of living things is not totally fixed. It can change, mutate or double, swap places to other matching Chromosomes.
That can lead to subtle to major changes in seedlings.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: Galatians522 on August 29, 2022, 10:05:28 PM
Aiptasia, thank you for posting the law. The law does not say that people are precluded from propagating citrus. It says they are precluded from propagating citrus for sale or distribution. This prepositional phrase qualifies the clause that comes before it and limits its application to those who are selling trees or even those who would give trees away (distribute them). Thus, people are not expressly prohibited from propagating citrus for personal use on their own property.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: 1rainman on August 29, 2022, 10:41:33 PM
I'm thinking that the lousy citrus must be more likely to survive. I have not purposely grown citrus from seed. I just deal with plants that grew from spitting seeds out of store bought citrus. They are of low quality. Just like lots of sour oranges everywhere when the top died and the root stock grew. We used to have wild oranges in a lot of places too as well as grapefruit descended from an original seed being spit out. They were not effected by greening but cut down for development. Maybe results are better actually growing a specific seed type. But I can say those were sweet oranges not the same as the parent. There's also the size difference. From seed they are trees. Usual grafted stuff is small in order to be easy to pick. Rooted braches are really small. The wild stuff/seed stuff is so much tougher and healthier.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: FruitGrower on August 30, 2022, 03:38:00 AM
Aiptasia, thank you for posting the law. The law does not say that people are precluded from propagating citrus. It says they are precluded from propagating citrus for sale or distribution. This prepositional phrase qualifies the clause that comes before it and limits its application to those who are selling trees or even those who would give trees away (distribute them). Thus, people are not expressly prohibited from propagating citrus for personal use on their own property.

Galatians, as you understand the law, would it be legal for an individual to sell a citrus tree if s/he did not propagate it. IOW, if I bought a legally propagated citrus tree, could I sell it as a private seller?
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: Galatians522 on August 30, 2022, 08:55:27 AM
That is a tough one. I am not 100% sure of the answer, but I will tell you what I know. If you are a licensed retail nursery, you can purchase trees grown legally in a citrus nursery and re-sell them as long as they are sold within a certain time period. I do not recall what that time period is, but I believe that it was at least several months. I have also heard of organizations that I doubt were licensed nurseries (like tropical fruit clubs) buying batches of trees and re-selling them as fund raisers. This does not mean that it was legal--just that other people have done it. I will let you know if I find anything definite.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: FruitGrower on August 30, 2022, 10:51:29 PM
That is a tough one. I am not 100% sure of the answer, but I will tell you what I know. If you are a licensed retail nursery, you can purchase trees grown legally in a citrus nursery and re-sell them as long as they are sold within a certain time period. I do not recall what that time period is, but I believe that it was at least several months. I have also heard of organizations that I doubt were licensed nurseries (like tropical fruit clubs) buying batches of trees and re-selling them as fund raisers. This does not mean that it was legal--just that other people have done it. I will let you know if I find anything definite.

Thank you!
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: 1rainman on August 30, 2022, 10:56:34 PM
In the state of Florida no. They have to be treated for disease. The process of you buying and reselling the tree is being transported thus higher probability of getting or spreading disease. But this law is not a high priority. Csi is not going to instigate people for moving trees around. This is to ensure you don't buy or sell infected trees. I was told they put them in a hot steamer that kills disease but not the tree. Then it gets a little ribbon that it was treated and now legal to sell
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: Millet on August 31, 2022, 10:50:26 AM
Plant a citrus seed to grow a tree to maturity (6 to 10 years), is worth it if you want a challenge, and to prove to yourself that you did it successfully  Otherwise just purchase a grafted tree, and have fruit in 1 to 2 years.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: Walt on August 31, 2022, 12:33:24 PM
Or plant the seeds and learn to graft mature scions or buds onto it.  Or learn to micrograft on very young seedlins.  The would be the quickest way to get fruit from a seed you pllanted.  But even then it wouldn't be quite as good as the varieties selected as good root stocks.  That depends some on where you are.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: 1rainman on September 01, 2022, 04:57:33 PM
It should make fine root stock. The main thing they look for in root stock in Florida is usually cold tolerance and secondly use a lot of dwarf root stock so its easy to pick the oranges (you aren't climbing a huge tree). If you aren't worrying about cold tolerance then the only factor would be disease resistance, which isn't much different in different citrus varieties. Though they do have some new varieties with greening resistance.

If you graft to a cold tolerant root stock you'll get slightly better cold tolerance. Though a lot of times the top will die if it gets too cold then the root stock will grow into a full tree. Then you have a sour orange tree usually which is what most of the root stock is.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: Walt on September 01, 2022, 09:01:40 PM
If the scion dies of cold, replace it with a hardier scion.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: SeeSchloss on September 19, 2022, 09:58:35 AM
I grew out seedlings for these in hopes of one day grafting branches of them to another mature (what seems to be a seedling) citrus

I can't seem to find a definitive answer as to whether grafting an immature seedling to a mature tree actually induces the immature part to flower earlier than it would have otherwise.

Is it actually the case?
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: poncirsguy on September 19, 2022, 10:16:15 AM
I have read that the scion goes by it's node count.  A mature rootstock will give the scion accelerated growth for years to bring the scion to maturity sooner than it would as a seedling on its own roots.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: kumin on September 19, 2022, 11:04:54 AM
In my limited trials, top worked immature seedling scions have failed to accelerate the transition from juvenile state to reproductive state. I recall some Citrus relative, when used as a rootstock, does indeed induce precocity.
In reference to seedling  node count, promoting rapid tall growth did result in some selections flowering in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th year from seed. Other selections haven't responded as favorably.
Genetics clearly play an important role in precosity. The original seedlings and scions further grafted from the same trees tend to flower at the same age.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: SeeSchloss on September 19, 2022, 12:07:26 PM
I recall some Citrus relative, when used as a rootstock, does indeed induce precocity.

That's Limonia acidissima I think, of which I currently have a dozen seedlings or so (as well as a nearly ten year old plant that doesn't grow much). But those might need to reach maturity first!
I'll still try some grafting with them one of these days.

There's also a variety of precocious poncirus that flowers at one or two years old, but I'm not sure if it also reduced the juvenility period of scions when used as rootstock. I also have a dozen seedlings of that, only a few months old yet.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: pagnr on September 19, 2022, 06:47:25 PM
In my opinion there is no definitive answer because most Citrus are hybrids of several original species.
Some Microcitrus can fruit from seed in 18 months,
West Indian Lime 3 years,
Mandarin 6 years,
Pummelo 10 years plus.
Citrus cultivars are complex hybrids of the above and more.
There would be different systems and genes counteracting each other at times to induce or delay flowering maturity.
What works in one case may not work for another.
On top of that there is climate, in areas of continual growth i.e. tropics, flowering and growth to node count can be achieved much faster.
Node count is a good rule, but there are certainly case of Citrus plants flowering well before it is achieved.
Presumably mutations that lessen the effect of one or more controlling genes.
Title: Re: Is it worth growing out store bought citrus fruit seeds?
Post by: 1rainman on September 20, 2022, 12:11:06 PM
Root has almost no effect other than those rare exceptions. It's usually root stock grown from seed and a mature top graft which will fruit immediately. Though a mature root will probably result in better quality fruit