how to grow grapefruit from seed

How to Plant Grapefruit Seed

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The grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) has come a long way. From its first recorded history in the West Indies during the mid 1700s to propagation in Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley during the early 1900s, the grapefruit has become a fruit that can stand alone or be used as an ingredient in the kitchen. Grapefruit can be grown at home from seeds and planted outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. Although fruit production can be more limited than that of commercially grown trees, growing a grapefruit tree from seed should produce fruit.

Remove the seeds from a fresh grapefruit. Wash the seeds under running water and pat them dry with a towel.

Fill a 4-inch pot three-fourths full with a rich potting mix that drains well.

Press one grapefruit seed into the center of the pot. Push the seed into the soil so it is twice as deep as the seed is long. For example, if the seed is 1/4 inch long, plant the seed 1/2 inch deep.

Water the newly planted seed until the soil is moist but not soggy. Cover the pot loosely with plastic wrap to create a greenhouse effect to keep the seed warm and encourage growth.

Place the covered pot in a brightly lit, warm location with a consistent temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Monitor the progress of the plant, adding water as necessary to keep the soil moist. Watch for the seed to sprout and leaves to form.

Things You Will Need

A south-facing window covered with sheer curtains provides sufficient light without exposing the seedling to direct sunlight, which may burn the plant.

Transplant the seedling to larger pots, such as 6-, 8- and 12-inch containers, as it grows so the roots will have plenty of room.

Under ideal conditions the grapefruit seedling may flower and produce fruit in six to seven years.

Grapefruit trees grown from seed are susceptible to foot and root rot caused by the Phytophthora pathogen.

  • Texas A&M University Horticultural Sciences Department : Home Fruit Production-Grapefruit
  • University of Vermont Extension: Growing Citrus as Houseplants

Tara Shore holds a Bachelor of Science in business finance and has written for online publications since 2007. She has professional experience in banking, accounting, travel and teaching. Shore is also a master gardener and a travel agent.

How to Plant Grapefruit Seed. The grapefruit has come a long way. From its first recorded history in the West Indies during the mid 1700s to propagation in Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley during the early 1900s, the grapefruit has become a fruit that can stand alone or be used as an ingredient. Grapefruit can be …

Growing Grapefruit From Seed In 5 Easy Steps

Growing grapefruit from seed can be tricky for beginners but is definitely doable. With this simple and practical guide, you can grow grapefruit like a pro. Read on and find out how to grow grapefruit from seeds with ease.

In this article:

Learn How Growing Grapefruit Can Be Very Easy

Growing Grapefruits From Seeds

One of the questions when growing fruit from seed is whether it will grow true to a fruit. While it cannot be said when growing apples and peaches from seeds, most fruits from the citrus family will grow true from seed. What’s even better, is that grapefruit trees grown from seeds can live longer and are more disease-resistant.

Learn How to Grow Grapefruit

Have you tried slicing through a succulent and juicy grapefruit before and wondered if you can grow the seeds? Why, yes you can! In fact, you can enjoy a grapefruit tree in your backyard in these five easy steps!

Step 1. Extracting Grapefruit Seeds

It would be best for you to grow grapefruits from seeds of fruits grown locally. This ensures that the fruits you will grow are well adapted in your area.

Pick a fruit clean and free of blemishes. Cut the fruit in half and scoop out the middle part of the fruit.

Collect the viable, undamaged grapefruit seeds.

Step 2. Preparing Grapefruit Seeds

Soak the seeds in a glass of water and pat dry the seeds to take off the slime from the coat. This will make it easier to take off the seed coating. Using a small knife or tweezers, gently peel off the coating from the seeds and careful not to damage the tip.

Step 3. Germinating Grapefruit Seeds

Set the seeds on a paper towel then fold it to wrap the seeds. Spray the seeds and the paper towel to thoroughly moisten it.

You can either place the seeds in a ziplock bag or in a plastic container with a cover. Label the bag or plastic container and place it in a warm and dark place.

Step 4. Planting Germinated Grapefruit Seeds

Check your seeds in about 10 to 15 days to see if the seeds have germinated.

If you’re pleased with your germinated seeds, you can now prepare your planters or containers to plant your germinated seeds. You can use purchased containers or you can recycle old containers for starting the seeds of grapefruits in.

If you plan to recycle containers, make sure to drill holes in the bottom of the container for drainage. Use rich potting soil or a garden soil improved with organic compost.

Poke four 1-inch holes in the container with equal distance to each other then drop the seeds with the roots down. Water the container and wait.

Step 5. Transplanting Grapefruit Seedlings

Transplant your seedlings into individual pots once they’ve grown two to four true leaves. This will give the seeds more breathing space and the roots more room to grow.

Once you see the roots growing at the bottom of the container, the seedlings are now ready to be transferred.

Whether you plan to grow grapefruit in containers indoors or directly in the ground out in your garden, you can use these smart tips:

Tips for Growing Grapefruits Outdoors

  • As with most of the fruits of the citrus family, grapefruits are sun-loving and grow best where they are sun-kissed.
  • Site your location in an area where the soil is a sandy loam with lots of organic matter.
  • Transplant the seedlings in the site you selected and water the seedling until moist but not soggy.
  • Water daily in the first week through to the second week and weekly after a few months when the plant has been established.

Tips for Growing Grapefruit In Containers

Growing grapefruit in containers is possible as with some other citrus fruits like lemon and oranges. However, they won’t grow grapefruit bunches like they would in wider spaces.

Nevertheless, they will still bear fruits and become a lovely ornamental plant. Lastly, it is important to note grapefruits grow better indoors in colder climates.

Watch the full tutorial from Jessie Jackowski for germinating grapefruit seeds here:

Though growing your own grapefruit from seed can be a lengthy process, it’s all worth it when you can look forward to a heavy-laden grapefruit tree in a few years. So stop throwing those seeds away and begin your grapefruit garden today!

Thinking of giving grapefruits a try in your garden. I’d be delighted to hear all about it in the comments section below!


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Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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5 thoughts on “Growing Grapefruit From Seed In 5 Easy Steps”

Brilliant site! Thank you for such detailed instruction, written in such a concise manner.

I planted my Grapefruit in containers around
4 yrs ago, they have not produced any fruit yet. They are indoors. I live in upstate NY. They like the summer here. I hope this season I will see flowers.
Thanks, Rusty C
Is miracle grow ok?

I just started seedlings from what we call wild grapefruit. We have found old trees in the woods that are where old homesteads and before that, Indian camps. The are large round and thick skinned and have lots of seeds. Someone told me they are probably some of the first type of trees brought to Florida well before all the hybrids started. They are growing well. I have started them in the seedling starter trays. I placed the plastic cover over them. They are now now about 3 inches high with 3 to 4 leaves. Your article speaks about starting in pots but since I have mine in the small pre-mixed seedling cups what do you suggest I do from here? From what I’ve read here they are ready for transplanting into bigger pot but how big? I’ve had them outside on my porch in bright indirect sun. Just need a little help here. Thanks lots

Did you know growing grapefruit from seeds is possible? So stop throwing those seeds away and grow your own grapefruit tree in the backyard!