One year old grapefruit tree with flower

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by ritsy, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. ritsy

    ritsy Member

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    My grapefruit tree, grown from seed, was one year old when
    it produced ONE blossom.

    It is really important for me to know (at least in theory)
    whether it is possible for it to be fertilised with
    its own pollen and produce fruit, however small,
    even though the tree is so young ?

    i.e. for fertilisation, is it sufficient for a grapefruit blossom
    to receive pollen from itself, or must it absolutely
    get the pollen from other grapefruit blossoms ?

    I have read some of the other grapefruit threads on this forum
    and noticed that there is a juvenile phase.

    Is juvenile phase defined as the time it takes to produce flowers ?
    Or the time it takes to produce fruit ?

    During a juvenile phase, even if the tree has flowers, is it
    possible for it to produce fruit ?

    Unfortunately, I never found out if my blossom would produce
    fruit, because it got sliced off the tree by accident :-(
    so it is all the more important for me to know in theory
    what is possible regarding the pollination.

    The tree is kept in a pot and inside all the time.

    Thanks
    maggie
     
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I'll give your questions a go since no one else has. Experts please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Grapefruit trees are self-fertile which means their flowers can be fertilized with their own pollen; a second tree is not required. However fruit can also be produced parthenocarpically - without pollinization - resulting in seedless fruit.

    The following is my understanding of the juvenility period. A tree does not begin to flower and produce fruit until it is out of its juvenility period. I believe the odd flower that is produced during this time is incomplete and is therefore unviable and will not result in fruit.
     
  3. drichard12

    drichard12 Active Member 10 Years

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    ritsy, Junglekeeper, I find that a 1 year old Juvenile tree, planted from seed "grapefruit" in this case, to produce a flower interesting Dale
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Yes, interesting indeed. I wonder how often this happens. I vaguely remember reading about it in a citrus book.
     
  5. ritsy

    ritsy Member

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    Hi, Actually, last spring I had two separate trees produce one blossom each (but not at the same time). They were so funky. The blossom sits right at the top of the tree.

    I was so surprised that I did not even think of trying to pollinate the first blossom. I had to repot that plant in a hurry because it was intertwined with another 1 year old grapefruit tree (we had planted two seeds together). And I knocked off the dry blossom.

    Then, surprise, in another pot, another 1 year old tree came out with a bud. A few days later, a soft frisbee went flying in that direction by accident and sliced it off.

    But I figured, hey, a flower, why not fruit ? Hence my question.

    maggie
     
  6. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    It is rare, but not all that uncommon for a new seedling tree to produce a random bloom. When this happens the bloom is almost always, if not always, on the very top of the little tree, and almost always it is years before the tree again begains to blossom . I had a citrus, don't remember now what variety it was, produce a bloom when only 3 inches tall. However, I have NEVER seen one of these blooms ever produce a fruit. Lastly, remember when it is said it takes 7-10 years for a orange or grapefruit to bloom and fruit, they are talking about a tree that is grown outdoors, and not about a n indoor tree that spends 1/2 of its life indoors during winters. An indoor tree can take as long as 15 years to fruit, a lot depending on it culture. - Millet
     
  7. OMG! My grapefruit tree has a flower on it too... Mine is two years old but still small.
    -Alex
     
  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    It turns out my hunch was wrong. From Biology of Citrus, last paragraph on page 195,
    Still, the chance of having fruit set and growing to maturity is slim given the nature of citrus.
     
  9. ritsy

    ritsy Member

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    Alex, if you are still checking this thread, please post the outcome of your flower. Did you try to pollenate it ? Did you get fruit ? Did you take any photos ? I would be really interested to see them.
     
