How to grow a citrus tree from a plastic bottle

The instructions for growing a fruit tree from a plastic bottle. We recommend citrus fruits because they are more resistant and less demanding than other species.

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Grow on the balcony it is becoming a contagious passion that is conquering more and more people who love greenery. Doing so by reusing items destined for garbage makes your urban garden projects even more eco-friendly.

So, let's go back to all the readers, and there are many, who love gardening but do not have enough space to cultivate their own vegetable garden, but a lot of imagination, creativity and a green thumb. Surely you will have indulged yourself with the numerous versions of the vertical and hanging gardens and the mini apartment gardens that we have suggested, perhaps you have tried your hand at the do-it-yourself greenhouse built with waste and in the bathroom storage box transformed into a vertical garden.

Today we will move on to an even more ambitious project: growing a fruit tree from a plastic bottle. We recommend citrus fruits because they are more resistant and less demanding than other species. A lot of sun and a little patience will be enough.

Before we start with the instructions, a note. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons or tangerines are easy to find fruits, rich in seeds (so no clementines for tangerines) and this season they are very cheap, but you should know that most fruit trees that grow indoors do not bear fruit. .

For the citrus fruits in particular, the reasons may be that they do not receive enough light or do not have enough space. So, if you have a terrace, even a small one, we advise you to put the plant outdoors, especially in summer. And, when a sufficiently robust stem has formed, you can move on to the transfer of the plant into a larger and more resistant pot.

Recall that the best time, according to the sowing calendar, to plant citrus fruits is the end of February, beginning of March.

What you will need:

  • Any type of citrus. Orange, lemon, mandarin, lime, grapefruit.
  • A plastic bottle. Possibly resistant.
  • Topsoil. There is a specific one for citrus fruits on the market, but peat will be fine too.
  • Blotting paper.
  • Plastic bag.
  • Masking tape (optional).
  • Knife (for cutting the top of the bottle).


Eat the fruit you have chosen e recuperate i semi. You should know that the seeds of orange and many other citrus fruits have a thin waterproof film that wraps them, protecting them from external agents. Removing the protective layer you will allow the seed to get wet and germinate more easily and in a shorter time, probably a week. Leaving the casing, however, the seed will germinate but, in much longer times.




Put the seeds in the plastic bottle with some water. Leave them to soak for 24 hours. After the wait, eliminate the seeds that continue to float. They are empty and there is no chance that they will sprout. Take the seeds on the bottom and move on to the next step.


To germinate the seeds put them on a paper towel wet. Wrap them up and put them in one plastic bag. Put the envelope in a warm place and put alabel of recognition, especially if you plan to do the same thing with other species. Remember to check the seeds every 2-3 days. When you see a root sprout, take the seed and move on to the next step. To give you some reference times I can tell you that if germination does not occur within three weeks, it is time to throw and seeds and try again.


Get yourself one plastic bottle transparent and deprive it of Labels. Cut it into 1/3 or half and fill the bottom with soil. Do not compress too much or the roots will struggle to develop. Plant the seeds, 3 per bottle, and put them in a place exposed to sunlight. Wait for them to start growing and, once you have identified the strongest of the three, remove the other two and move on to wet and cover everything with the top of the bottle you cut earlier.

If you prefer you can fix it with adhesive tape so that it does not fall. You now have a full-fledged greenhouse. Check that the soil is always moist and, if it dries up too frequently, close the bottle with the cap, remembering to remove it once a day to allow the new plant to breathe.


When we talked about patience, we were referring to the last step. It will take in fact a few years before the plant bears fruit but we can assure you that in the meantime the scent released and the green of the leaves will satisfy you with every expectation.

Serena Bianchi

Photo: Instructables

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