Thought it might be interesting to take a look at how my citrus plants, propagated in May 2013 from a Calamondin orange tree, are coming along.
There’s no denying that they are taking their time! To be honest, I’ve been feeling a little frustrated by the slowness of growth and was glad to be able to look back at my photos from this time last year to reassure myself that they have indeed been growing!
This is how they were in May 2014, the seedling then the cuttings:
I originally had 4 rooted cuttings and one plant grown from a pip, but I gave away one of the cuttings, so here are the remaining 3 plus the seed-grown specimen as they are now:
and from a lower angle to show the height:
and some individual shots, firstly the seedling:
then the cuttings:
The tallest of the plants is actually the seedling at 18 inches, with the tallest of the three cuttings coming in at 15 inches.
Habit-wise, they’re all a bit leggy in my opinion, but that probably has to do with the less than optimal indoor growing conditions that I have over winter – if I had a cool conservatory to keep them very light and bright but frost-free I imagine that would be a fair bit better than sitting them next to a north-facing patio door in a centrally-heated lounge!
On the whole, though, I’m quite pleased. They all seem to be somewhat prone to yellowing of the newer foliage in spite of the various tonics and citrus feeds that I apply, but apart from that, they appear to be healthy and doing fine.
I am holding back from potting them on for as long as I dare because I know from experience that citrus seem to do better for being a little pot-bound and certainly don’t like being moved into too big a pot too quickly – give them too much new compost around the rootball and the roots don’t seem to want to move out into it for some reason.
So, there we are. They are outside for the summer in a fairly sunny spot and I feed them with citrus food once a week and water fairly frequently – I don’t keep them soggy but I don’t allow them to dry out as much as I do in winter.
I think it might still be a while before I see any flowers/fruit on these, but I’m sure it will be worth the wait!
Well, it’s been about a year since I started trying to propagate my grafted Citrus mitis plant from cuttings and seed so I reckon it’s time for an update.
To be honest, none of them are looking great at the moment:
In spite of being fed with citrus tonic both cuttings and seedling are showing sickly-looking pale yellow new growth rather than the fresh lime-green new growth that the parent plant produces.
I could only think that this is iron deficiency (chlorosis) brought on by my hard tap water, but if so, why does the parent plant not have a problem?
Then I remembered that this is the first time I’ve actually tried to grow Citrus mitis on its own roots: the parent plant is a specimen I grafted onto a rootstock I grew from an ordinary supermarket orange pip, so perhaps by pure dumb luck I grew a lime-tolerant plant. The cuttings and the seedling are both relying on their own roots and maybe the roots of Citrus mitis are not as lime-tolerant?
Anyway, I’ve treated them all with a sequestrene iron tonic and I’ll see what happens.
Growth-wise, none of them have exactly been romping away, but I suppose if there has been a nutrient deficiency that won’t have been helping.
Would I bother again? Probably not to be honest. It was a fun challenge but I found my grafted specimens from years back produced sizeable specimens much more quickly, though of course I have to factor in the year spent growing the rootstock from a pip to begin with(!)
I’ll keep going with these for the time being and see how they develop. I’m intending to put them outside for the summer and hope that that will give them a bit of a boost.