How To Grow A Lime Tree
These sour yet fragrant fruits are indispensable for culinary and household uses. A well-maintained lime tree produces abundant fruit for months, many of them exemplifying the term “ever-bearing” to perfection.
How to grow a lime tree, here’s all the advice that you need to accomplish this. Start by selecting the right tree.
Most citrus trees, including lime and lemons, are propagated by the process of budding the required cultivar onto a suitable rootstock.
This ensures trueness to type, early maturity and thus fruit borne on a young tree, as well as disease resistance, among many other benefits, as opposed to growing from seeds.
Be sure to purchase or acquire your trees from a reputable source, making sure that they are budded (similar to grafted) on to a really good, solid rootstock.
Young trees should be straight with healthy, lush green foliage and no signs of pests and disease. Make sure that they are not root-bound in their nursery container.
There should be a balance between the size of the tree and its growing container.
Lime trees need a full-sun position in the garden.
They are best planted directly into the ground but can be successful in large pots or containers for a number of years.
Potted citrus tends to lose condition once their roots become pot-bound, which depends largely on the soil volume in the pot.
Planting holes must be well prepared – there is no point in planting a good lime tree into a meagre hole in poor soil. Dig large square holes of at least 500mm x 500mm x 500mm. Larger is preferable.
Add compost and kraal manure along with root-promoting fertiliser like bone meal or superphosphate at the recommended rates for the size hole that you are preparing.
Ensure all the ingredients are well incorporated with the garden soil before filling this back into the hole.
If the soil is dry, then fill the hole with water and allow it to drain away before returning the prepared soil mixture to the hole.
This ensures that the surrounding soil does not absorb the water that is used to supply the young, newly- planted tree.
Prune out any straggly growth or dead wood that may appear from time to time.
Generally, lime trees do not require regular pruning, but old trees can be cut back hard to rejuvenate them and initiate a new lease of life.
How To Grow A Lime Tree From Seeds
- Start with lots of seeds.
- Clean the seeds with water to remove all debris.
- Dry them thoroughly with a paper towel or other absorbent cloth.
- Use a sharp knife or file to nick the seed coat and peel off the outer seed coating.
- Dampen a paper towel and set the seeds on it.
- Place the paper towel in a sealable plastic bag and put it in a warm place.
- Seeds should sprout in a week or so.
- Allow sprout to develop roots, then move into a small container with drainage and filled with sterile potting mixture.
- Water regularly but lightly, keeping soil just moist until plants emerge.
- Move to a larger container and grow in bright light and warm temperatures.
Repotting The Lime Tree
In an orchard, lime trees can reach a height of 20 feet, but they will not reach that height when grown inside. Your plant may still require a substantial amount of space.
Although there are citrus variants such as Meyer’s lemon (Citrus limon ‘Meyer’) that do not exceed 4 ft ) in height, it is impossible to determine the size of your plant since it was grown from seed.
It is likely that the seed originally came from a particular lemon cultivar, and as your tree was raised from seed, there is no assurance that it will possess the same characteristics as the parent plant.
Regarding repotting your lime trees, I would recommed to wait until late March, when houseplants starts to react to the longer days and stronger light intensity outdoors.
Remove the soil ball from the container with care. Since three plants are growing in the container, it would be best to transplant them into separate containers.
Examine the rootball to determine if you can separate the plants without severely damaging their roots.
Start with the largest plant because it requires as much of its original root system as possible. Use a sharp blade to separate the roots.
if you cannot separate it without causing significant harm to the other two plants. Allow the 5-foot tree to retain the majority of its root system, even if it means sacrificing smaller plants.
Pick a good container that is 2 to 3 inches wider in diameter than the rootball of the large plant. Utilize a quality potting mix comprised of potting soil, sphagnum peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.
Fertilizer And Soil
Mix an organic fertilizer like Houseplants Alive! for Flowering Plants or a coated release fertilizer like Osmocote 20-20-20 into the potting soil.
Use the amount specified on the label. Using more is NOT better. Avoid using quick-release granular fertilizers designed for outdoor plants.
Put a layer of potting mix in the new container so that the plant will be sown at the same depth as in the prior container..
Completely refill the container with potting soil. Firm the potting mix around the rootball to stabilize the transplant in its new container.
Add additional potting soil until the container is filled to within an inch of the rim. Water it thoroughly until water drains through the drainage hole(s) in the new container.
Repeat the procedure with the smaller trees in smaller containers.
When the peril of frost has passed in June, you can move the lemon trees outdoors.
Start by placing them where they will receive morning sun, and gradually move them to a location where they will receive sunlight for the majority of the day.
Be sure to bring them back inside before frost threatens.
When planted outdoors, your lime trees may require daily watering. Feel the soil every day. If the soil is already moist, do not water. If the soil is dry, water until water drains from the drainage holes in the pots.
They may only need watering once per week while indoors. Again, feel the soil to determine if the plants require watering.
If you have added fertilizer to the potting mix, you should not need to fertilize during the first growing season.
Wintertime, when they are not continuously developing, houseplants typically do not require fertilization.
When the trees resume active growth the following year, you can apply a water-soluble fertilizer such as Peters 20-20-20 or Miracle-Gro according to the label’s instructions.