How to grow citrus from seed, my foolproof method.

Seriously, it’s amazingly simple. I’d recommend that you don’t buy seeds online, though, unless there are pictures of the actual seeds, or the source is a proven, trustworthy source. Because:

This is what a viable seed looks like.


That is a viable seed. Round, full, fat. This thing will actually grow. The one unfortunate time I ordered citrus seeds online, I got something like THIS:

Useless. This thing is nothing but an empty seed coat.

Flat, empty, useless. This is literally the empty shell of a seed. There is no actual seed inside. It’s like a nutshell with no nut.
But if you get a viable seed, they’re very easy to grow. I have about 80% germination rate with this method. It’s pretty foolproof.
1.Use the right seeds.
2. Peel the seeds. (I know it’s tempting to skip this, but DON’T. The results will probably be very slow-to-sprout seeds, or a much lower germination rate. Or they’ll get all moldy before germinating properly.

They look a little like this once peeled. Little darker dot on the rounder end of the seed.

3. Put the peeled seeds onto a moist paper towel in a zip-top bag, and leave it in a warm (not too warm) windowsill.

Good to go.

The bag acts like a little greenhouse for the seeds, which means they’ll be protected from chills or drying out when they’re so tiny and delicate. I like to label and date these, as my kids love to grow any and every mature seed we find in our fruits, and I know I indulge them 100% because I just love watching citrus grow.

Baby grapefruit I started a few months ago. So cute!

Their seeds sprout so easily, their leaves are so green and fragrant, and, of course, they make fruit! How awesome is that? It does take a long time for them to bear, if ever, but… I’m growing these just for decorative purposes, honestly. I just love to look at them.

Berry, Berry Circular

So, some of you may have seen THIS lovely picture on the internet:

Anyone else seen this beauty?

Well, I loved the idea from the moment I laid eyes upon it. In the back of my mind, I began to build up a desire to have one of my very own. For this, I have four good reasons:

1)      I have a love of nifty gardening things

2)      My husband loves strawberries. I love strawberries. And the very best strawberries are the kind that go straight from plant to mouth.

3)      In our apartment, we have very little garden space. Hence, the appeal of using some vertical window space.

4)      Just look at it! It’s a living decoration that gives you berries. Bonus.


But how to replicate this? I would need some specialized stuff. Namely:

  • An outer layer that would both allow for drainage and hold in enough soil to support some plants, plus growing room.
Coconut husk liner for a hanging basket planter. (Less than $1 apiece at certain stores. I recommend using 2.)
Coconut husk liner for a hanging basket planter. (Less than $1 apiece at certain stores. I recommend using 2.)
  • Soil and plants (…in case you were wondering about that.)
  • Some circular frame, preferably stiff plastic or lacquered metal, sturdy enough to support the weight of your living wreath. (This ain’t no sissy wreath, people. It’s got some weight to it.)
I'll get a better picture of the frame up soon, but for now, this is what I have. FYI: this is ESSENTIAL.
I’ll get a better picture of the frame up soon, but for now, this is what I have. FYI: this is ESSENTIAL.
  • Something to attach the wreath to your frame securely. (Bonus points for looking nice and not being susceptible to looking too nice to get dirty or wet. It should also allow for drainage and breathe-ability.) I chose a thin roll of burlap tape I got at the craft store.
  • A watering system to keep your plants alive (I learned this the hard way!) This doesn’t need to be fancy, it can just be a perforated milk jug handle. Mine is. You can also use a ring of perforated tubing. Make sure none of your plants will miss out.

Now, the method:

  1. Take your coconut husk thingies. Cut an x in the direct center of the bottoms, about 1/3 of the liner’s diameter. This will make the hole in the middle.
  2. Pull the cut edges of the x, until the outer and the inner surfaces of the cup-shaped liner separate.
Boop. Separated.
Boop. Separated.

3. Do this to both liners you have (if you’re using two) and then nest one inside the other, to make it just as thick as it was originally.

4. Put the hole of the future wreath over an upside-down pot or similar shaped thing. Put down a newspaper underneath, and shovel soil into the circular space in between the layers.

Shoveling soil with my super-fancy upcycled trowel
Shoveling soil with my super-fancy upcycled trowel

5. Once your wreath is as full of soil as you can manage, carefully wrap the bottom layer over the soil, and the top layer over the bottom. If you like, use a needle and thread to sew it closed on the backside.

6. Cut holes in your wreath’s outer casing for the plants to go through, as well as for the watering system, making sure it reaches all the plants you have in your wreath. Make sure you don’t crowd them, either.

7. Take your plant from its previous dwelling place, and plant it in the designated hole. Be gentle with the roots, and try to spread them out as naturally as possible. Cover the roots with soil.

8. Pull the liner back over the planted strawberries, place the frame under your wreath, and attach the wreath to the frame. I did this by wrapping the burlap tape around the frame, and then around the wreath over and over until I had come full circle.

Keepin' it securely wrapped.
Keepin’ it securely wrapped. Notice my dirty jeans? I sure didn’t put down newspaper….

Leave the wreath horizontal for at least a week, to let the roots establish in their new home.