Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bergamot Babies

Last year around this time I received two boxes, roughly 20 pounds, of bergamot oranges for processing into incense and perfume. I made a few jars of bergamot enfleurage, which turned out beautifully. The enfleurage smells great on its own and would make a lovely enhancing note for a delicate floral solid perfume. I also processed lots of peel for later distillation and use in incense. Anyway, I planted a few seeds -- well, not just a 'few' -- dozens. Of those dozens, four sprouted. Of those four, three are stable and getting healthier by the day. However, just recently I noticed that their wee leaves were turning a bit yellowish, and two of the baby bergamots each dropped a leaf, which really freaked me out. So I did an internet search on why that would happen, got some answers, then traveled into the neighborhood where we'll be living in about four months to the local plant nursery there, and spoke with a nice gentleman named Paul who basically backed up everything I'd gotten from the 'net, with a little bit more. Now the babies are properly fed and shrouded in fresh soil made just for citrus trees. I was going to separate them into their own pots, but decided to get them healthier before attempting that feat of detanglement.

This photo was taken before I fed them and gave them citrus dirt. I'm sure there are simpler ways to procure bergamot orange trees, as Paul the nurseryman explained growing them from seed isn't easy, but I had plenty of seeds, and the mad scientist in me was hopping up and down demanding I try to grow them. We shall see how they fare in their second year of life.


  1. Anonymous1:17 PM

    What do citrus plants grown from seeds need to stop them keeling over once they've used up their seed resources, please? I'd love to know so I can help my little 'uns to keep growing!


    Anna in Edinburgh (looking at the last forlorn citrus little 'un that's keeling over as I type)

  2. Nitrogen. They need nitrogen. Seedlings need less than half of what full grown or half grown plants need. The nurseryman told me to use this citrus plant food at about a quarter of what was recommended in a gallon of water, and to allow the soil to dry between watering/fertilizing, at least three days of dry soil before feeding them. I think chicken poo might work as it's high in nitrogen, but I wouldn't use too much. There's also commercial citrus food if you don't have access to chicken poo.



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