HAVE a healthy-looking seven-year-old Hawaiian lime tree that flowers
but will not fruit. Do you have any tips to offer?
is a common problem with limes. Most citrus produce lots of fruit
without much trouble, but limes can be notoriously unreliable. There
are several reasons why this might happen, but in each case it's
hard to know for sure just what the problem is. I know of a grower
who has dozens of well-established limes in an orchard, all the
same variety. Some of his trees crop well, while others produce
almost nothing, even though they are all treated the same.
Of all the varieties
of citrus we can grow in New Zealand, limes require the warmest,
most sheltered conditions. They need lots of sun, shelter from wind,
fertile well-drained soil and regular fertilising during the growing
season from spring to autumn. They also need ample soil moisture,
as summer drought can cause immature fruit to abort and drop off.
So don't treat your lime
like a tough old lemon or grapefruit, give it some tender loving
care, shelter, warmth, water and fertiliser.
Gardener, Issue 193, 2005, Page 29
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.