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Citrus won't fruit

I HAVE a healthy-looking seven-year-old Hawaiian lime tree that flowers but will not fruit. Do you have any tips to offer?


THIS 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.

Weekend 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.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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Last updated: September 29, 2006