Tips, Tricks, References, & Info About Growing Lemon Trees from Seed (A Debunking of myths)

**Today’s post is going to be a little different than my usual posts, because it’s going to involve a gardening, education related direction**

*This post is not intended to be a guide on sowing lemon/citrus trees, more so as tips and tricks to enhance the probability of success in growth and health rate. If you are looking for a sowing guide, at the bottom of this post there is a reference guide where you can click on a site that goes through a step by step process on sowing lemon seeds.*

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I have always loved citrus, and though I don’t know exactly when this passion began, but I can assume it began sometime during my young childhood in midwinter when my mother would by clementine’s and my sisters and I would sit around our kitchen table and gorge ourselves.

Growing up in Canada, citrus was only cheap (affordable) during mid winter. So I was lucky that when I was having a food shortage when I was in residence at University that it was during the time where oranges where in season and dirt cheap! For several weeks my diet was comprised of only oranges from the local Sobeys.

During high school I was often referred to as Lemon Girl, so it was no surprise when I told my friends that I was growing lemon trees from seed. It was also no surprise to my friends, when they were curious about my then 12 lemon seedings where dying off.

I learned a lot about lemon trees, how they grow, what to do, what not to do, and have sent a lot of sad trees to citrus heaven. Nonetheless I have comprised a list of information, references and helpful info that may help you on your journey with the success on your lemon tree gardening, now let’s begin!\


Tip #1

Save yourself some grief, and purchase organic lemon seeds, or if you needed to buy lemons from the supermarket (like I did) purchase organic ones.

 

Long story short, the commercial lemon seeds from commercial lemons don’t produce healthy sprouts, they are generally unhealthy at birth, they don’t grow… like at all. Just don’t do it. Spend a little money and but organic lemons and plant their seeds, you will actually have about 60%-90% growth rate from all seeds planted.


Tip #2

Fertilizer. Don’t use it unless you know what you are doing. I know this is common sense, but it’s crazy how much information there is on the internet about what types of N:P:K ratios (the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium ratio) in fertilizer. I have heard things from getting specially formulated citrus food, (that is super expensive and still in my closet from 6 years ago) from to a certain ‘special’ ratio that is impossible to find or things from 20-20-20 to rose fertilizer.

Here’s a trick. It doesn’t matter what you feed your lemon tree, as long as you feed the tree as directed from the packaging. Of course don’t go buying any random fertilizer that is dirt cheap or sketchy and you question why this is in the dollar store, but what I am trying to say is that all those things on lemon forums, articles, and so forth you can use any of them. Just pick one. Of course some are more specialized than others, but in reality if that’s the only thing your plant has ever known and you haven’t over fertilized it or screwed up in other ways (like I did, oh so many times) your lemon tree will be completely fine. (Again please use common sense when fertilizing).


Tip #3

Pruning. When people prune plants for a certain aesthetic reasons, generally they just snip off what they want. You can do it that way, but there is a better way. It’s called directional pruning (tutorial/guide in references) and it’s basically pruning the branches a certain way to promote future growth in the desired direction. It’s pretty neat and it does work. It is a bonsai tip, but nonetheless extremely useful.


Tip #5

Your lemon tree can be trained as a bonsai tree. If your lemon tree is just a short stubby thing (like mine) you can turn it into a bonsai tree. It takes a bit of effort and time but is a very rewarding hobby. (link below)


Tip #5

Water. Do NOT overwater your trees! They do not like it. They will get angry. And they will revolt! (or they will just be limp and slowly die). Just don’t do it.

A good tip is do not water in a schedule, because different factors affect the moisture content in the pot. For example if it is hot inside/outside the plant will use more water and will need to be water more frequently then when it is a cool day and the moisture is not absorbed by neither plant nor sun. It is better to get used to the feeling of the soil with your hands or using a moisture detector to decide when to and when to not water. Also, citrus trees prefer deep waterings, so when you do water the tree/plant make sure there is a hole at the bottom of the pot and water until the water comes out of the bottom of the pot, let it drain, then dump the excess water and let the plant dry out between waterings.


Tip #6

Open soil and water attract fungus gnats, and once they come they do not leave. More on them below but in short they lay eggs in the overly moist soil and the larvae eat your plants delicate roots. Just avoid them completely and stay clean and don’t overwater. It takes a while to attract them, but if it’s been for a couple of weeks to a few months I would clean up the mess before the little buggers come.


