A beloved Gratefruit Tree

Asked October 8, 2018, 2:56 PM EDT

Hello. My little grapefruit tree (about 5') is about 35 years old. My mom planted it at least that many years ago. It has gone from Cleveland to Denver to Chicago to Minneapolis. Indoors in the winter, out in the summer. This summer, when I returned to Minneapolis, it was on the deck, all yellow leaves. I don't know what happened - no water or something. The branches did not seem lively, so I cut the trunk down to about 3 inches above the pot's soil. Hoping maybe it would throw new shoots up from the roots, which it has in the past when it was neglected and seemingly dead. So my question is: is there any hope of it coming back next year? I've brought the (trimmed) ball of roots inside. If there is a chance of resurrecting it, how do I treat the ball of roots? Repot them? Water them? Or just try to keep them dormant over the winter. Thank you for your help. The little tree is dear to me.

Hennepin County Minnesota grapefruit tree horticulture

3 Responses

That poor tree. You have cut off it's branches and now removed a good portion of the roots. The only possible thing to do now is plant it in good potting soil, give it strong light (some sun if possible) and hope it can put out some leaves. Do not fertilize. You could use some root stimulator in a weak solution.

Thank you very much, Barbara. I will do just as you outlined. Maybe, just maybe.... I assume I water as usual, as the soil gets dry.

Yes. water. Treat it like a valuable houseplant.