Akiva from Beitar asks:
I managed to keep my sh’mittah esrog fresh till now.
Would it be permitted for me to plant the esrog pips? What would be the
status of the fruit growing from these pips?
Any produce which has kedushas shvi’is may not be sown
even after the end of the sh’mittah year. The Torah tells us that
such produce should be eaten – and not planted (Chazon Ish 9:4). Do pips
and pits of sh’mittah produce have kedushas shvi’is? The Kesef
Mishneh (on the Rambam 7:15/16) is of the opinion that pips have the
same status as the fruit. The Chochmas Odom (Chapter 17 of Sha’arei
Tsedek) holds that they have no kedushah. The Chazon Ish
rules that only those pits which are actually used as animal fodder (10:11) or
which would have t’rumah status if they were part of t’rumah fruit
(13:11) have kedushah. Since esrog pips fall into neither of these
categories, it would be permitted to sow them. Rav Elyashiv has also ruled that
one may sow these esrog pips. Since the pips have no kedushah,
neither will their fruit (unless it grows in the sh’mittah year).
However, one should be aware that it is forbidden to slice open an esrog
solely for the purpose of extracting the pips. Since cutting open an esrog
in this way shortens its life, one is thereby causing the destruction of sh’mittah