Bulbs Flower Basics Flower Beds & Specialty Gardens Flower Garden Garden Furniture Garden Gnomes Garden Seeds Garden Sheds Garden Statues Garden Tools & Supplies Gardening Basics Green & Organic Groundcovers & Vines Growing Annuals Growing Basil Growing Beans Growing Berries Growing Blueberries Growing Cactus Growing Corn Growing Cotton Growing Edibles Growing Flowers Growing Garlic Growing Grapes Growing Grass Growing Herbs Growing Jasmine Growing Mint Growing Mushrooms Orchids Growing Peanuts Growing Perennials Growing Plants Growing Rosemary Growing Roses Growing Strawberries Growing Sunflowers Growing Thyme Growing Tomatoes Growing Tulips Growing Vegetables Herb Basics Herb Garden Indoor Growing Landscaping Basics Landscaping Patios Landscaping Plants Landscaping Shrubs Landscaping Trees Landscaping Walks & Pathways Lawn Basics Lawn Maintenance Lawn Mowers Lawn Ornaments Lawn Planting Lawn Tools Outdoor Growing Overall Landscape Planning Pests, Weeds & Problems Plant Basics Rock Garden Rose Garden Shrubs Soil Specialty Gardens Trees Vegetable Garden Yard Maintenance

How Do Limes Reproduce?

How Do Limes Reproduce?

How Do Limes Reproduce?. Like all citrus, limes can reproduce sexually. This means that male pollen from citrus flowers--that tree's pollen or another's--fertilizes a flower's ovary to produce a seed that can grow into a mature plant. Key limes grow "true" to the characteristics of parent trees when grown from seed, but this is not generally true...

Like all citrus, limes can reproduce sexually. This means that male pollen from citrus flowers--that tree's pollen or another's--fertilizes a flower's ovary to produce a seed that can grow into a mature plant. Key limes grow "true" to the characteristics of parent trees when grown from seed, but this is not generally true of other limes--or other types of citrus trees. So most limes are propagated commercially through grafting, which produces clones, or genetically identical plants.
Seed Propagation
Lime seeds can easily be grown as trees, but with the exception of key limes it's hard to know what you'll get. To grow limes from seed, pluck seeds from fruit, wash them, and then plant seed 1/4 inch deep in a sterile planting medium. Speed a seedling tree's maturity by using it as budwood--to graft as buds onto other rootstock--when it's as big around as a pencil.
Layering and Cuttings
It's also possible to propagate a new lime or other citrus tree through layering on larger branches, though this approach is useful only if you'll be satisfied with a tree growing on its own root system. You can also take cuttings of green wood from smaller branches and root them as new trees, with the same limitation.
Budding
The process of budding, a specialized form of grafting, involves skillfully grafting young, green, budded wood onto desired rootstock. Budding allows desired types of limes or other citrus fruit to be grafted onto the most advantageous rootstock for a given growing region, greatly enhancing plant success. Collect budwood from a lime tree's second-to-last growth flush.
Cocktail Trees
The grafting adaptability of citrus trees makes it possible to customize one or more citrus trees by "top-working" them, an intriguing home gardening project. Create a multi-variety lime tree--one with all the fruit needed for cocktails--by budding branches of different limes onto a lemon, orange or grapefruit tree. Or combine limes with lemons and oranges on one tree. Thriving rootstock is the key.
Seed Experimentation
Commercial growers want predictability in the fruit they produce--Satsuma mandarins should taste just like every other Satsumas, because fruit lovers expect that--so taking a "let's see what we get" approach has little value. But curiosity rather than crop demands can be a guiding principle for home gardeners with adequate space. Growing lime trees from seed is a worthy challenge, though it may take 10 years for that tree to bear fruit and the experiment to end.

Check out these related posts