- Author: Kathy Low
Citrus trees grown from seed are usually used as rootstock, because they do not grow true to type, are not as prolific, and can take up to ten years before bearing fruit. But still, I thought it might be fun to try growing citrus seeds. So a couple of months ago I planted some yuzu seeds. To my delight, they sprouted. Hoping it just wasn't a fluke, I decided to plant some lemon seeds and they also sprouted.
It turns out growing citrus seeds is relatively easy. To grow citrus seeds, remove the seeds from citrus fruit. Be sure to remove any pulp that may be stuck to the seeds. Soak the seeds for at least 24 hours in a bowl of water to soften the seed coat. Discard any seeds that float.
Next, remove the seed coat. You can use manicure scissors or nail clippers to clip off the end of the seed to make it easier to remove the seed coat. I soaked my yuzu seeds for 3 days before using manicure scissors to help break the seed coat. But for my lemon seeds, I only had to soak them overnight before I could break off the seed coat using my fingernails.
Plant the seeds about half an inch deep in potting soil. Keep the soil moist. The seeds require temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and will germinate within two weeks.
As far as my citrus seedlings are concerned, I will eventually use them as rootstock so I can try my hand at grafting again. As for my yuzu seedlings, considering a few years ago when I purchased my then one-year-old yuzu tree it cost me approximately $50 after shipping, I plan on growing one or two of the seedlings as fruit trees. Even if they do not produce 100% true-to-type fruit, it will be worth it. Plus, the trees will provide me with a single positive memory of the first year of the pandemic.