  10. ritsy

    ritsy Member

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    Junglekeeper,

    Thank you. It it exactly what I was looking for ! Basically, it means that it is unlikely, but not impossible for the tree to get fruit at such an early age.

    ritsy
     
  11. ritsy

    ritsy Member

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    Junglekeeper,

    I would be interested in the issue date and publisher of that magasine where that paragraph is written i.e. is is a paper magasine ? or online ? It must have some other fascinating things about citrus plants too.

    ritsy
     
  12. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Very early blooming can happen, but rarely or probably never produce fruit. Biology of Citrus is a book. At present I have a bloom on a one inch tall Yuzu, and a bloom on a one year old Page Mandarin. - Millet
     
  13. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    ritsy, the quoted book is listed in the Citrus Books links database. I recommend this book highly. It is technical and yet easy to understand.
     
  14. Lynner

    Lynner Member

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    Hello, I know this is an old thread, but I just had to post that I have an almost one year old pink grapefruit tree (seeds were from purchased grapefruit) that has one white flower that is growing on top of it, too. I can't wait to see what it looks like open. I am disappointed to see that it won't develop into a miniature fruit, but we'll see. I think I read that it doesn't need pollination.

    I had a 13 year old indoor grapefruit tree that was grown in the same way, but it never flowered, though it was in really good shape.

    One question I have is that how does a seed split into two trees? I know that I did not have that many seeds, but the seedlings came up as two, I didn't split them up, I didn't know how, really, because I didn't want to damage either one of them. Do they need to be separated or will they continue to grow together? Right now, they are only about 5-7 inches high and it doesn't seem to bother them being so close, but I imagine later it will..but are they separate plants?
     
  15. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Your two seedlings are separate plants. What you're seeing is polyembryonic seed in action. Each grapefruit seed contains multiple embryos of which one is zygotic and the rest are nucellar. Seedlings from the latter will grow true to type. If you choose to separate the seedlings it would be best to separate them while they're still quite young.

    An indoor grapefruit seedling tree may never flower as it has to attain a great size (to satisfy the required node count) before reaching maturity.
     
  16. ritsy

    ritsy Member

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    Hi, Glad you posted. I had two pink grapefruit trees growing together, probably from different seeds, as we had planted them all together, not realising that they would ALL grow. They were, like yours, around 5 - 7 inches tall. One of the trees got a blossom at 1 year old. The blossom dried up and I was wondering if it would bring fruit. Just in case, I decided to separate the trees. That was when I knocked the blossom off. :-( The trees did grow better when separated. You shake all the soil off their roots and unentwine them gently gently. They don't seem to mind when they're young, because I've unetwined at least 10 trees like that. The trees are between 5ft and 6ft now. Then I had another blossom on another tree and we did pollinate it with a paint brush, but unfortunately an indoor frisby came flying at it and so we lost that blossom.
     
  17. Lynner

    Lynner Member

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    Thank you both for your responses, I learned a lot!! I'm glad to learn that I wasn't crazy in thinking I only had a few seeds, but I need to separate the plants pretty soon then, it sounds like.

    The blossom smells so good! I just knew it would have a very strong scent, and it's not even open all the way yet. I'm definitely enjoying the experience.

    I'm hoping that it will bloom again someday, but my 13 year old gf tree had never bloomed before, and that got to about 5-6 feet before it started leaking sap and then maybe a year later, died.

    Does anyone happen to know why the leaves are so shiny? Is that just a charateristic of citrus plants?

    Thanks again,

    Lynne
     
  18. ritsy

    ritsy Member

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    Hi, I've noticed that only new leaves are really shiny. The older ones are less smooth, more green and more matt. However, when I compare them to orange or lemon leaves, they do seem a bit shinier. There are two parts to the leaf, which is interesting, kind of a thin part, and then it opens up into a wider more oval shape. We tried rubbing a leaf gently and then it releases a delightful citrus smell. Our trees are always indoors, so we wash the dust off their leaves with plain water and a clean paint brush.

    I've also noticed recently that warmth plays a role in getting those seeds to germinate. The soil should be moist and warm, i.e. on a window cill in the sunshine.

