Germinating Orange Seeds
Citrus fruit seeds, including oranges, are generally easy to germinate, although seeds usually will not produce a tree like the parent plant if the parent tree was a hybrid. To ensure you are getting the kind of tree you want, purchase seeds from a reputable seed company, advises Virginia Cooperative Extension.
If you are growing oranges from seed for the fun of it and are not particularly interested in the variety, then by all means collect seeds from a neighbor’s tree or even from a store-bought orange and enjoy your resulting orange trees. Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11, according to Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute, comes true from seed, but ‘Pomelo; and ‘Temple’ oranges do not.
Growing Orange Seeds Information
Collected seeds are washed by placing them in a bowl of water and swishing them around to loosen any attached orange pulp. Seeds that float and seeds that are small in comparison are not good for germinating. Remaining seeds are cleaned, folded into a dry paper towel and placed inside a sealable plastic bag. To break seed dormancy, seeds are refrigerated for three to four weeks; seeds collected from store-bought fruit have already had a refrigeration period, so refrigeration is no longer necessary.
Soil for Germination
Orange trees prefer neutral to slightly acidic soil and the best germination medium is soil-based. Garden soil is sterilized through covering and heating to 180 degrees in a home oven for half an hour.
Commercially bagged topsoil has added amendments to increase moisture retention, friability and drainage. Sphagnum peat moss and vermiculite or sand used in equal parts with soil makes an appropriate germinating blend. When peat moss is used, it is important to place the soil in pots and to water several times to ensure the peat moss is moistened.
Growing Oranges From Seed
Before planting, orange tree seeds are soaked in water for at least two hours, or overnight, to hasten germination, advises the University of Florida. One seed is planted in a 3-inch pot, or several seeds evenly spaced in a large pot, to a depth of 1 inch. The pot is watered and allowed to drain before placing it in a warm, sunny window or on a seed propagation mat with the thermostat turned to 61 degrees Fahrenheit. In the spring time, when outdoor soil temperatures are warm enough, seeds can be sown directly in the ground.
Orange Seed Germination
Germination times can take as long as six to eight weeks or more. Meanwhile, the soil is not allowed to dry out, but not waterlogged either, as too much moisture will cause the seed to rot. After the first true leaves emerge, the seedling orange trees benefit from daily misting with water. Train the new plants to a single stem.
To speed up germination, a gibberellic acid soak is used. A plant hormone, gibberellic acid can be purchased from some garden supply stores or online, notes the University of Florida.
Germinating Orange Seeds. Citrus fruit seeds, including oranges, are generally easy to germinate, although seeds usually will not produce a tree like the parent plant if the parent tree was a hybrid. To ensure you are getting the kind of tree you want, purchase seeds from a reputable seed company. If you just want to …