Tip #7

Most citrus seeds are polyembyonic (list of which are and which aren’t below in link) and this basically means that there are 2 or more plants that grow out of the one seed. One will grow true from seed the others would be a hybrid. (ie one will be identical to the parent, the other will not, and probably will not even produce fruit). It’s good to see which citrus trees you grow are polyembryonic, unless you are okay with a citrus tree that when you rub it smells like lemon, but never produces fruit.


Tip #8

When you have a polyembryonic seed, thus 2 or more seedlings from the one seed there is this confusion about whether the one that grows first is the lemon seed identical to the parent or it is the lemon seedling coming later (because the polyembroyonic seedlings do not grow at the same time, and the second seedling is generally weaker). I’ve read a lot of discussions, mostly heated about who is right and who is wrong. Currently there are people who kill one of the 2 (or more) seedlings to let the true from seed grow strong and healthy, but there is this argument about which ones to kill. Some people say that it is the first and strongest growth, others say it is the weakest, etc. Truth is, the seedling true to seed could be either of them, it all depends on how the lemon flower was pollinated.

According to a study (linked below) The authors suggest that when a lemon flower is open pollinated (meaning is left outside and the pollination is via bees, birds, wind, etc) that the zygotic (a seed/embryo that has both female and male gametes) embryo is a hybrid (a seed/embryo that has different gametes not both from the same flower [for one flower has male and female parts] thus pollinated from 2 different flowers), it may be more vigorous, and hence compete better with nucellular (true from seed) embryos. However when the zygotic embryo is not a hybrid (ie fertilized itself in single flower) the rigorous growth would be the nucellular embryo. The end conclusion is that there is no physiological way to tell the true from seed and hybrid apart.

So in summary keep all embryonic seeds, label them if they are pairs or multiples and wait, for you cannot tell unless they have a trifoliate leaf (a leaf with 3 points vs 1) or when it produces fruit.


Final Tip #9

It can take anywhere from 4 months to 60+ years for your lemon tree to produce fruit. It is generally said that lemon trees grown from seeds van be expected to fruit by the 10-20 year mark. But some grow sooner, others later, some not at all. It’s a waiting game, and can be frustrating, so my tip to you, just keep growing them. Keep sowing them every spring/summer, you’ll eventually get when that produces a real lemon, and they can make great gifts!


In conclusion, as you can tell from my tips I am a lemon nerd, but I’m okay with that. I have a couple more tips but this post is already long enough, so maybe another time. If you have any questions please leave a comment below and I’d be happy to answer as best as I can. I’m no professional but I definitely have learned a lot so far!

Thanks for joining,

Sincerely,

Sonja P.

 

Online References:

Personal Favorite Lemon Seed Planting Instruction:

https://growingwildceeds.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/how-to-grow-a-lemon-tree-from-seed/

Fungus Gnat Guide:

https://www.planetnatural.com/pest-problem-solver/houseplant-pests/fungus-gnat-control/

Types of polyembryonic Citrus seeds:

http://redwoodbarn.com/PDF/Whichcitrusfromseed.pdf

Polyembryony and identification of Volkamerian lemon zygotic and nucellar seedlings using RAPD

http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-204X2004000600006

Youtube channel Nigel Saunder, guide to bonsai lemon tree care and pruning (directional/clip and grow)

 

Book References: (Get them on amazon vs chapters… it’s cheaper. The only reason why I list the Chapters site is because that’s where I got my books)

A good Lemon and Citrus General Care and Maintenance Book

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/growing-citrus-the-essential-gardeners/9780881929065-item.html?ikwid=growing+citrus&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=6

What’s Wrong with my Plant and How to Fix it (Reference book)

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/whats-wrong-with-my-plant/9780881929614-item.html?ikwid=whats+wrong+with+my+plant&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

Double Standard

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“Double Standard” By: Sonja P.

 

Why use words when your words mean nothing?

I hear what you said, I read what you said, I spoke what I said,

And yet your words mean nothing.

 

You blossom in a society,

A society where words speak of lies and false comforts,

And where truth is no longer spoken.

 

Lucky that’s where we live.