    By the way, if you ever get a chance, growing a pomelo is quite interesting too. It's like a grapefruit, but the leaves are thicker and more sturdy.
     
  19. LukeOut!

    LukeOut! Member

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    I have three ten year old ruby red grapefruit trees planted from 3 seeds, growing together in one large pot. I take it out every Summer to catch the sun. It stays inside during the cold Midwest Winters. It never bloomed one blossom before, but to my surprise, these three trees are full of buds growing every day now. There are so many I can't count them all, and the smell is so crisp. I was told that a potted grapefruit might not bloom, but looks like I got lucky. You could too! Keep it up!
     
  20. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  21. Lynner

    Lynner Member

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    I hope these pictures are ok! The flower is now pretty much gone, I wonder what it will do afterward. I know I probably won't get a grapefruit, but I can still hope!

    I just talked to my Dad, and was telling him about how it happened that the seed divided and produced the two seedlings, and he told me that his now has 3 sprouts from the one seed. The original grapefruit must have been a good one, to have all these different things from the seeds.
     

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  22. Lynner

    Lynner Member

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    Wow, that is pretty neat that you have so many! If you could post a picture, that would be nice to see. I bet the fragrance is heady! I wonder if red grapefruits produce more flowers on these home grown trees. It seems like everyone who mentioned a flower had a red grapefruit tree.

    My 13 year old gf tree never bloomed, that is why I was so surprised when my little one here blossomed.

     
  23. Lynner

    Lynner Member

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    I wonder what will happen when the flower dies off? Is it possible to get a little grapefruit? I will try really hard not to knock it off prematurely. :-)

    I guess I am going to have to separate them, too. i will wait until the flower is gone though, before I do. Then I will have four, and i don't know that i have the room for all of them!

     
  24. ritsy

    ritsy Member

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    Hi, The answer to your question about the little fruit is, yes, it is possible, but unlikely (see the whole of this thread). I guess you'd have to pollinate it. You take a dry paint brush. Those little yellow pollen bits need to go onto that white tube in the middle. Although I've probably written this too late.

    By the way, I just looked at the whole thread and wow, I like the photos ! Thanks for posting them. They are beautiful.

    For the last two weekends, I've felt like Mickey Mouse with a spray can. I've been keeping an eye on some orange/lemon trees whose leaves started turning light green to yellowish. At first I thought they didn't have enough soil, so I repotted them. They had enough fertilizer too. They're getting enough light. Something else was wrong. So I took a really good look at their leaves. Nothing clear - it was evening, so I waited until there was more light the following morning. Finally I saw a web around the stems. On the web there were some tiny bugs, so tiny that it's like a dot you make with a pen. The bugs looked orangey-brown. So I did some searching on this forum and figured they're probably spider mites. Mites sure fits their description - TINY. That wasn't all. There were tiny white mites too, or flies. Like little white dots.

    I cut off the smallest leaf from the tree and put it under the microscope. It magnified it to about 300 times and by then it looked like a very real bug (forgot to count the number of legs). There were loads of these bugs around. I checked the grapefruit leaves too. Only one tree was not affected. All the rest were buggy. So I bought some insecticide. This is one that doesn't do anything to "useful" insects like ladybugs, but specialises on spider mites and white fly. I don't like using it though. From experience I know if I didn't, the bugs would only get worse because indoors they are not part of a food chain indoors. I just hope I don't have to keep on spraying.
     
  25. Jamman

    Jamman Member

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    Interesting thread. I've got a 25 year old indoor Grapefruit plant grown from a pip. This tree has been flowering occassionally but usually the flowers drop off and I never get around to trying to pollenate it and so its never produced any fruit. However last year we moved it to the conservatory and it never been so healthly looking and has sprouted 30 news shoots all over the plant. Its about 6-7 feet tall and should or maybe might produce buds this year.

    Q. Is it possible that this plant is sterile and will never produce fruit or due to the fact that it produces flowers does it mean it is capable of producing fruit ?.
     

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