Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - April 03, 2010

From: Houma, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Strange produce from non-native lemon seed in Houma LA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I grow a lemon tree from a seed. I grafted it from the same tree a year or so later. It is 15 years old and it only produce one year. The question is, the year it produce, the fruit was a pink grapefruit!! What is the answer and will it ever produce again?

ANSWER:

Before we get any deeper into this, let us explain that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, protection and propagation of  plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants are being grown. None of the citrus fruits (or most of the other fruits and vegetables you would buy at a grocery store) are native to North America, so they are really all out of our area of expertise. We don't know the answer, but we will find some websites about what you have done and perhaps you can figure it out.

eHow How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Seed

Texas A&M Extension Horticulture Home Fruit Production - Lemons  "While cuttings and air layers will work, trees grown on their own roots are not as well-adapted to Texas soils. Seed can be used, but seedlings are slow to bear. Too, some of the seedlings may not come true-to-type."

TreeHelp.com Grafting Citrus Trees

Wikipedia Grapefruit

Okay, what you have here is a tree planted from the seed of a fruit that may not breed true from the seed, and then a graft a year later. Grafting a tree usually requires two trees, one root stock and one the plant you want to perpetuate. What was the other tree? We read all the websites above, and still have no clue what is the answer to your question. 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Planting distance for non-native crepe myrtles in San Antonio
June 23, 2009 - I just purchased 7 katawba crepe myrtles and would like to know how far apart I need to space them. I am placing down on the right side of my front yard. They are in 5 gallon containers and about 5 - ...
view the full question and answer

Native turf grass for Austin
March 24, 2014 - I am installing a xeriscape landscape in my yard. It will be in full sun and I am looking for an alternative to turf, such as monkey grass. However, I am concerned about the light. Suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Crape myrtle in Austin
August 01, 2012 - Please don't bother to answer my question about how to treat a crepe myrtle with sticky stuff falling from it. I just found the answer on your site. Good site, by the way.
view the full question and answer

Pruning pink skullcap and rock daisy from Austin
February 06, 2013 - I have some pink skullcap and rock daisy and other plants in my yard that never entirely die back over the winter. Can you tell me what kind of pruning is appropriate? How far can/should I cut them ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen grasslike plants for Austin TX
April 15, 2008 - Hi, I'm in Austin, TX and looking for some evergreen grass-looking plants. Would you explain the similarities/differences between Butterfly Iris and Lily Grass in this regard? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.