Grapefruit trees can grow both indoors and outdoors. Instead of buying a grapefruit tree, you can save money by harvesting store-bought or market grapefruit seeds.
Grapefruit seeds are easy to germinate when grown indoors and can produce delicious fruit in as little as one year.
So in this article, you’ll discover how to plant grapefruit seeds. Let’s start.
Selecting grapefruit seeds
Once you have used up the grapefruit juice, select a few plump seeds that will germinate. Four or five seeds will give you the best chance of success.
Fill a glass with warm water and soak the seeds in it.
Place them near a heat source if possible; ideally, they should be in the water for about 12 hours.
Steps of how to plant grapefruit seeds.
- Choose the grapefruit variety you want to grow and cut the grapefruit open with a sharp knife.
- Remove the seeds from the grapefruit with your fingers so as not to damage them. Select the largest seed and set it aside.
- Wash the seeds in hot water. Place the seeds on three damp paper towels. Fold the paper towels in half. Fold another paper towel to cover the seeds well.
- Keep the paper towels moist. Place them in a warm place so they don’t dry out too much. When the seeds have germinated and formed leaves and roots, plant them.
- Fill a paper cup with soil. Place the germinated seeds at least one inch deep in the soil.
- The water in the soil should remain moist. Place the cup in a warm place where the temperature is between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Wait for the grapefruit seeds to germinate, which can take a week to a month. Keep the soil moist and make two holes in the bottom of the cup to allow water to drain.
- If the grapefruits are too large to fit in the cup, transplant them; you will need a container twice as large. Keep in a warm, sunny place.
- Move the tree outdoors. When the tree is between 24 inches and 1 foot tall, plant the grapefruit outdoors against a wall that faces south and provides good warmth and sun.
- Dig a hole with a diameter of at least 1 meter using a shovel. The hole should be wider than the root ball and the same depth. Place a watering ring around the tree wider than the planting hole.
- Water thoroughly every 7 to 10 days. Do not water on rainy days and do not over water in cool weather.
- Mulch about 5 inches around the tree to increase water retention.
- Fertilize your grapefruit every four to six weeks during the growing season from March to August.
When the seedlings have three or four leaves and are about five inches tall, they can be transplanted into individual pots.
The diameter of the pot should be 15 centimeters. Cover the bottom with gravel or clay pellets to improve drainage.
Then fill the pot with potting soil.
Use a fork to gently pluck the seedling. Then plant it in a new pot.
Now all you need to do is carefully top up the potting soil and keep it moist.
Care and watering of the grapefruit tree
Grapefruit tolerates winters down to 21°F and prefers a sunny, windless location. It should be fertilized while growing and pruned every two years in early spring.
It needs regular watering during the planting season. In winter, it must be mulched to protect its roots.
Diseases of the grapefruit tree
Grapefruit trees are targets of pests such as aphids and leaf miners, but they are also susceptible to diseases such as anthracnose, fumigants, gummatode, and Tristeza.
Grapefruit tree size
The grapefruit tree is a cross between sweet orange and grapefruit. It is a tropical evergreen fruit that grows in USDA winter hardiness zones 8 to 11.
This large fruit tree originated in Barbados, from where it was introduced to Florida and California. In the home garden, the size of the grapefruit is an important factor before it is planted.
The average size of a grapefruit tree is about 25 feet, although some trees can reach 45 feet. If the soil is fertile and growing conditions are ideal, young grapefruit trees can grow up to 24 inches in a single summer, depending on the variety.
Most trees are considered medium-sized, reaching 20 feet in height in 20 years and growing an average of only 12 inches per year.
Most grapefruits are grafted, and the degree of dwarfing is determined by the rootstock tree. Although a variety of hardy citrus plants are used for grapefruit, the base tree of the Flying Dragon is a true dwarf, only 4 to 8 feet tall. Regular dwarf and semi-dwarf grapefruits reach 8 to 12 feet tall.
One dwarf variety is ‘Dwarf Redbrush’ grapefruit, which does best in the soil in USDA zones 9 to 10. It is an evergreen tree that is 8 to 10 feet tall and produces red grapefruits, with only a few seeds remaining on the tree in winter and spring.
The standard grapefruit reaches a height of 18 to 25 feet under normal garden conditions. This tree needs plenty of room to spread its large canopy.
The blush grapefruit (Citrus paradisi ‘Redblush’) is an example of a tree grown in USDA zones 9 and 10. It is a fast-growing tree that reaches a height of 20 to 25 feet with a broad, round crown filled with large, reddish fruit.
Giant trees in California
A single grapefruit tree in Porterville, California, is on the list of California’s great trees. According to the University of California’s Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute, this fruit tree is 15 feet tall and its trunk is over three feet long. The canopy is about 29 feet wide.
Average life span of Grapefruit tree
The average life span of a citrus tree is about 50 years. This number of years applies to both standard and dwarf sizes, which bear fruit between the second and fifth growing seasons and continue to bear fruit until the end of their lives. Foliage health is an indicator of fruiting.
Trees with many healthy leaves bear more fruit. If they are particularly healthy, citrus trees can live up to 100 years.
Diseases that can shorten life span Grapefruit tree
The citrus greening disease is a common bacterium that affects citrus plants and trees. Infected trees show symptoms such as mottled leaves and uneven distribution of fruit on the tree. The fruits produced are deformed and taste bitter.
The disease is slow to appear, so the tree usually does not even realize it is infected. Citrus trees affected by the disease usually die or must be removed three to five years after infection. Even surviving trees have a shortened life expectancy, usually 50-15 years.
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Lynn, E. (2020, September 1). Growing Grapefruit From Seed in 5 Easy Steps. Garden Season. https://gardenseason.com/growing-grapefruit-seeds/
Maier, C. (2017, November 21). Length of Life for Citrus Trees. Home Guides | SF Gate. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/length-life-citrus-trees-51792.html