Lucky that we live in a world where discrimination is hidden behind hate,

Fortunate that you are comfortable.

 

Double Standard

When your words mean nothing and you speak nothing of lies,

Thus there is only truth in lies and only lies in truth.

I Love You Too

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“I Love You Too” by Sonja P.

“Inadmissible?”

“Inadmissible?” Kelly repeated again.

 

It was a chilly spring evening, the sun was setting and Kelly had just returned home from a walk with her dog Lily.

 

“Given the given application and portfolio we regret to inform you that you are inadmissible to the Arts program at our University.” Kelly choked back tears. How could she have had just been denied entry into her most desired school?

 

It was beautiful outside. The setting sun made picture perfect moments. Kelly and Lily watched the sun start to fade as the swallow swooped and fluttered through the sky. Aerial dancing for the two.

 

Now in full tears, Kelly read and reread the email. She had been having a rough week, and now this?

 

“Inadmissible?”

 

Lily lifted one ear and turned her head completely forgetting about the wonderful walk they were just on.

 

“Why am I inadmissible?”

 

Kelly was crying now looking at her phone, fully taking in what exactly happened.

 

“Why are you sad Kelly?” Lily asked.

“Why are you wet on your face again?”

 

Lily barked and woofed, and now Kelly didn’t know why her dog was so upset with her too. She put down her phone and put her face in her hands crying more evidently.

 

“Why are you sad Kelly?” Lily asked a few more times.

Lily soon realized that Kelly was hiding from her.

“Why are you hiding Kelly?”

“Kelly?”

 

Kelly just kept crying, she had just been denied entry from her most wanted University because of the given application and portfolio.

 

“Kelly?”

Lily put her paw on Kelly’s knee, pushing herself off and up into Kelly’s arms kissing the salty water on her face.

“Kelly?”

 

Now holding Lily, Kelly cried into Lily’s half muddied fur, hugging her tightly.

 

After crying for a solid 20 min, Kelly started to loosen her grip on her. With Lily looking up at Kelly and licking her face until it was a watery smile.

 

“I love you Lily.” Kelly said, squeezing her again as she finally stopped crying.

 

“Don’t worry Kelly. I love you too.”

My Theory of; We die at 25 but Buried at 75

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“We are told that the world hardens us, but in reality, the world only tires us.” ~Sonja Peters

Hi Everyone,

Just out of curiosity, have you ever been told that the world hardens us, makes us cold, or really any kind of that? I know that in my personal life I have heard these phrases in addition to hearing comments such as ‘the average person dies at 25 but only gets buried at 75’ by Benjamin Franklin and similar sayings. This leads me to the question of what hardens a person to the point where they die really before their death?

I’m still fairly young so I cannot speak from a long-lived elder’s point of view, but from almost two decades on this planet, I think it is safe to say that I have formulated my own opinions as well as, ideas on certain aspects, beliefs, and systems, this idea in particular.

If we look at the human lifespan, the average life expectancy is about 75 and this number has been slowly rising thanks to the medical care and health advances. Nonetheless, if we look at the stages of life we have, in the following order of title then time span of that life stage it is; infant (0-2), toddler (2-4), child (5-9), adolescent (10-13), teenager (13-19), young adult (18-24), adult (25-65), and senior (65+). Now if we look at the time each human stage (Reminder that some time frames overlap and this is just a generalization) we can see that our entire childhood or growth into adulthood takes about 25 years, give or take a couple of years. That’s 25 entire years of your life, out of supposedly 75 years, when 35 years you are supposed to be adulting, then retirement of 15 years. So if the saying is that most people ‘die’ at 25 then what is exactly happening?

So if the saying is that most people ‘die’ at 25 then what is exactly happening?

This is my theory:

We don’t die. We just get more tired.

Okay, you may be thinking that being ‘tired’ and to ‘die’ at age 25 basically mean the same thing, and you’re right, they basically mean the same thing. If you know me or have been following my blog for a while, you’ll remember that I am a spectrum kind of gal. So technically they are the same, but they are also not.

Let me explain.

Approximately during the 0-9 stages, being an infant, toddler and child life is pretty much, more or less fun, (more so in the earlier years), where you are really just learning the building blocks about how to function as a human, both physically, mentally and emotionally. This is the stage where you just learn to be a functioning human, maybe you do some math in school but in the natural world, this period would be the time where you learn basic survival skills.

