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poncirusguy6b452xx

9 Meiwa kumquat trees from seed

poncirusguy6b452xx
5 years ago
last modified: 5 years ago

Its close to time to re-pot and relocate my Meiwa kumquat trees. I have been exposing them to sunlight at an increase of 30 minutes each day. I am up to 3 hours now. 6 of the 9 trees have reached heights of 8 to 10 inches. I clipped the top stem to force branching. The 3 smaller ones will need to grow more before I clip their terminal buds.

The 6 clipped trees viewed above. Multi trunked trees grow leaves closer together. This will allow a leaf node count to be reached at a shorter distance from the ground. This is important for seed grown trees to reach fruiting maturities and remain short enough to fit inside for indoor growing.

The 3 remaining trees. One of them is double trunked.

These trees will be planted into 1 gallon food tins that will fit under the bucket light and fit on the vacuum chamber.

The new containers.
3 containers with plants under a bucket ligh
suction container on top of future tree container. I will be using 5-1-1 soil mix. This container can hold the tree till fall when a 3 gallon pot will be needed.

Adding the extra 4 hours of light have quadruple the growth to about 1 inch per week. While the fresh air helps it is not noticeable.

6b Steve

Comments (49)

  • Amanda Tyner
    5 years ago

    Awesome job! You are brave growing them from seed!

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked Amanda Tyner
  • Laura LaRosa (7b)
    5 years ago

    Nice Steve! Those look great!

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked Laura LaRosa (7b)
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  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thanks Amanda, Laura

    I thought it took much more courage to pay $30 for a tree then another $15 to have it shipped. The seeds are free after eating the fruit. The Microwaved sterilized potting soil came from last years dead potted geraniums. All 12 quarts of it.

    The Meiwa kumquat is the only sweet citrus that cam grow from seed that will reach fruiting maturity and still be small enough to move inside and outside for the seasons. Citrus trees grown from seed grow better than those grafted to rootstock . You just have to watch over them for root problems.

    6b Steve

  • atara berliner
    5 years ago

    Steve have you done this before - do you know how long it takes to reach maturity? I always hear and see such different things regarding this question - ranging from 2 years to ten years. Also, I have seen many comments on this forum suggesting that it is not wise to cut back the tops of growing trees but it sounds like you are saying that it will encourage them to mature faster?

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked atara berliner
  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Atara.

    Trees with multiple trunks from start have a much more compact leaf node count. These tees will not fruit until a set number of leaves have developed from the base to the tip of any branch. This count is not the cumulative of all branches. My trees will be transplanted over the next few days and allowed to settle in their new home for 2 weeks before I feed them. With multiple trunks the tree will set closer leaf nodes close to the ground. My researching shows that the Meiwa will start flowering somewhere between 2-4 feet depending on leaf node spread of that particular tree. I tried one 5 years ago but it died from multiple spider mite attacks before I knew what spider mites were. For 3 years it would set out new shoots but the leaves would drop off before they were more than a quarter inch long. The tree largely lived of the chlorophyll in it green stems. My seed grow tangerine tree stopped producing thorns at a leaf node count of 115 and 6.5 feet tall. It is planted out side and it was killed back to 2 feet by a winter with 4 nights with lows down to 7F with highs only reaching 15F between. It was covered with a bed sheet with out a heat source. My guess is that it would have flowered that spring if It had not died back but I don't know for sure.

    6b Steve

  • Vladimir (Zone 5b Massachusetts)
    5 years ago

    Steve, I don't understand how pruning hastens fruiting.

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked Vladimir (Zone 5b Massachusetts)
  • sunshine (zone 6a, Ontario,Canada)
    5 years ago

    Great job, Steve! My Meiwa seedlings are not even near that of yours in size. Half of them died when I was on vacation last month.

    " Multi trunked trees grow leaves closer together. This will allow a leaf node count to be reached at a shorter distance from the ground" = True (my observations are similar for potted indoor trees).

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked sunshine (zone 6a, Ontario,Canada)
  • Jontte Kinnu
    5 years ago

    Vlad: I dont think pruning does hasten the fruiting or maturity of the tree. But with pruning you get more foliage per one feet of height than without. So the tree reaches the amount of leaves and nodes needed in more compact size.

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked Jontte Kinnu
  • Jason Robinson
    5 years ago

    wow they look good, I've got some kumquat seeds germinating in my refrigerator as we speak, probably gonna plant them soon. I've only ever tried lemon seeds, I actually have one growing on my desk at work. It's fairly new, so it's only about 2 inches above the top of the dirt LOL

    we'll see how that thing holds up in the office under a grow light that I brought in

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked Jason Robinson
  • Vladimir (Zone 5b Massachusetts)
    5 years ago

    Jason: why in the cold refrigerator?

