En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Problem with flameleaf sumac (Rhus lanceolatta)
July 14, 2008 - My Flameleaf Sumac appears to have an insect infestation in the bark which oozes a sappy sticky substance. This has apparently caused one of the limbs to die. Will it kill the whole plant and is there...
view the full question and answer

Waht are the truly native Texas trees
August 20, 2007 - What two trees are truly native to Texas? I was told pecan and can't remember the other.
view the full question and answer

Need help diagnosing a problem with Bur Oak in Plano, TX
April 28, 2010 - I planted a bur oak 8 or 9 years ago. It has grown beautifully until this year. When opening, the leaves are very small (a couple inches) and there are lots of seeds (catkins?). I would hate to los...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in pecan tree in Garner NC
July 19, 2012 - I transplanted a pecan tree about 3 weeks ago & been watering it 3 times a day. The leaves are turning brown & crumbly before I water it. After I water it, the leaves are brown but I can scratch the t...
view the full question and answer

Rocky Mountain Juniper Grazed by Deer
April 29, 2013 - I have four Colorado red cedar (Juniperus scopulorum). The deer have eaten from their height down. Now these narrow top to bottom evergreens have only tops left. Will the bottom fill in if I protect t...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center