Citrus Propagation

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Citrus Propagation
Citrus Propagation
Video: Citrus Propagation
Video: Citrus Propagation: 1. Citrus Propagation Requirements 2023, February

Reproduction of citrus fruits is usually carried out by grafting, cuttings, layering and seeds. At home, the most common way to reproduce citrus fruits is cuttings - this is the fastest way to get fruit-bearing trees in 3-4 years. Cuttings may bloom earlier, but in order for the fruit to ripen and the plant does not die, it must grow a lot of leaf mass. In order to get varieties of lemons that are fully adapted to room culture, you need to remove them from a seed sown in a room and grow them at home.

Seed propagation

lemon cuttings
lemon cuttings

Seeds, sown indoors, sprout in 30-40 days. Seedlings of lemons do not tolerate a pick in a very young state: they develop a relatively long taproot, which is not recommended to pinch when picking. The taproot should be pruned when the seedlings have 4–5 leaves. If it is not pruned, then it does not branch, it will grow in length and curl at the bottom of the pot in rings.

If the seeds are sown in boxes, then the taproot is pruned without removing the plants, and 10-15 days later the plant is carefully transplanted into a permanent dish. If the seeds are sown one by one in a pot, then the seedlings are not transplanted, but the taproot is necessarily cut. The taproots are cut with a sharp and long knife at a depth of 8–10 cm. For this, the knife is inserted into the ground at a distance of 8–10 cm from the seedling at an angle to the ground at 40–45 ° C. The knife must be introduced somewhat to the side of the direction to the seedling, then cut the axial root in a circular motion. If there is no certainty that the root has been cut, then the operation is repeated, introducing the knife at the same angle, but 2-3 cm closer to the plant.

Plants bred from seeds bear fruit no earlier than 8–12 years or even later, and at first give a small amount of fruit. But for breeding purposes, growing them from seeds in rooms is necessary.

To speed up fruiting, you can graft a number of seedlings. As a scion, you need to take shoots from fruiting lemons; grafted lemons bear fruit in the 2-3rd year. In terms of adaptability to domestic conditions, these lemon trees are superior to the lemon trees brought from the south and grown in greenhouse conditions.

  • Lemon seedlings grown from seed are completely new plant forms. The quality of their fruits depends on heredity (the origin of the seeds) and the conditions of their keeping. If the seedlings grow violently, then the fruiting period is postponed. In this case, pruning is used, but does not worsen the conditions of detention.
  • Seedlings that have produced strong flowering and good fruit can be a promising new variety, well adapted for keeping in rooms. Non-fertile seedlings should be used as a rootstock for grafting.

Propagation by cuttings

At home, lemons are propagated mainly by cuttings.

From a normally developed lemon, you can cut the following number of cuttings: at the age of 4–5 years - 5 pieces, at the age of 6–7 years - up to 20 pieces, at the age of 8 years and above - up to 30 pieces.

When harvesting cuttings, the top 1–2 leaves are left; if the leaves are too large, they are cut by 1/3 of the size. The rest of the leaves are removed completely; the lower end of the cutting is cut 1/4 cm below the kidney, and the upper end is 1 cm above the kidney. The lower cut is made almost perpendicular to the axis of the cutting, the upper cut at an angle. To protect the lower cut of the cutting from decay, the cut is sprinkled with charcoal.

Cuttings are taken from a healthy and fruiting plant. The stalk should have 2-3 developed buds and about 10 cm long. It is cut from those branches in which the wood has not yet become coarse and can be easily bent. Cuttings of very young shoots are somewhat flattened on both sides and take root less well.

The timing of lemon and orange cuttings is determined by the availability of suitable cuttings and certain temperature conditions. Cuttings can be carried out throughout the year, but the best results are obtained from April cuttings. In spring grafting, the cutting is taken from the branch of the autumn growth, and in the summer - from the branch of the spring growth.

lemon cuttings
lemon cuttings

Cuttings, rooted in pots, in indoor greenhouses, hotbeds. However, rooting can also be carried out in plain water. A glass with cuttings is kept in a well-lit place.

If cuttings cannot be planted immediately, then they are kept in water or in a slightly dampened cloth before planting.

Rooting takes place under normal conditions within 2–3 weeks. A pot is taken with a diameter of 7-9 cm, so that 4-5 cuttings can be planted in it. On top of the drainage layer, a small layer (about 1 cm) of moss is placed in the pot, on which garden soil and river sand are poured in equal proportions.

You can pour a layer of river sand into the pot on top of the ground. The soil in the pot is slightly moistened with water. Before planting, the cuttings are immersed in a solution of heteroauxin or another growth stimulator (for 8-12 hours) with the lower end. After that, a cutting is planted in a specially made peg hole 1.5–2 cm deep, usually obliquely. The soil in the pot is compacted and watered. To provide the cuttings with more moisture, they are covered with a bag or glass.

