Grapefruit: care, uses, and much more

Cut grapefruit

El pomelo It is a very decorative fruit tree, ideal to have in both small and large gardens, and even in pots, since its height does not exceed 6m, and its root system is not invasive.

In addition, its rounded crown provides a bit of shade, so it can be planted in rows to achieve a more protected space. Know everything about this interesting fruit tree.

Grapefruit characteristics

Citrus flower

The grapefruit, whose scientific name is citrus x paradise, is a fruit that arose from the crossing of pummelo and sweet orange in Barbados (in the West Indies). Shortly afterwards it spread throughout the Caribbean, and later throughout the rest of the world. It grows to a height of between 5 and 6 meters, with a rounded crown. The leaves are simple, alternate, ovate in shape, and the edge is slightly serrated, between 7 and 15cm long, dark green on the upper surface and lighter on the underside.

Its flowers are hermaphroditic, which means that they have the female and male organs in the same flower, and they are fragrant, white or purple in color. The fruit is globose in shape, and measures up to 15 centimeters in diameter. It is edible, although bitter in taste.

How do you take care of yourself?

citrus x paradise

To have a healthy grapefruit, it is very necessary to consider the following:


It is a tree that has to be placed outside, in full sun and protected from the wind.


It must be frequent. In its place of origin, around 1200mm of water falls a year, so if you live in a dry climate you should water very often, preventing the earth from drying out too much, but also waterlogging, since otherwise they could rot.

Thus, it is important to check the humidity of the substrate or soil before watering again, inserting a thin wooden stick (if it comes out practically clean, it is because it is dry), or using a humidity meter sold in nurseries.


It is highly recommended fertilize from early spring to late summer / early fall with organic fertilizers, such as guano, earthworm humus o manure.


Grows in sandy, cool soils with a pH between 6 and 7. It does not tolerate salinity.


Whether you want to move to the garden, or to a larger pot -which must be done every two years-, it has to be done in spring, when the risk of hauling has passed and temperatures begin to rise.


It can be pruned in late winter, before the tree resumes growth. A) Yes, weak and diseased branches will be removed, and the cup will be shaped into a glass, cleaning the center so that the light can reach all the branches well.

It is advisable not to prune in excess, since the harvest decreases in proportion to the intensity of the pruning.


Withstands frosts up to -3ºC, but when the temperature drops below 15ºC its growth stops. On the other hand, and unlike other fruit trees, it does not require cold-hours to fructify.

Plagues and diseases

Mealybug on lemon tree

It can be affected by the following pests and diseases:


  • Cottony mealybug: it feeds on the sap of the leaves, weakening the plant. It can be treated with paraffin oil, or by removing them with a swab from the ears dipped in alcohol if it is a young specimen.
  • Red spider: they are mites, less than 0,5cm, that feed on the cells of the leaves, so that pale spots appear. They can be treated with potassium soap or neem oil.
  • Citrus miner: The leafminers are insect larvae that live inside the leaves, which feed on the cells of the plant. Before long you can see elongated and thin spots, as if they were little paths. It is treated by cutting the affected parts, and treating the tree with neem oil.


  • Phytophthora: they are fungi that attack the fruits that are in contact with the ground. They can be prevented and treated with copper oxychloride.
  • Viruses and viroids: they are microorganisms that produce a great variety of symptoms, such as deformations in the leaves, variegated petals, rickets. Once you have a diseased plant, it is best to uproot it to prevent the disease from spreading to others. Fortunately, it can be prevented by removing wild grasses that grow around it, controlling vector insects (aphids, whiteflies, thrips,…), and cleaning pruning tools before and after use.


If you want to have a new specimen, you can multiply it by seeds or cuttings in spring, as follows:


  1. Obviously you have to acquire the seeds first. To do this, you can buy them directly online, or buy grapefruits and extract them carefully.
  2. Once you have them, it is advisable to clean them with water, keeping them in a glass for 24 hours. In this way, you will know which ones will germinate - which will be the ones that sink - and which ones will not.
  3. The next day, you can go on to sow them in seedling trays, pots, yogurt containers, ... well, wherever you want, with a universal growing medium. Put a maximum of two seeds in each pot or socket, since this way, if the two germinate, it will be easier for you to separate them.
  4. Water, and place the seedbed in an area with a lot of light, if possible direct.

After a few two months they will begin to germinate.


  • Cut a branch at least 20cm long, making an oblique cut (not straight).
  • Next, moisten your foundation with water, then infuse it with powdered rooting hormones.
  • Then plant it in a pot with a porous substrate, such as black peat mixed with 40% perlite.
  • Water it.
  • And finally put it in an area protected from direct sun.

If all goes well, it will root in a maximum of three months.