Ages 10-24 are the okay you’ve learned basic life skills, now we’re going to make you sexually viable and this is when the average person goes through puberty, identity recognition, fitting in, and navigating the social and political world that we have casually found ourselves in, or what I like to call, the quarter life crisis. The basic goal at this stage is by the time you’re done you can be an independent human who can survive on their own in the wild and then natural selection does its thing. Then afterward you would ‘survive’, reproduce and then pass on at the ripe old age of about 35, (if you make it that long)

Seriously. This is what was supposed to happen.

But wait! I see a flaw in this plan! How long do we actually live? Well, we now live until about 75. That’s 40 more years than what mother nature has originally intended. But guess what!? The basic spawning period stays the same! So it still takes about 25 years to be ready to actually adult, but instead of 10 years to family it up, we are given 40 extra years!

So long story short, with these extra years, we are forced to prepare for an additional 40 years of life which must include schooling, career advances and the biggest of them all; money, or the economic system. So in these basic 25 years to get ready for basic life survival we now have to add all this additional learning, knowledge, decisions, and most importantly stress and anxiety that was, though there before, has increased in levels when in reality during that time you were supposed to learn the basic life skills and prepare for reproduction and survival. Thus by the time you are 25, you don’t technically feel like you have ‘died’ because when you are 25, there is always still a little hope, still a little wonder and happiness, but there is also, now a lot of stress, anxiety, and fatigue, for you have worked harder in those 25 years than nature really intended. So you are not dead, you are just tired. But don’t worry

So you are not dead, you are just tired. But don’t worry, sometimes you just need some cold hose water in the face and you’ll wake up, and by this I mean; that you can always get some rest when you are tired. Sleep relax, have fun and enjoy life, because if your adult years seemed expanded over time, why can’t your kid years too?

“Life is what you make it, so let’s make it right.”

Sincerely,

Sonja P.

p.s. and yes. I did just quote High School Musical. You’re welcome.

In Loving Memory

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There is a reason why both birds and angels have wings.

Hello Everyone,

Today’s post will be dedicated to my passed budgie parrot, Moby and everything he had shown me about love, happiness, and grief.

It has come to my recent attention that not all good things last forever. Though I have always been aware of this saying and moral of speech it has never quite hit home like it has until several days ago.

Everyone has had a beloved pet at some moment or place in time, either that being the neighborhood cat or your own dog, horse or fellow exotic. We, as human beings have an innate desire to be and feel loved and to have that love returned unconditionally, something that our animal companions seem to excel at in these kinds of positions. It is quite baffling from a pet owners mind when another speaks of animals lack of compassion and lack of intelligence. I suppose some animals have mightier brain power than others, there is no doubt that all animals love unconditionally, and feel that love and joy of any human that has ever lived.

So as we watch our pets go, as we lose them to the spiritual world, it creates a sense of grief and turmoil in the survivor’s mentality. This can be seen most definitely in people as well as in animals, where some species that mate for life actually die months if not weeks later out of what can only be seen as grief and loss.

Looking at the human perspective loss is a natural process. Life and death come naturally in this world and it always seems that as one door closes another door opens, however, this never eases the soul of the missing and lost loved one. Specifically, if you feel that you could have done more, loved more, lived more, but until the moment you realize it is their time to go it is too late.

Grief is not a fun emotion however, it is necessary for the ongoing process of living and continuing with life. Loss is in no doubt extremely difficult and can take months if not years for the soul to feel ready to move on.

It has come to my attention that my beloved pet has passed, and though I had given him a good life, I always wonder what I could have done for him if I was more attentive, spent more time with him and so forth. Nonetheless, he had a good life and that is what is the most important. Your beloved pet would want you to be happy, and not want to be sad in every waking memory of all the times you did share. For your pet did love you, and you, though you sometimes would not admit loved your pet dearly and love will forever be with you, and they will always be with you. Whether you decide to hold onto a keepsake in their loving memories or to simply remember the pictures and memories, they are all acceptable and reasonable ways to mourn a loved one’s death.

So in loving memory of Moby P., I’d like to say you have always been loved, you have been my sunshine on the stormy days and that you will never be forgotten.

Lots of love,

Sonja P.