En Español

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

Tuesday - April 30, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Seeds and Seeding, Edible Plants, Trees
Title: Growing non-native grapefruit from seeds from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can you grow ruby red grapefruit trees from seeds?

ANSWER:

From Wikipedia: "The grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi) is a subtropical citrus tree known for its bitter to semi-sweet fruit, an 18th-century hybrid first bred in Barbados."

 Since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native to North America but also to the area where they are being grown; in your case, Travis County, TX, we are not prepared to answer this question. However, we will take a look online and see if we can find some information to help you.

From Aggie Agriculture, here is an article on Home Fruit Production - Grapefruit. Note this paragraph on Propagation:


"Either T-budding or inverted T-budding onto sour orange seedling rootstocks is the primary means used to propagate grapefruit trees in Texas. Because of the high degree of nucellar embryony (seeds come true-to-type) in most grapefruit varieties, they can be grown from seed. However, seedage has two major drawbacks: 1) the seedling-grown trees will be short-lived because of their susceptibility to Phytophthora disease (both foot rot and root rot) and 2) fruit production will usually be delayed for several years until the seedling trees grow through juvenility and become capable of bearing."

Here is another article on Texas Grapefruit History in which the Ruby Red is discussed as a mutation, sometimes helped by radiation. Whether a seed from a grapefruit you purchased at a market would breed true is unlikely; plus, we really don't have the weather in Austin for growing citrus.


 

More Trees Questions

Solution for wet area near fence
April 07, 2010 - I just moved into a house that is 10 years old on the north side of Houston, Texas. When it rains the water pools about 1 to 3 inches deep around the beds with trees (pine, sweet gum and chinaberry) ...
view the full question and answer

Unknown pest of Texas Mountain Laurel from Round Rock TX
May 24, 2012 - I have a Texas Mountain Laurel that is being denuded from the top down by something unseen. It's not the Genista moth larvae, as there are no worms and no webbing visible. The only clue that it might...
view the full question and answer

Young Maple Dropping Leaves in Late Summer
September 05, 2013 - I have a 6-year-old maple tree. I'm not sure what type it is as the builder planted it. It is as tall as our two-story house and very healthy. It's the biggest tree in our neighborhood because we fe...
view the full question and answer

Selection of a small variety of Desert Willow for SE Texas
August 02, 2011 - Looking to plant desert willow as shrub. Any helpful tips to keep height down and plant full or bushy.
view the full question and answer

Hackberry stripped by Cedar Waxwings or American Goldfinches
March 27, 2007 - I live in Fort Worth. My one and only tree in the backyard is a 23 year old hackberry. While not infested with gall or weevils, we have been invaded this past few weeks by hordes of small, chubby, yel...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center