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Is it possible to grow a clementine plant from a seed that I find in the fruit? I have been told that commercial growers deliberately grow like plants in blocks, in such a way that the seed is not capable of growing into plants. I think this process has something to do with polyembyronic vs monoembyronic.

I was also told that whatever I did manage to grow would be a hybrid between clementine and whatever other citrus plant was around. So it could be a cross between say a lemon and a clementine?

Excuse me if these questions are stupid.I know I could possibly buy a young plant or at least the correct seeds, but I would find more pleasure in being able to grow from scratch, from whatever seeds I find.

As for the growing process... As I understand it, I need to keep the seed moist and warm, put some peat soil in a zipper bag and a couple of seeds, lightly press it together to form a lump and add some water so its very damp but not excessively drenched. After 3 weeks it sprouts and I can transfer it to say... a paper cup with a plastic bag over it to keep humidity up, all the while keeping the young plant warm, say , by placing on a warm dvd player that's always left on.

Correct me i'f im wrong.


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,341

    Many citrus seeds contain two types of embryos. The nucellar embryo is identical to the mother, and there is another embryo that contains genetic material from both parents.  Normally the two parent embryo is dominant. it is possible to separate the two and grow the nucellar emrbryo, which will them be identical to the fruit that the seed has come from, but I'm afraid that is beyond me. I think it will require some clever disection.

    I have grown citrus from pips, but never got them to fruit.  Fruiting plants that you can buy are grafted.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • How would i be able to achieve this then?

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,341

    What do you want to do? If you just want a citrus plant, then plant the pip as outlined. if you want a specific named variety, buy a grafted plant. Without a degree in plant physiology, a lab, microscope and excellent dissection skills, followed by growing in sterile culture medium, you are not going to get the same variety from a pip. Its way beyond us mere gardeners.


    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 72,031

    When my children were young we grew lots of citrus pips, oranges, lemons, grapefruits, clementines you name it we grew it.  They need frost free conditions and make lovely plants for a conservatory - the blossom has a wonderful perfume. However, they get whitefly and scale insect very easily and are incredibly unlikely to ever bear fruit.  

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • I don't understand, surely it can't be natural to have that possibility of plants bearing fruit, I would have thought it was the normal/natural process.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 72,031

    But the plants we have now are hybridised - the original wild species would be quite different.  And anyway, a long-lived plant only needs to replace itself before it dies - it doesn't want a load of plants growing up around it crowding it out and competing for light, water and nutrients. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. Do you mean to say that it is not natural / normal for a plant to grow that is unable to bear fruit (infertile if you like)?

    If the seed was from a tree growing happily in an old rambling orchard than we'd consider natural / normal in greater depth. But my understanding is that you are likely to be getting your seed from a FARMED tree - one that has been bred for the purpose of producing big fruits with little weak seeds that are unlikely to ever be anything more than (simply put) the runt of the litter. There is a lot of development and research that goes into growing fruit trees to ensure that farmers get to pick the fast growing / produce that travels well / large crop producing / glossy coloured fruit / trees (while protecting their livelihood by having plants that don't produce the good quality seeds your rivals need to simply pot up and wait to reap the rewards).

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