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked Vladimir (Zone 5b Massachusetts)
  • Jason Robinson
    5 years ago

    Vladimir: I've always heard that was the way to do it. Wrap in a damp paper towel and put in a ziplock. Is there a better way of doing it? I'm all ears since I've never really germinated much before. The lemon on my desk was me putting the seed directly into soil lol

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked Jason Robinson
  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Jontte

    You said it better than I did. The tree not only reaches a fruiting node count at 2/3 the height, it is also much more robust and stronger to support that fruit load.

    Vlad

    It will take a little longer to reach fruiting age time wise.

    6b Steve

  • orangelime1
    5 years ago

    Very nice Steve . I have 5 key lime seedlings growing now .

    Brian

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked orangelime1
  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Brian I wish you the best with your key limes. An extra 4 hours of light after sunset will make all the difference in extra growth in their first months of life.

    6b Steve

  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    My biggest of 9 seed grown Meiwa kumquat tree at 9 inches will get named

    MK1The roots.

    Moving up to a bigger home has left MK1 with a lien to pay off.

    8 more to go with 3 days of rain and clouds to acclimate with 'no sun'

    6b Steve

  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    The 5 seed grown Meiwa kumquat trees I am keeping are now on top of my roof. They are in bottomless gallon food tins placed on top of 5 gallon buckets full to the top with soil. The 5 gallon buckets have beets planted around the kumquat tin so that the beets will shade the roots from the hot sun. The bottomless tins will also allow water to pass through the kumquat roots and into the bucket of beets so the kumquat roots don't stagnate against the tin bottom and root.


    6b Steve


  • sunshine (zone 6a, Ontario,Canada)
    5 years ago

    Steve, I really like that idea! Makes a lot of sense.

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked sunshine (zone 6a, Ontario,Canada)
  • O J
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    It is not true that multi trucked citrus trees reach the required node coount for maturity sooner than single trucked citrus trees. The second trunk will very closely have the same node count as does the other trunk.

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked O J
  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    OJ You are correct. Not only will the node count remain the same but it will take a longer time to have 2 trunks to reach that number than for 1 trunk to reach the number. However the magic number will be reached at a height closer to the soil line because each leaf node will be closer together. That means I may get fruit from a 3 foot tree instead of a 5 foot tree, but it might take an extra year to reach maturity. Potted trees that have to come inside are limited to a size that may inhibit fruiting. Inducing closer leaf node can really push the fruit production on a tree that must fit in a limited height space.

    6b Steve

  • jaydub83
    5 years ago

    I grew a lemon tree from a grocery store seed in 2012, and let it grow for a few years, after which it reached about 5 feet in height. It actually set a few buds in early spring. That summer I took a cutting from the top of the tree and allowed the original plant to die that winter. That cutting rooted, and is now 2 years old and also about 5-6 feet in height, and also set a few buds this spring, but no fruit.

    I have taken another cutting and rooted it, but I suppose you could also topwork the tree with a high piece of budwood, in order to keep the tree small while also allowing the node count to increase.

    I hope to get fruit on a reasonable sized tree one day soon, we'll see I guess. Its a fun experiment for me, and I dont want to give up now that I have 5 years invested into it. If my premise is incorrect, somebody please let me know.

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked jaydub83
  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Jay dub. You are on the right track with your top and root policy. It will work.

    6b Steve

  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    I just finished wrapping my kumquat seedling root cans in aluminum to protect against root heat.

    Seedling Meiwa kumquats 1-9 · More Info

    Seedling Meiwa kumquats 1-9 · More Info

    Seedling Meiwa kumquats 1-9 · More Info

    Seedling Meiwa kumquats 1-9 · More Info
    6b Steve

  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    last pictures. The seedling kumquats started putting out real leave around the start of February.


    shortest meiwa at 11 inches. I have 2 plants at 12 inches, no pictures.

    13 inches.

    14 inches.

    6b Steve


  • jinnylea
    5 years ago

    Great job, Steve! Your seedlings and rooftop garden are looking good. :)


    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked jinnylea
  • sunshine (zone 6a, Ontario,Canada)
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hi Steve, how are the kumquat seedlings doing? Very impressive the way you are growing them. How tall are they now? You have rooftop garden and I have 11th floor open balcony garden:))


    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked sunshine (zone 6a, Ontario,Canada)
  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    They are from 13 to 16 inches tall with some very small side branches that range from a half inch to 2 inches length. They are vines at this point and bend over to lie on the ground. They are otherwise doing well.

    pictures take minutes ago

    6b Steve

  • sunshine (zone 6a, Ontario,Canada)
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Steve, beautiful, well done! I will post pics some time tomorrow. Thank you!

