Despite planting three citrus seeds in my propagator last weekend part of me did not any success from them. Even under the plastic cover, behind glass, I thought the weather in London would not be warm enough for these plants accustomed to growing in northern Italy. However, I was delighted to see that two of them have sprouted already! That is record speed so I am pretty excited now about their potential.
The original idea to plant citrus seeds came from a book I was browsing in my local pub (don’t you just love pubs with bookshelves?). Well, I went back to that same pub yesterday, in the name of research of course, and re-read the instructions about growing your own citrus from seeds you collect yourself.
Here is the spread from the book. I like this book; one spread per topic with one photo and one page of text. It turns out, according to the book (I didn’t get the name of the book, I guess I will have to go back again!), that the most successful seeds you can collect and grow yourself are lemons and limes. Peaches, nectarines and even avocado can all be tried as well. Unfortunately avocados need to reach 12 metres before they will bear fruit. I think that would require a very large pot!
The bad news is the book tells me that seeds acquired from the fruit of a friend’s tree (as mine were) are unlikely to flower and consequently bear fruit. It seems a cutting would result in more success. More bad news, for others, if you wish to try and grow orange citrus (mandarins, clementines etc) the fruits from the supermarket are unlikely to sprout, although you may get lucky. Nonetheless, I conclude that all citrus plants have lovely, lush, evergreen leaves. So even if you do not get any little clementines growing on your new plant they are still pretty to look at and worth the effort of saving a couple of pips and giving it a try.