To grow yuzu from seed, you need to:
- Gather and prepare your seeds and soil
- Plant your seeds
- Provide your seedlings with the appropriate amount of water, light, and heat
- (Optional) Transplant your yuzu outside
This fragrant citrus plant is an exotic and useful addition to any yard.
The yuzu is a citrus plant similar to lemons and a hybrid of the Chinese citrus ichangensis and the mandarin orange.
However, the large, bright yellow fruit grows much larger than standard lemons, oranges, and even grapefruits.
The rest of this article will tell you how to grow yuzu from seed, the materials you’ll need, and how to maintain your yuzu once they mature.
Why Should I Grow Yuzu?
Cultivated throughout China and Japan for centuries, many Asian cultures use yuzu fruit.
For example, you can find yuzu in Japanese miso soup, sauces, and even alcoholic beverages.
However, this grapefruit-like fruit can be difficult and expensive to obtain.
But, in the culinary world, yuzu is quite important, and many people seek it out.
And growing yuzu, especially if you are passionate about cooking, will save you time and money.
It’s also a fragrant, attractive, and exotic addition to any orchard.
You can even use the rinds in cooking.
Will Yuzu Grow Where I Live?
Yuzu grows well in hardiness zones 8 – 10.
While they can grow in colder zones, their fruit is bitter and hard if exposed to cold temperatures.
So, if you live in cold areas, take your yuzu trees inside during the winter months.
Additionally, yuzus flower in the springtime, and if the tree is mature enough to bear fruit, you can harvest it in the wintertime.
If the winter is too cold, though, the fruit will be inedible.
What Do I Need Before I Start?
You will need the following items before you begin planting your yuzu from seed:
- Yuzu seeds (from ripe or overripe fruit)
- Potting soil
- A warm, sunny growing location protected from the elements
- Pots or containers
- Compost or other organic matter, such as manure or leaf mold
Read Also >> How to Grow Frangipani from Seed
5 Steps to Grow Yuzu From Seed
Step One: Prepare Your Seeds
Begin by harvesting yuzu seeds from ripe or overripe yuzu fruit, as these seeds are more likely to be mature and successfully germinate.
And while you can use older seeds, provided you have dried and stored them correctly, you shouldn’t use seeds more than 2-3 years old.
Additionally, since yuzu seeds have a tougher seed coat than most other citrus varieties, you should soak them in water for about three days before planting.
Soaking will soften the seed coat and make it easier to remove.
Then, using either manicure scissors or nail clippers, cut away the seed coat around each of the yuzu seeds.
Step Two: Prepare Your Soil
Preparing soil for yuzu seeds is simple.
You just need to mix standard potting soil with compost or other organic matter and aim to keep the soil pH between 6.5 and 7.0.
Also, make sure you choose a large container for your yuzu, so you don’t have to transplant your seedlings once they grow.
Step Three: Plant Your Yuzu Seeds
After correctly mixing your soil, you need to plant one seed per container about 1/2-inch (1 cm) deep.
Then, keep the soil moist and never allow it to dry out.
But, don’t forget that overwatering will lead to root rot, so only keep the soil moist.
Finally, ensure the containers and soil stay between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit (21-24 C), and your seeds should sprout within two weeks.
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Step Four: Care for Your Seedlings
Once your yuzu seeds sprout, keep them watered and don’t allow them to dry out.
Also, make sure the soil has adequate drainage and sunlight and that your plants have full sun.
Additionally, you should pay attention to the position of your yuzu’s leaves.
If the leaves of your yuzu point upwards, it means the soil is too dry, and you need to add water.
Conversely, if the leaves point downward, your soil is too wet.
Step Five: Maintain Your Yuzu
While yuzus grow well in containers, they thrive outside.
Thus, if you’re going to leave your yuzu in a pot, take it outdoors during the spring and summer months and place it in a bright area with full sun.
You should also make sure the spot you choose for your plant does not get too much wind.
Similarly, if you plan to plant your yuzu in your garden or orchard, the same rules apply.
So, always keep yuzus in a bright, sunny area and away from wind and frost.
Lastly, remember that it can take up to 10 years for your yuzu to bear fruit.
And once it does, keep the soil moist until the end of the harvest season – usually between October and December.
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To recap, the steps to growing yuzu from seed are as follows:
- Harvest seeds from a ripe or overripe yuzu fruit
- Soak the seeds in water for three days – yuzu seeds are harder than other citrus seeds, so this helps soften the seeds’ tough outer shells.
- Use manicure clippers or scissors to cut away the seeds’ outer shell
- Plant the seeds in potting soil, about 1/2 inch deep (1 cm). Keep the soil moist, but don’t overwater.
- Maintain a growing temperature of about 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit (21-24 C)
- Transplant your seedlings to larger containers. Yuzu will thrive in a container, especially if you live in regions with cold winters, where you can bring them inside when temperatures drop.
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