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Germinating finger limes

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Frustrated at my own finger lime which has never flowered in the 6 or 7 years i've had it, I managed to acquire some fruits when I was down the south coast over Easter. Not only was this the first time i've actually tasted the finger limes, but i've managed to harvest about 50 seeds which i've simply dried on paper towels.

I would really appreciate some tips on germinating the seeds and, presuming I'm successful, raising the seedlings.

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In some instances seeds have not been fertilised or are not viable. If viable they should germinate within weeks to months. I just use a good quality potting mix and get really good results from viable seeds.

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if your plant isnt grafted they take years and years to fruit

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Generally for fruit seeds the technique for germenation is a fermentation process, that is you replicate what happens naturally when the fruit drops on the ground and starts to rot - the flesh starts to ferment which destroys a layer which prevents germination (i guess it's so the seeds don't start to sprout inside the fruit?).

You take the seeds and some of the pulp with a little water and put it in a container and let it sit and ferment for a few days, stirring occasionally. Sometimes it can attract fruit flies but this is easily solved by putting glad wrap over the top with some pin-holes in it to allow gasses to escape.

I've had success with germinating keffer lime and tomatoes fairly easily. My lemon seeds didn't sprout but I think I left them too long. I tried doing this with Fuji apple seeds which leads me to the second method of getting fruit seeds to germinate which is to scrape off the outer layer by hand (the one the prevents germination and is rotted away naturally). The apple seeds I fermented didn't work, but the ones where I scraped the outer layer off did (again I may have left them too long).

Some fruits are easier than others. Pumpkins need to rot. Chillies can be simply dried out in their shell, or the seeds can be scraped out and soaked in water until they sink. A pinch of epsom salts in the water seems to make this happen faster.

For your fingerlimes, I would suggest using the fermentation method.

Hope this helps

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I find they germinate readily just planting the washed seeds straight into some well draining seed raising mix or potting mix. The seedlings are prone to rotting, so they need to dry out a bit between watering, but they are pretty hardy (albeit slow-growing) otherwise. They also dont seem to like root disturbance when they are young.

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pic of my 1st finger lime fruits,

sprinkle on oysters... :)

sorry, 4 the side track.

post-70-0-93139500-1405574086_thumb.jpg

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I'll have to try these at some point. On oysters sounds great!

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finger limes meh.

novel, but about as enjoyable as a pomegranate.

now the humble radish on the other hand..... CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP :D

Edited by ThunderIdeal

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0% germination i'm sorry to say. I guess i'll just look around for a mature (grafted) plant...

Happy to trade cacti if anyone can help.

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If you near a bunnings I've noticed them stocking mature, grafted plants recently. I've been meaning to pick one up for a while but get side tracked with some of their other interesting fruits they've been getting in. Got a huge feijoa the other day, was so stoked!

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I had a friend give me a native lime about 3 years ago, not sure if its a finger lime or another native lime, pretty sure it came from the Gap Nursery on brisbane's north side.

I don't know if it was grown from seed or a cutting, but it was about 2 inches high with a very thin/fine stem and tiny leaves when i got it, seems tiny even for a cutting so maybe they're germinating seed there.

They're Greening Australia so they might be happy to share knowledge if you email them.

My lime has certainly struggled, its only grown to be only about a foot tall in the last couple of years, and still tiny leaves.

Truthfully though I've been pretty neglectful so maybe its not indicative of growing from seed.

I think i should probably help it out a bit as it's survived despite my neglect, but I'm not really sure the best way to go about giving it a boost. Any suggestions would be welcome. Don't expect it to fruit anytime soon, just want it to grow and be the plant it wants to be.

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finger limes are dead easy to germinate. I germinated about 50 seeds (100%). picked the fruit in the morning and sowed the seeds in pots that afternoon. seedlings

poked through in a couple of weeks.

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Thanks Tarenna :-)

I'll see if I can post a pic if i remember to take one when its light.

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as with the other citrus fruits, finger lime seeds will germinate with ease, the most common reason for not germinating would have to be, lack of ample heat.

trying to germinate seeds over winter without bottom heat, is more than likely a feature which will have to fail.

anyway, here is a pic of my successfull germination of finger lime seeds.

two seeds were removed from the fruit on 20.7.14, and planted the same day.

the pic was taken today, 5.9.14, so germination took ~30 day's!

post-70-0-24445200-1409895216_thumb.jpg

Edited by planthelper
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