October 10, 2012
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The most likely germination method is to soak the seeds in water overnight, then plant in seed-starting soil and keep the soil moist, but not soggy, for several weeks until they germinate. As they grow, transplant to a larger pot with a citrus potting soil mix as described here:
Etrog plants can then be cared for similarly to other citrus. See these articles in our citrus section:
Also see this article:
I have a very small etrog tree. It grows about 8 inches in the summer and loses its leaves every winter and appears dead but starts to grow again in the summer. It is in a container. In the winter it is in my house in the basement where the temps are around 55. Is that too cold? What can I do to prevent it from losing its leaves in the winter and appearing to be dead? Thank you for your help.
55 degrees is not too cold, but are you sure it is not experiencing a freeze before you bring it in for the winter?
The tree needs watering and sunlight all year. So if in the basement it may be too dark and neglected for watering. You may consider a "grow light" available at hydroponic supply shops.
You can make the cuts about a foot from the base. This will not solve the problem, though. This is due to a lack of light. You will want to move this to a sunnier spot, or grab a horticultural grade lighting fixture of 200 watts or more. This will keep the growth short, especially if the bulb that you choose is a metal halide in blue spectrum, or LED of the same spectrum.