My uncle planted a grapefruit tree from seed and has it in the ground in Shreveport, LA. It took 19 years to flower and produce fruit. I was wondering if you would comment on that. He said he found a sprouted seed in a grapefruit he was eating for breakfast and the tree is probably 8 ft now and looks very healthy. The fruit is baseball size. Would appreciate your thoughts - we think it is very unusual and kinda neat. :) G
Congrats to your uncle on his special grapefruit tree. That's a fun story!
Please bear in mind that since I've lived in Maryland all my life I've never grown a full size grapefruit , only researched them.
This link http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/homefruit/citrus/citrus.html
(also listed in the article resources) gives a pretty complete guide to growing citrus in Texas. Most of the advice should apply to LA as well. If Shreveport has frost, then thank the fact this tree was seed-grown for its hardiness.
I don't know why it took so long to bloom- that seems like a long time, considering it seems healthy. Unless (guessing here) fruit buds are forming and being damaged by winter frost so they don't survive until spring. If he doesn't see more flowers next spring, he might try forcing some later bloom by using a "bloom" type fertilizer. Hopefully, it has just taken a very long time to mature and there will be more flowers and fruit next year.
Your uncle should try to leave the fruit on into October and be patient, to let it be the best before picking. The link above says that the fruit will stay nice left on the tree so no rush to pick it before it goes bad. It looks great and I agree , that is a special tree! Thanks for sharing the story with us.