Dear Gardeners: I am trying to grow lemon trees from seeds and have a couple...

Asked August 6, 2013, 9:31 PM EDT

Dear Gardeners: I am trying to grow lemon trees from seeds and have a couple of questions: 1. In teh picture attached: What is the white tree growing in the pot next t the others? Albino lemon....? 2. What size and type of pot would you recommend for the first planting? 3. What type of soil should I purchase? 4. Anything else I need to know for righ tnow? They are currently indoors in a well-lit, enclosed patio. Will I be able to keep them in a pot indoors, or would they have to be planted outside like other trees? Thank you very much!! Andreas Ryschka

Prince George's County Maryland

3 Responses

The white seedling is a genetic anomaly and will not survive once it uses up the energy stored in the seed. The successful maintenance of your lemon trees is also problematic. Lemon and other citrus trees that are successfully grown in containers are grafted onto selected root stock in order to keep them in dwarf form. Also, it is not likely that the seedlings will produce the same type of tree or fruit from which the seed came. Almost all citrus trees grown for fruit production are also grown on hardy root stock and seeds from these hybrids or grafted trees are not likely to produce the same type or quality of tree from which the fruit came.
For authoritative information on growing citrus in containers, please refer to the following publication:

Thank you for the cautionary info and the link. It may be out of my league, but can I fet more info on how trees are grafted onto the sturdier rootstock? First time I heard of this procedure

Thanks again

Grafting can be a daunting task and requires practice, precision, and selection of high quality scions and root stock. Our sister Extension University, Penn State, has an excellent publication, provided below. We encourage you to read the publication before attempting to graft. We are not trying to discourage you from trying, however. You may find that you have an untapped talent.