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked sunshine (zone 6a, Ontario,Canada)
  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Your plants are doing quite well. Nice job

    6b Steve

  • Dave in NoVA • N. Virginia • zone 7A
    5 years ago

    Steve, I guess I'm not the only one growing beets in containers! LOL! In the ground, the voles get to them.

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked Dave in NoVA • N. Virginia • zone 7A
  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    My 5 seed grown Meiwa kumquat trees.

    First of 5 seed grown Meiwa has 6 branches.
    This meiwa also has 6 small branches. I broke the top over so the side limbs will grow faster while still producing food for the tree.

    This Meiwa has only 3 limbs. I will break the top over on this one soon to push side growth.

    This Meiwa has 7 branches.

    This last Meiwa has 3 branches.

    6b Steve

  • sunshine (zone 6a, Ontario,Canada)
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Steve, amazing growth!

    Yup, as I said before, they are growing at supersonic speeds :))

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked sunshine (zone 6a, Ontario,Canada)
  • sunshine (zone 6a, Ontario,Canada)
    5 years ago

    What's your secret? :)))

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked sunshine (zone 6a, Ontario,Canada)
  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    I'll go into detail tomorrow.I am Clocking out for the night

  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    I water every 3 days with 1/2 strength Miracle Gro 24-8-16. I use 2 gallon of this solution split between 5 trees. 2/5 gallon per tree with about a cup to each tree and repeat till the mixture is used up. Each tree is in a bottomless 7/8 gallon container so much of it flushes through leaving each tree with fresh feed for the next 3 days. My containers sit in on top of 5 gallon buckets of dirt with beats planted around the perimeter of the 7/8 gallon Meiwa container, The beets use all the extra water and they still need more so I water then at the base of the Meiwa container. I am able to Heavily water and feed My kumquat trees with out risk of root root. The are on top of my roof where they get 12 hours of direct sunlight.

    6b Steve

  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    5 years ago


    Seedling Meiwa kumquats 1-9 · More Info
    5 gallon bucket with beets with the 7/8 gallon bottomless food tin wrapped in aluminum to reflect solar heat. The white bottomless yogurt cup holds dirt an inch higher so the trunk stays dry when I water the tree to protect it from trunk rot.

    I will go into my winter regiment when the trees come inside. Their size will determine the design of the winter grow chamber.

    6b Steve

  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Inside their bucket lights

  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Above is the kumquat tree shown in picture 4 and 5 in my lat entry

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- -

    Here is the Meiwa tree shown in the 3rd picture down from my last post.

    None of the 3 others have shown much growth.

    Steve



  • Bob
    4 years ago

    Good show, Steve. I sure like your approach!

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked Bob
  • calamondindave
    4 years ago

    Nice job, Steve. Thanks for sharing your detailed watering routine. Your trees look good. I see I'm not the only one using deli cups, lol. I'm not having much luck yet starting kumquats from seeds. I've got 5 mandarinquat seeds in containers over 3 weeks now - nothing yet. Calamondins next to them popped right away. You are obviously doing something right.

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked calamondindave
  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    I placed my kumquat seeds between to pieces of damp paper towels in a zipper food bag and placed over my heater duct outlet. Others I planted in potting soil wit a lid over the container and placed inside one of my heating ducts. Both ways took about a week. My last set of 80 meiwa seeds all rotted. Meiwa kumquats are very hard to start. Today I ate my last 2 Meiwa kumquats and saved 10 seed to through outside in the 20F snow. I am not wasting any more time sprouting Meiwa seeds. Its a lot of work.

    Steve

  • Vladimir (Zone 5b Massachusetts)
    4 years ago

    I have 2 meiwas. Both are slow growing. Is this what other experience?

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked Vladimir (Zone 5b Massachusetts)
  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Meiwa kumquats trees are very slow growing whether from seed or grafted. If they weren't so great tasting they would not be worth growing. If I don't give them 16 hours of light a day they won't grow at all and my die.

    Steve

  • Bob
    4 years ago

    Steve, just an update on my Kumquat flowers and also a pict of an sticky tape for gnat control, made by Raid. Box contain either 4 or 6 pieces, stretch-out to 12 ". Laid-out across the pot.

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked Bob
  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Nice idea for gnat control. Is that flying dragon rootstock in the lower picture.

    Steve

  • Bob
    4 years ago

    That stuff stays sticky during the winter month, as of now i do not see any gnats. Yes that is a flying Dragon tree.

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked Bob
  • ron D.
    11 months ago

    how far did you clip for dual branching?

    poncirusguy6b452xx thanked ron D.
  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Meiwa kumquats are so weak that they fall over under their own weight and send out side shoots. No encouragement needed.