  • The temperature of water used for irrigation should be 2-3 ° above room temperature. The pot with the handle is placed in a warm place, at a temperature of 20-25 °, in diffused sunlight.
  • For better rooting of cuttings, the pots are heated. The emergence of new leaves and roots is a sign of rooting. After rooting, young plants are accustomed to indoor air, for which they raise the shelter first for 2-3 hours, then for 3-4 hours, etc. After 2-3 weeks, the shelter can be completely removed.
  • If the cutting was planted in the sand, then after rooting it is transplanted carefully so as not to damage the young roots.

A rooted stalk of lemon or orange grows quickly. After rooting, the cuttings are planted in pots with a diameter of 10–12 cm to the same depth as during rooting. The earthen mixture consists of 2 parts of turf land, 1 part of leafy land, 1 part of completely decomposed greenhouse manure and 0.5 part of clean river sand.

It is very important not to pinch the tips of the roots when transplanting lemon or orange cuttings, as they contain mycorrhiza. This is a special type of cohabitation of microorganisms of soil and plants, in another way it is also called fungus root. Thin filaments of fungi sprout inside and outside the root, through the fungus hyphae, the plant receives water and soil nutrients. Therefore, if the roots have grown strongly, they are simply rolled up in a ring at the bottom of the pot.

During the first year, three-time transshipment is carried out - in the spring, at the beginning of July and in the second half of August, if possible without destroying the earthen coma.

Reproduction by grafting

lemon cuttings
lemon cuttings

The rootstock is plants obtained from seeds, the scion is cultivated varieties of lemon, which are grafted for fruiting with lemon trees of a certain variety. A wild three-leafed lemon (tripolyate) should be avoided as a rootstock, since a lemon grafted onto a tripolyate in indoor conditions in winter sheds leaves, tripolyate is suitable only for a rootstock of plants that will winter in the cold.

For indoor culture, an evergreen rootstock is taken, adapted to indoor conditions. It can be a lemon, orange or grapefruit, grown from the seed, from the eaten fruit. Any citrus fruit is suitable, except, perhaps, tangerine. Mandarin is considered the worst stock; the scion hardly takes root on it. Let's just say that one vaccination out of 20-30 is possible per mandarin (i.e. very rarely). In addition, the tangerine stock is too weak, only suitable for citrofortunella. The stock is grown to a size when the stem is at least 7 mm in diameter. Sometimes plants reach this size at the age of 1.5 years, sometimes around 2-2.5.

Grafts can be bought in specialized nurseries, which are, probably, only in large cities, or cut off cuttings from someone from friends or acquaintances from a fruiting tree.

It may be easier to buy an already fruiting tree, but it is always interesting to tinker with vaccinations, watching how the branches of different trees or shrubs grow together. There are important points in reproduction by vaccination:

  • vaccinate only in spring, preferably until May, when there is intensive growth and sap flow
  • graft only with clean tools, using only healthy scion cuttings
  • do not cut the cut, but cut off in one smooth motion
  • for the scion and rootstock, it is necessary to connect the cambial layers as accurately as possible, therefore the cut diameters are approximately the same (+/- 1 mm)
  • press down as tightly as possible, wrap the joint with soft electrical tape, for example, with plumbing tape
  • the scion must be in high humidity conditions (under the grafting site, wrap a bag or film, wrap a damp cotton wool or sphagnum moss around the trunk, secure the bag so that the scion is inside.

Reproduction by layering

citrus cut
citrus cut

Reproduction by layering consists in the fact that on a plant with good fruiting, the most developed one-year-old branch 20-25 cm long, 0.4-0.6 cm thick is chosen. Stepping back 10-12 cm from the lower edge of this branch, make two circular an incision at a distance of 0.8–1.2 cm from each other. The incised bark is removed with a ring. All leaves 5 cm above and below this place are cut off.

Saw the pot lightweight and plastic with a diameter of 8–10 cm in half so that the cut goes through the hole in its bottom. The sawn pot is tied to a branch and to a special stand so that the bark cut is in the center of the pot. After that, the halves of the pot are tied and filled with well-washed coarse sand, or calcined river sand, or well-steamed moss. The sand or moss should be damp at all times. Watering is carried out with warm water. By the way, instead of a pot, you can use a transparent plastic cup or just cling film.

After 3-4 weeks, the branches will grow their roots, but without a nutrient medium, they can die off. Therefore, they are given fertilizing.

After 1.5 - 2.5 months after the start of the layering, you can already cut the branch and, together with the lump, plant it in a pot with a diameter of 12-15 cm. Sprinkle the cut with coal dust. When planting, the root collar should not be immersed in the ground by more than 1–1.5 cm. After planting, the pot with a layering is placed in a shaded place for 10–15 days and sprayed daily.

Citrus care

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