Uses of grapefruit

citrus x paradise

This is a very decorative tree that is often used to decorate gardens. But ... did you know that it has other uses? In fact, it can help you lose weight, as it is diuretic and depurative. Also it is very low in calories (it only has 37 for every 100 grams), and is high in vitamins C (40 mg.) y A (80 mg).

How to make grapefruit juice?

If you want to drink grapefruit juice to lose weight or simply to refresh yourself, you will only need two grapefruits and a small tablespoon of honey or whole cane sugar.

You got it? If so, now you just have to wash the fruits well, cut them in half, and squeeze them. Once ready, all you have left is serve it in a glass with water, and sweeten to taste.

The benefits of grapefruit seed extract

The seed extract of this amazing fruit has multiple health benefits. It serves as antibioticantifungalanti-inflammatoryantioxidant, cardiotonic, and antiseptic.

In order to take advantage of them and have good health, it is recommended to take 15 to 20 drops of the liquid extract for 2 to 4 weeks.

And with this we end the special on grapefruit. What did you think of this fruit tree?

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  1.   Hct b ltran said

    Hello, could you tell me why my grapefruit tree pulls the flower I am 3.5 years old that it could be from the climate here is hot or very cold I live in the center ca.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Hcto.
      It's probably because of the weather, yeah.
      But you can pay it in spring and summer with Organic fertilizersThis will give you strength and surely sooner or later it will bear fruit.
      A greeting.

  2.   Stefanic A. said

    This does not help me, the internet sometimes makes you look for time and you can not find anything. But since I am here and assuming that the site is alive, what I want to know is HOW to transplant an adult grapefruit plant, which already produces enormous amounts of fruits, is not old, and is 4 seasons, that is, almost everything the year bears fruit or the buds of the flowers are already coming out. I want to transplant it because I think about selling that piece of land, but if I can't do it, I won't even sell it. I love that plant.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello A. Stefanic.
      The tree in question, how big is it? I'm telling you because it will depend a lot on the size, and the age, whether it is more or less difficult to remove it. In principle, and in the absence of these data, I will tell you that the roots of these plants tend to deepen an average of 60cm, so that the trenches that must be made around it should be at least that depth so that there is a high probability of success.

      With the help of a slab (it is similar to a shovel, but rectangular and straight), prying it out of the ground.

      The best time to do this is in late winter.

      And by the way, you can find new content on the blog on a daily basis. So if you also grow other types of plants and / or are interested in gardening, I encourage you to follow us 🙂

      A greeting.

    2.    Aurora said

      Hello, I have a grapefruit less than a year old and it lost all the leaves after I removed the frost blanket. Although it is full of flowers, there was not a single leaf left. This is normal or you will have a plague or disease.
      Thank you.

      1.    Monica Sanchez said

        Hi Aurora.
        It is normal for him to lose some leaves, but if he has lost all of them it may be because the outside conditions were not yet too good for him.

        That it has flowers however is very good. Water it moderately, with homemade rooting agents.

        Little by little it should sprout.


  3.   Karin Valenzuela said

    Hello, I want to share that I plant seeds (seeds of a yellow grapefruit that I bought on the street) I planted several seeds in different pots that I forgot over time, I just watered the pots continuously. This was late spring early summer. This year has been very hot and about 8 have already germinated in different pots with germination days. I have two that are already 10 cm tall. I'm happy! I am amazed at how they grow day by day, I am amazed watching them. Today I transplanted three of them in other pots so that they would not grow together, also in them I planted lemon seeds that are already germinating as well.

    I even planted cherry and sour cherry seeds and it seems to me that they are also germinating. Besides basil.

    I water them frequently at night and during the day, I try to use the rinse water for the dishes.

    It is the first time I have planted from seed. For my daughter's school work I planted lentils and many sprouted.

    From what I have read it has been self-taught, since I have not prepared the seeds, I just threw them on the ground.


    very useful site.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Thank you for sharing your first experiences with planting, Karin.

      In no time you'll end up having your own garden, sure lol 🙂

      A greeting.

  4.   Daniel lecomte said

    Hello, I germinated the seeds by peeling them and placing them between moistened paper napkins in a closed container. After 3 days they already had their roots. Now I have them on land.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Daniel.

      Thanks for your comment. It sure will be useful 🙂


  5.   Javier letmendia said

    I have a young grapefruit that has run out of leaves
    What happens to him and how should I treat him?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Javier.

      I need more information to help you. For example, how long have you had it? Is it in sun or shade?
      It is also important to know if it is in a pot, and if you have a plate under it, since if this is the case, it may have suffered an excess of watering.

      I leave you this article in which we talk about excess irrigation.


  6.   DAMIAN said


  7.   Allan Porter said

    The color of the fruit is may yellow although dunce. What is missing in the shell?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Alan.
      There are different varieties of grapefruit, and some are very sweet like the »Marsh White». If the plant is fine, healthy and green, perhaps the fruits are like that, sweet.