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Problem Solver: Pollination/Pollinating by Hand

Generally, citrus trees (grown indoors or out) are self fruitful and do not require pollination. Some people enjoy pollinating their trees, and this can be done using a small soft brush or cotton swab to transfer the pollen among flowers.

Some mandarin varieties are more productive with a pollinator, but the tradeoff is usually more seediness.

If you grow two different citrus trees next to each other, fruit may or may not flower concurrently, allowing cross pollination. Regardless of whether pollination occurs, the tree's fruit will be true to variety type.

Citrus seeds that are the result of cross pollination may or may not develop into productive trees with flavorful fruit. A customer once shared this story: As a child he had planted a grapefruit seed. The resulting plant accompanied him, in a pot, throughout his life, and on his 65th birthday he harvested his first fruit, but it was not like that of the parent tree.

If you have the patience and wish to plant citrus seeds you will find them fairly easy to grow. Like sprouting an avocado seed, it can be a fun and educational activity for children. For best quality and early fruitfulness, however, we recommend growing citrus that are grafted, using proven techniques.

Instead of growing from seed, we use grafted cuttings of well matched proven varieties - combinations that reach maturity and fruitfulness faster. We produce quality fruiting trees that are guaranteed true to type.

See this link for more on the topic of citrus pollination. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/aa092