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Starting Key Lime Seeds

A friend here in Jacksonville has a true Key Lime tree and he gave me some of the fruit yesterday. I would like to try to grow a Key Lime from the seeds. After squeezing the juice, I collected the seeds and rinsed them very well using a colander. Then I laid them to dry on a couple paper towels. I have about 20 seeds.

1) What is the best way to store the Key lime seeds until planting?

2) When is the best time to plant them? Early spring/March?

3) What is the best way to plant them? Pots? What medium?

Thanks for the help - I sure do appreciate it!


Comments (5)

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

    Hi - no expert here but I've saved some seeds from my mom's Key Limes, & since citrus seeds seem to pop up easily in my yard, I plugged some into seed-starting mix in celpacks and left them outside to see what develops.

    FWIW, the rule of thumb for planting depth is approx. 4X the seed, so citrus gets planted approx. an inch deep, by my calculations.

    Also FWIW, I try to mimic nature & since the fruits are now done ripening on her tree, I figure that a fallen fruit would be 'planted' naturally around this time of year...


  • Carol love_the_yard (Zone 9A Jacksonville, FL)

    Carolb -

    I like the way you think! :) I planted them today and it was almost as if I had read your post before I did. I put mine in 4 oz cups with drain holes in the bottom and set them in the sun. I had read a few posts on the Citrus forum that also said this was the time to plant them and that it was questionable whether or not you should really allow them to dry out before planting. So I got all of mine planted and I'm hoping to get at least one seedling!


  • wanna_run_faster

    They grow fairly easily from seed and I would guess you'll get 75% + germination. I think they may be poly-embroyotic so you might end up with 2 or more from one seed (pinch off the less vigorous one). They're also true to seed. I've even started them on a moist folded paper towel in a ziploc baggie placed on top of the refridgerator for a couple of weeks!

  • dirtygardener73

    They are soooo easy to grow from seed! Just stick 'em in the dirt and water. It will take up to 7 years to get fruit, though. I bought a $5 seedling from WalMart for my yard, and it had one fruit 5 years later. It bloomed like crazy every year, but hardly ever bore well. I think the most I ever got from it was about a dozen or so fruits.

  • tomncath

    100% germination IF you plant them right away after taking out of the fruit, the citric acid they live in prevents mold but if dried and stored and started later some will be moldy and not make it even if you can't see the mold. My best results have been with seeds started in 5 ounce Jello cups with coir, surface misted with water every few days until they eventually spring forth somewhere between 7-21 days, under grow lights...just my experience.


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