GrapeFruit Indoors

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by Joe Crowe, May 2, 2019.

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  1. Joe Crowe

    Joe Crowe New Member

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    Heya boys and girls! Just some quick info: I have a grapefruit tree growing in my bedroom. It's all thorny and nasty...but the thing, I grew from a seed. So it's got a special place in my heart! Recently I've been hunting on how to make it bloom, because I'm all about blooms! They are soooo smelly like perfume I feel like I've died and entered a grapefruit bloom dreamworld in my sleep. Finding info, is really hard. I mean, impossible? So! I did my own studies.
    facts:
    1) you only need one tree to make a fruit, but it has to be at least 7 years old.
    2) it takes 12 months for said fruit to ripen and reach full size.
    3) you can force it to bloom, whenever you want, after it is at least 7 years old.
    4) clones impress your friends.
    I just found out all this info by growing a grapefruit in my house in zone 5.
     

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  2. Joe Crowe

    Joe Crowe New Member

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    The most interesting part is making it bloom! Info on that was impossible to find. So here it is: you have to starve that thing out from water and nutrient. I didn't water it for so long it was probably a month. Then I watered and fertilized it. People may recognize this as the same method of making an amaryllis bloom. You have to create a TEXAS fall condition as close as you can. I mean... it was like a dust bowl. I'm not sure how much drying a grapefruit can take, but don't let it die. Crazy thing can bloom like 3 times in a 12 month period which I thought was impossible. Never tried forcing it to reflower with little fruits on there. I always treat it nice-ey nice when the fruits form, by giving it some organic nutrient then watering it when it dries out.
    It always goes through a cycle of losing some leaves for about a month in the year. Never thought about why, but it always happens. I just gather the leaves up and toss them in the compost.
    DSC03287.JPG
    The above flower cluster is growing out of some ancient wood. I mean, I had heard the flowers only grow out of wood that's new. So, I suppose a new flower cluster growing from old wood classifies as "new" growth. Oh yah, so the tree itself is over 16 years of age. Took years to realize I had to stop being nice to the tree to make it bloom. Had large sections of time when I wondered if it would ever bloom again and busy searching for how to make the magic happen. Then.... when I read up on how to make an amaryllis bloom it hit me... they both grow in texas! Didn't believe it myself until I saw the thing bloom, then bloom and bloom again! With it's clone 30cm tall blooming beside it. Then the secret was cracked for sure: 7 year old tree with "texas winter" protocol. I hope these posts have been specific enough for anyone to glean the protocol from.
     
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  3. Joe Crowe

    Joe Crowe New Member

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    Now, I know what you're thinkin': "but I got to be some kind of plant expert to clone trees" except that's wrong. Instead...you have to be extremely patient. This thread will be a compendium of grapefruit knowledge when I'm done my story heh heh. So you should take a 10cm cutting from the end of an old-wood branch. Not some kind of new growth from the end of a new growth. I tried to falsify this but failed, so if you can get new wood to root - go ahead. Then cut all leaves off except two, so there are a couple of growth nodes and then on top two leaves and a node. Take this cutting and dip the end in rooting powder/gel then insert it into some moist potting mix. Put this inside a humidity dome or plastic bag...pop bottle cut in half and rejoined, whatever your imagination can conjure up. The important factor is maintain between 75% and 90% humidity! Never allow this to drop below 75% or your cuttings will take damage. I put mine under some old-school fluorescent tubes, but you can use more modern equipment like LED, LEC, HPS and so on. Probably don't want extreme light, like the sun.
    Final phase: wait....and wait....and wait go and wait some more. When you see some growth starting on your cuttings you can try hardening them to see if the thing is rooted.
    Just take it out of the humidity dome for a bit and monitor it's condition. If the new leaves start to droop, put it back into the humidity and wait more time. I waited for 6 months. Eventually the clones stopped wilting and started really growing into a mini tree. For best results clone a tree that has been growing for at least 7 years. Yah broken record on that but it took my tree 7 years to reach sexual maturity, so I'm assuming other trees will be sort of like it. You don't want to hand someone a tree and say "three years until it blooms..maybe" My tree is from a grapefruit from the store. I gave someone sprouted seeds from a juicy yellow one I harvested! Nothing like fresh fruits from your own tree. Take lots of cuttings in case some fail.
     
  4. Will B

    Will B Member

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    I grow several different kinds of grapefruit in my cool greenhouse. There are four factors that seem to be most important for grapefruit to flower and produce lots of fruit: 1- age as you have already heard; 2- heat, they looove the heat; 3- sunlight, lots of sunlight; 4- nutrients, lots of nutrients. I have not seen dryness as a factor. I keep my citrus nicely watered and avoid water stress. They bloom like mad! Here is some info on this year's bloom and growth spurt that started in March: The great growth spurt and flowering is on! | Aprici
     
  5. Joe Crowe

    Joe Crowe New Member

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    mm I love sweet citrus blossoms! Those photos make me want to smell them all. I've had the tree flower normally but only once per year, so I used the drying to trigger a bloom in November, February and May. I'll keep gathering data and see if it can be falsified. My tree is indoors facing the north, in my window, so it's definitely not ideal. I'll give the sucker more organic materials to try and keep the fruits this time around.
     
  6. Joe Crowe

    Joe Crowe New Member

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    Now some of the flowers are open so I'm using a bird feather to pollinate. ASAP I just take the feather and lightly brush the pollen blobs and the sticky central stalk. MM then after the feather smells just like a blossom. I am definitely getting some good aromatherapy at night ;) Some of the flowers are 4 petals and some are 5. So many of them are going to open today or in the next few days. Hopefully this bloom will last for a couple months, or at least a month. I have noticed some of the leaves are huge this year, about 20cm long and 10cm wide. Probably from the organic veg fertilizer I gave it. There are lots of photos from my past experiments laying around here, I'll post some! Cloning lemons is way easier than grapefruit.
     
  7. Joe Crowe

    Joe Crowe New Member

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    I took a few decent photos of the flowers. The flowers growing from the old wood are going to bloom as well! I am hoping that I managed to get a few viable pollen grains rubbed on the open ones. The petals have already fallen off of one flower.
     

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  8. Joe Crowe

    Joe Crowe New Member

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    The flowers growing from the old wood are some of my favorites, as the old wives tale is that flowers only grow on new wood, not on 5 year old wood. The old wood branch has no leaves, only a bunch of flowers. I only cut off branches once they die and turn brown.
     

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