New to citrus and question about my Persian Lime

bedtimeMarch 5, 2013

I just picked up a lime tree. It's about 2 feet tall and was pruned when I got it. I'm thinking it may have been at least 3 feet before the pruning. As far as I can see there are no signs of fruit or flowers. The leaves look extremely healthy. The lady at the nursary said it would likely produce fruit this summer and seemed quite sure of it.

My question is, when do you think I'll see signs of fruit or flowers? And on a plant this size, how many limes can I expect to see? Just a ball park here. Are we talking
2-4 or 10 or 20?

I live in Southern Ontario (6a) facing SW 10 floors up in an apartment. The tree is currently indoors as the temp is too cold to bring outside (-10C to 5C).

Also, I've been eating some of the leaves and they taste great; minty! They make great tea as well! Though I think I'll try to hold off on doing any more leaf nibbling. : /

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It's probably a bit early for it to bloom. Don't expect many limes from a plant that small that you have to keep indoors most of the year.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 8:42PM
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Based on my somewhat limited experience with Bearss lime, aka Persian lime, Tahitian lime, I would be quite surprised if a plant that size bore fruit. It might make a few flowers in the Spring, but likely will drop them. I think you need a bigger pot and after re-potting wait at least 2-3 weeks before feeding.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 6:00PM
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Hmmm, okay. Well, at least I can eat the leaves for now. :)


It would be outside for about 6 months of the year and get about 8 hrs sun per day. I hope at least to see some blooms.

I probably get a 4' Meyers Lemon tree when they become available in my location.

Thanx you guys!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 6:46PM
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I too would agree it will probably need a larger container. Most of my citrus plants are blooming/have bloomed in the last 1-2 months. Then they set fruit in spring, with ripe fruit being picked around Christmas. If you fertilize it, keep it watered I don't see why it would not flower though it is doubtful to grow a lot of fruit. It will probably need to double in size before flowering. I have never heard of anyone eating the leaves off the lime plant. Fascinating. Thanks for that tip.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 7:04PM
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Thanx. Just to clarify, are you saying that it's a good idea to repot now?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 8:52PM
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Repot, yes!
The perfect time.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 12:59AM
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Repotted it in a ceramic container using 80%+ bark mixture with charcoal and perlite, and 10-20% peat moss. Stripped all previous soil and untangled roots. The container is abit big but I'm hoping it'll be good for about 2 years before next repotting.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 2:37PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Nice plant :-)

It's still a little bit early for the best Citrus re-potting window, although "all gardening is local." In my zone7b/8a microclimate, I find that late April is optimum.

That container is rather small actually, and I imagine you'll want to re-pot next year into something two or three times that volume. If you push the plant two years in that container, its vitality will surely begin to decline.

While the roots are re-establishing in the mix, be sure to keep the upper layers more moist than usual. Once the plant is established, then you can allow the mix to dry down between waterings.

Did you add any Dolomitic Lime?
As John mentioned, wait about two weeks before resuming your fertilization regimen.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 4:35PM
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Thanx Josh,

That's a 26 cm pot (10.5 inches). I could upgrade the pot at the end of the month - Would that be a good idea? I'd rather do this now and get it over with if it'll also be a benefit to the plant and result in not having to do this twice. If I did move up in pot size what would be a good size?

"Did you add any Dolomitic Lime?"

No I didn't. Should this be done? I'm new to citrus. : / What type of fertalizer is good for this? I have All purpose Miracle Gro 24-8-16 ATM but would get something else if it would help growth.

I've been strongly misting the top layer of soil several times today and thanks for that advice.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 4:50PM
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The NPK ratio of Miracle Gro all purpose is 3-1-2, very good for most citrus; but it lacks the Magnesium and Calcium that are sooo important for most citrus.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 9:02PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The Lime provides Calcium and Magnesium, which are lacking in most fertilizers, as John mentioned. 1 Tablespoon of Lime per gallon of soil mix is the recommended dosage, evenly incorporated throughout the mix.

I think it would be wise to up-pot in a month or so. When you do, try not to disturb the root-ball...just keep it intact and slip it into a larger volume of the same type of mix (with Lime added). I would opt for a 2 - 3 gallon pot.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 3:37PM
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sbrow156(Cairns QLD Australia)

This was an interesting thread as I am not really new to citrus but new to caring for them more... (meaning ive had citrus for years but didnt care for them very well. I had to end up replacing them.) I now have a washington navel orange, a patio lime and a lemon. I bought them all at about the size of your plant 'bedtime' though the lemon is abit bigger. They came in pots about the same size too. I transferred them into much bigger pots straight away. Im thinking they could probably stay in those pots for a few years. The lemon is showing new growth but the orange and lime arent...anyway they looks nice and healthy so im just waiting. It will be nice to know if yours does flower and fruit 'bedtime' as it may shine some light on what mine might do....

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 8:26PM
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Johnmerr & Josh,

I'll be sure add lime the next time I repot as I'm too late right now.


I think the pot I have is already 2 gallon but I can increase to 3 gallon in a month which is when I'll add the lime.


I'm really hoping too. I'll be bringing mine onto the balcony when weather allows so it can get about 8 hrs of full sun. Right now its just a game of keeping the soil and roots moist at all times, which is actually not that easy.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 7:58PM
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