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Author Topic: Kaffir Lime tree assistance  (Read 239 times)

tefkab

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Kaffir Lime tree assistance
« on: October 24, 2017, 05:00:24 PM »
Hi all

I've got a Kaffir Lime tree which I've had for about 4 months now and it's dropped most of it's leaves. I had one before for a few years (I'd beaten scale bugs and got it into good shape before my sister forgot to water it for 3 months when I went away so it died  :'( ) and it struggled a bit in winter but I gather this is a bit normal. I've read this thread http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=15424.msg199268#msg199268 especially the post by Millet, which is very helpful.

So my new tree is in the UK, I kept it in a small greenhouse over summer but it got really quite warm on a few occasions. It seemed to be doing OK but looked liked it was suffering a bit in the heat and dropped a few leaves but not many. Toward the end of summer after this we had a cold snap for a few days and I left it outside. It then, over the course of a few days, lost most of it's leaves.

I then repotted it into a larger container and used new compost (just standard compost) and brought it indoors. I've bought some red/blue grow lights and it now seems OK but there is no new leaf growth. It has flowered quite a lot since I brought it indoors and it now has about 15-20 small fruit sprouting, one of them is about the size of a table tennis ball. I feed it with a winter citrus soluble food once a forthnight and water it about twice a week. I don't water it loads, maybe 0.5 litre per go. The plant is about 2ft tall.

Apart from the leaf drop, my main question is should I prune it? Only a few branches now have leaves but only at the ends. I'm thinking maybe I should remove the fruit as they could be a drain on resource and you don't need them anyway.

I have a photo and have made it my profile pic.

Any help greatly appreciated.  :)
« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 05:03:36 PM by tefkab »

tefkab

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Re: Kaffir Lime tree assistance
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 05:56:03 AM »
Bumping in case anyone does have any advice. Thanks.

SonnyCrockett

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Re: Kaffir Lime tree assistance
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 06:36:46 AM »
I would take the fruit off, like you said.  The tree might not be getting enough light or be warm enough to start growing again.  How cold does it get at night?  I might just keep an eye on it and make sure I'm not over-watering.  Nip it back a little bit, if you like.  But I'm always afraid to trim back too much when trees drop leaves like this.  Keep an eye on the buds to see if they start swelling up.

Millet

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Re: Kaffir Lime tree assistance
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 09:56:36 AM »
Sonny is correct on the fruit.  Remove the fruit from the tree.  The tree is in no condition to share it energy trying to develop fruit.  Get a soil thermometer so you can keep track of the temperature of the medium.  Make sure the medium the tree is growing in is FREE draining this allows oxygen to enter the soil, and the CO2 given off by the roots to exit.   Make sure the tree is getting PLENTY light. Lastly, raise the medium/root zone's temperature up to 70-F (21C) and keep it there 

SonnyCrockett

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Re: Kaffir Lime tree assistance
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2017, 10:30:31 PM »
Another thing to watch out for as winter approaches is watering with extremely cold water.  It can shock your tree and cause leaf drop, if I'm remembering correctly.

tefkab

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Re: Kaffir Lime tree assistance
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2017, 04:04:02 PM »
Hi, apologies for the delay in replying. Thank you for all the tips.

The temperature of the room it's in is about 19-20 degrees C. I'm not sure what you mean about 'free draining' though, sorry if that's daft of me. It's in a pot which is sitting on one of those plastic plate type things which stop the water from coming out the hole at the bottom of the pot and going all over the floor. Do you mean I should lift the pot up so it's not actually sitting on the plate thingy? Either way I don't water it that much so that water comes out the bottom. I give it about 0.5 litres every few days. I also spray it with water every few days.

I've now pruned it a bit, to get rid of any fruit, and it doesn't look any worse than it did a month ago so that's positive. I haven't killed it yet! I'll keep an eye on the buds and report back when anything happens. This happened once with my last tree (it also had leaf scale) and once I'd got rid of all that and put it outside again in spring in some proper sunshine and warmth and sprang back to life so fingers crossed!

Thanks again for the advice, much appreciated  :)

Millet

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Re: Kaffir Lime tree assistance
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2017, 10:18:29 PM »
According to Dr. Manners a citrus fruit obtains all of its energy form the 3 closest leaves to the fruit.  It sounds like your tree might have been holding more fruit than it had leaves.  Therefore, removing the fruit will avail all the energy that the fruit would have used to the tree.  Under watering a tree can be almost as bad as over watering the tree. Citrus do not eat, they only drink.  Never let your tree set in the water collector tray when the try has water in it.  Empty the tray.  Also, because your tree is having problems, raise the SOIL temperature up to 70-F (21.1-C)  Because the room is at 21-C doesn't mean the containers soil is at 21-C.  Use a soil thermometer and check it.  If the tree's foliage is in a window in direct sun light, then the container needs to be in direct sun light also. Please let this forum know how your tree is progressing

 

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