drop on lime tree
lime tree gets flowers and fruit but then the baby fruit shrivel
up and fall off. Could it be lacking in something?
(Citrus aurantifolia) are great garden plants for warmer
areas, either in the ground or in containers. They are attractive
and of course the fruit are great in cooking and drinks. If
conditions are frost-free, they tend to be quite easy to grow.
However, when fruit is shed in large numbers, there could be a number
How old is your lime
tree? Limes generally take 3-6 years to fruit properly, possibly
longer if in a container. You will get flowers and apparent
fruit-set, but the fruit will discolour, shrivel and drop off.
Patience is the only practical answer here!
Most citrus make many
more little fruits than the tree can sustain, and then shed the
excess. If your tree is shedding a portion of the fruit, it
may just be a natural thinning process.
Drainage and watering could
be a possibility. Limes, like most other citrus, do not like
to have wet feet, so check your drainage. Drought can also
cause citrus to drop fruit. Check your watering during dry
periods and consider a mulch (but not up against the trunk
that may cause rot).
Lack of pollination could
be a problem. Do insects, bees, etc, visit your lime?
If there is inadequate pollination, your flowers will not set fruit
properly. Hand pollination or trying to attract bees with
other flowering shrubs may be an option.
Wind will knock fruit
off, but I doubt that it would make you lose all of your fruit.
A number of pests and
diseases willl attack limes, but most leave lesions on the leaves
or flowers, or you can see scale, or mealy bug, etc. If this is
your problem, then an insecticide or fungicide may be necessary
being careful not to kill your pollinators, of course.
The last possibility
is in the soil nutrients. Limes tend to be quite tolerant
of most soils, as long as the texture is fairly open and free-draining.
If in doubt, you could try a citrus fertiliser.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH