Grapefruit trees can survive indoors and outdoors. Instead of buying a grapefruit tree, save money by harvesting grapefruit seeds that you bought in a store or even better in the market.
Grapefruit seeds germinate easily when started indoors and the trees produce delicious fruit in as little as one year.
Selecting Grapefruit Seeds
Once you have used your grapefruit for its juice, for example, choose several plump seeds that you can sprout. Avoid flat seeds that will not germinate. It is better to select 4 or 5 to maximize your chances of success.
Pour warm water into a glass and dip the seeds in it.
Place them preferably near a heat source. Ideally, you should leave the seeds in the water for 12 hours.
Plant a grapefruit from a seed in 12 steps
- Choose the variety of grapefruit you want to grow and then open the grapefruit with a sharp knife.
- Remove the grapefruit seeds with your fingers to avoid damaging them. Choose the largest seeds and set them aside.
- Wash the seeds under hot water. Place them on a layer of three damp paper towels. Fold the paper towels in half. Continue folding the paper towels to cover the seeds with a thick layer.
- Keep the paper towels moist. Place them in a warm place where they will not dry out too quickly. Transplant the seeds once they begin to germinate and leaves and roots appear.
- Fill a cardboard cup with soil. Plant a germinated seed in the cup at least 1 inch into the soil.
- The water in the soil must remain moist. Place the cup in a warm place that maintains a temperature between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the grapefruit seed to continue to germinate. This can take anywhere from a week to a month. Keep the soil moist and drill two holes in the bottom of the cup to allow water to drain.
- Transplant the grapefruit once it gets too big for the cup. You will need a container twice its size. Keep it in a warm, sunny place.
- Move the tree outside. Once the tree has grown to 24 inches to 1 m tall, plant the grapefruit tree outside, near a wall and facing south where there will be plenty of heat and sunlight.
- Dig a hole at least 1 m in diameter with a shovel. The hole should be wider than the root ball, but at the same depth. Create a watering ring around the tree that is wider than the planting hole.
- Water the tree every seven to ten days fairly deeply. Do not water the tree when it rains and avoid overwatering when the weather cools.
- Add 2 inches of mulch around the tree to help it retain water.
- Fertilize the grapefruit tree every four to six weeks during the growing season between March and August.
Repotting grapefruit trees
You can repot your seedlings into individual pots when they have 3 or 4 leaves and are about 2 inches tall.
Choose pots with a diameter of 6 inches. Cover the bottom again with gravel or clay balls to ensure good drainage.
Then fill the pot with potting soil in which you will dig a hole.
Use a fork to gently uproot the seedlings. Then plant them in their new pot.
All you have to do is gently pack the potting soil and moisten it.
Maintenance and watering of the grapefruit tree
Withstanding temperatures of up to 21°F in winter, the grapefruit tree likes sunny and windless areas. It is necessary to fertilize it during its growth and to prune it every two years in early spring.
It requires regular watering during its vegetation period. A mulch will be necessary in winter to protect its foot.
Grapefruit tree diseases
Grapefruit is a target for parasites such as aphids and leaf miners, but it also catches diseases such as anthracnose, fumaginia, gummosis or tristeza.