Citrus trees are one of the easiest things to grow from saved seeds. You don’t even need a green thumb for this gardening project. Believe it or not, citrus seeds sprout very readily. If you live in a 4 season climate, you will have to keep your lemon trees indoors. Other than that, though, growing lemons is a snap!
Here’s what you need to start your seeds:
- Saved lemon seeds
- Paper towel
- Pots filled with organic seed starting medium
Remove the seeds from the citrus fruit. Rinse under running water and place on the paper towel to drain and dry. Once the seeds are drained, place on another dry paper towel. Dry the saved seeds in the sunny window on the paper towel for two weeks. This is to completely dry the seeds out.
Now it’s time to sprout the seeds. You can do this in one of two ways. You can either presprout the seeds by folding the paper towel over with seeds inside and wetting it. You will need to keep it wet until they sprout and then, plant them as described below.
Or, you can use the one step method by planting them immediately and keeping them damp until they sprout. Either way, all you do is place pots filled with seed starting medium on a tray or dish for drainage. Then, bury three saved seeds in each peat pot at a depth of ½ inch. Wet the soil until damp. Keep the soil damp until seeds grow to a height of about 4 inches.
Note: Not all of your seedlings will always sprout and some that do may not survive. If you have trouble with seeds sprouting, try notching the end with a sharp knife first.
Thin the sprouts to one sprout per peat pot. Choose the healthiest sprout with the thickest stem to grow your citrus tree. When the roots of your lemon tree begin trailing out the bottom of the pot, they are ready to be transplanted to the next size pot.
What about pollination?
You can hand pollinate your lemon tree once it blooms. This is done by shaking the pollen off onto a paper towel and blowing it back onto the flowers, thus, redistributing it to the opposite gender. Or, you can let in a few helpers from the outdoors. Don’t worry, the blossoms will attract them. You won’t have to do anything special. Just enjoy the show!
Continue to transplant trees to the next size pot as they grow. Regularly use fertilizer designed for citrus fruit as directed on the package. Every fertilizer is different. Always keep in a sunny location and water when soil feels dry to the touch for optimum growth. Don’t forget to trim them back so they don’t get too big for your home!