Explore Plants

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
    
 

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 Edible Plants Questions

Looking for stinging nettle not exposed to pesticides or exhaust
December 26, 2013 - Hi, Thank you for providing this service! I'm interested in foraging and wild edibles in Austin and am wondering if anyone can tell me a spot where I could harvest some Stinging Nettle that is un...
view the full question and answer

Information on edible tubers of hog potato from Austin
November 10, 2011 - I inquired a while back about hog potato or Hoffmannseggia glauca. You gave me some information on the plant but no information on when the plant produces the edible tubers. Also how long does it take...
view the full question and answer

Digging sassafras roots in Oklahoma
March 11, 2009 - When should I dig sassafras roots in eastern Oklahoma?
view the full question and answer

Medicinal qualities of Monarda clinopodioides
June 19, 2007 - Monarda clinopodioides Gray basil beebalm Could you tell me if the above-mentioned plant is edible or has any medicinal use?
view the full question and answer

Leaves of Chile pequin consumed overnight from San Marcus TX
June 23, 2013 - Something ate all the leaves of my Chile petin overnight. There is a ton of frass under the plants but no sign of a critter to be found. These plants have been in the same area for years and this is 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.