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Re: Citrus


Hi, Noreen. I think my experience with the variegated lemon seedlings--there were two, as I recall--was the result of my neglect. They both germinated, but I should have been more mindful of their basic lack of chlorophyl and transplanted them into a more nurturing environment at once. Instead, I screwed around and they wasted rather quickly.

I don't know what I think about grafted citrus v. seedling citrus. My current seedlings--Palestine lime, sweet lemon, blood orange--are too young by far to fruit. My mature citrus that are bona fide seedlings--key lime and Meyer's improved lemon--produce lots of very good fruit.

My other two productive citrus trees are both grafted--a valencia orange and a minneola [aka honey bell] tangelo. In reverse order, the minneola probably needs to be grafted because it's a cross between a mandarin and a grapefruit, and likely wouldn't come true from seed. The valencia, on the hand, has been the dominant commercial orange probably ever since there has been orange commerce and likely would come true from seed. I think it's grafted on trifoliate roots to enhance its cold-hardiness.

Other citrus are grafted for a variety of reasons--disease resistance, adaptability to different soil conditions [salinity and so on], and cetera. The Washington navel, of course, the granddaddy of all navel oranges, is grafted primarily because it's seedless. [The original Washington navel was a sport on a valencia growing in Brazil; it was rooted and exported to the USDA citrus experiment station at Riverside, California, where, last I heard, it still lives at 100+ years of age in a razor-wire protected cage.] Subsequent navel oranges--Robertson, Bonanza, Skaggs, Cara Cara Pink, et al--have seed counts ranging from none to few to some. All of these other navels, as near as I can tell, have been sports from other oranges; so most probably would not come true from their seeds--although they might produce trees with a propensity to send out sports.



On Feb 19, 2006, at 4:52 PM, TeichFlora@aol.com wrote:

Jim, have any of these fruited for you??? Have they come true?? Or have
they reverted back?? Just curious. I'd always heard that the only sure fire
way to get the original citrus is to take a scion wood and graft it to a good
hardy rootstock. I learned all this, but need a serious refresher. Lemons
seem to grow well from seed though, from what I hear.

YOu mentioned variegated lemons.....were those by chance, the spanish
variegated pink lemons?? Any idea why they might not have worked??? I promised
Pam some seed, giving her some clues might help her success rate.
Noreen
zone 9
Texas Gulf Coast

In a message dated 2/17/2006 11:03:01 AM Central Standard Time,
gardenchat-owner@hort.net writes:

That's all I've ever done, Chris, but I don't have much experience at
it--three Palestine limes, three blood oranges, two variegated lemons
[variegated lemons didn't make it]. I started them in peat pots in the
lathhouse during warm weather.

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Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.0 N, 82.4 W
Hardiness Zone 10
Heat Zone 10
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
Maximum 100 F [38 C]

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