How to Plant Citrus Seeds

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Sweet oranges and juicy lemons fresh from your backyard: It might sound a little far-fetched, especially if you live in an area with cold winters. If you have wondered if you could grow your own citrus tree from seeds, well, you can. Just realize that seeds are the product of two plants that may produce something quite different than the fruit you ate. It is fun to experiment, and almost all citrus plants produce fragrant, dark, glossy leaves.

Step 1

Peel the citrus seed to find out if it is polyembryonic or mono-embryonic. This will determine whether or not the tree produced will stay true to the kind of fruit you started with. If you see two cotyledons with one embryo, it will not come true. However, if you see the two cotyledons with several embryos tangled around themselves, your tree will be true to the seed, or true to type.

Step 2

Place several seeds in a plastic bag with a few tablespoons of water and set in a warm place (about 70 to 85 degrees). Change the water every day for a week. You should see some of the seeds sprouting.

Step 3

Shovel some sandy soil into the plant pot until it is filled. Make a hole with your finger that is about one inch deep in the center. Carefully place one sprouted seed per pot into the hole with the budding root facing downward. Cover the seed over with soil.

Step 4

Water the seedling daily, but make sure the water drains and does not make the soil soggy. Keep the pot in a warm place either outside if it is warm or on a sunny window. Fertilize once a week with a 10-10-10 fertilizing solution.

Step 5

Bring the citrus tree indoors when the temperature drops below 50 degrees. You can wrap Christmas lights around it to give it the get extra warmth and light it needs for growth. Be prepared to wait a few years for fruit.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bag
  • 6-inch plant pot
  • Light sandy soil
  • Hand shovel
  • Citrus seeds
  • Fertilizer


  • Citrus Propagation
  • Growing Citrus Trees
  • Citrus from Seed
Keywords: citrus seed trees, garden orange, lemon lime tangerine

About this Author

Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.

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