Tahitian Lime tree pics...buds fruit???

spataro51(chicago)August 6, 2007

Hello first time to the citrus forum as i am normally in the palm forum. I just bought a tahitian lime tree and i have it planted in a container. I bought it from a nursery on ebay and they said that it was about to bud and form fruit (limes). Well i took some pics of it today and can anyone possibly have any ideas on when it will start to bear fruit.....or better yet what to look for? I have never grown fruit or better yet a tropical fruit. here are the pics...suggestions?

Thanks and hopefully i will start to post on this forum a little more often because if i am successful at growing some limes, next year i am going to expand possible kiwi, pinnapple etc. :)

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Hi Spataro..Welcome to Citrus.
First I'd like to say your new Lime tree is absolutely beautiful. It's nicely shaped and very compact.
I can't give you a date it'll fruit, but can tell you what to look for. You'll first see buds that open up into fragrant white flowers. Some flowers have a pink hue.
As flowers fade, a tiny, ball-like, green fruit forms. Fruit grows larger, taking appromixately 7-8 months to fully develop. As citrus matures, fruits color. In the Tahitian/Persian Lime case, color starts off dark green, then light, but when fully mature, yellow..They're best picked somewhere between light green and yellow. After these limes fully yellow, fruit doesn't last as long, so it must be eaten/cooked with, soon after plucking.
You may have 100 fruit, but only 2-4% remain on a tree. Even though that number sounds low, it's still quite a big of fruit. Fruit need space to grow..So, don't fret if/when your Tahitian drops fruit. (S)
Did the company you purchased the tree from advise you to repot? Sometimes, transplanting causes a bit of shock, therefore halting fruit production. Give your citrus time to adapt, keep in full sun, allow soil to dry between waterings, (hope you used a well-draining soil) and fertilize with Citrus fertilizer following instructions.
Citrus love a summer outdoors so if you have a sunny spot, place outside..You can keep out until temps drop to about 40F.

I sometimes visit the Palm forum..Are you one of the few from Chicago who grows palms outdoors yr round? Toni

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 9:22PM
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toni, thanks for the input! Yep i grow palms outdoors year round. I have the usual windmills, sago, roeby, coconut(not outside in winter of course) I have posted some pics on the palm forum check them out. If i remember didn't you or are you currently growing palms also?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 1:59PM
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Spataro, your Roeby is gorgeous..it's so large..you must have super tall ceilings..
I saw your Roeby thread, but don't know how to bring up your old pics..I typed your name, nothing happened..
Which palms are you growing outside? You mention windmills, sago, roeby and coconut..I think the windmill is hardy, (w/work) but what about the others?
I'm impressed..
I grow palms, mostly indoors..Let's say last yr I had problems at the homefront and didn't take care of semi-tropicals like (2 yrs)Palm, (3)(inedible) Musa, (3)(sour)citrus (stock) and a (1)cactus...all goners..If things go better next year, I may try again..
Do you plan on growing citrus outside yr round? Toni

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 5:32PM
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I will be bringing the lime tree in for the winter. I would like to grow some citrus year round but i don't think their is one that is hardy for chicagoland is there?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 12:22AM
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No, there aren't any citrus that will thrive outside 12 months per yr..Unfortunately..
I planted rootstock, (Poncirus trifoliata) that bears small, bitter, very seedy fruit, but was surprised when it made it through our first icy winter. Poncirus is quite thorny. Still, it was a great experiment and lived 3 yrs..If I had mulched, (mandatory) in late autumn like I had in previous yrs, I'd bet it would still be living..I fed it citrus fertilizer and applied Superthrive during growing season.
There's another rootstock called Citrus Ichangensis that is also quite hardy.
Citrus Junos/Yuzu is hardy to 0F. I would think all 3 citrus/rootstock could grow here, w/a good amount of mulch in winter.
Check out www.worldplants.com Click on Catalog, then C, scroll down to citrus..open, and you'll see pics of these plants..

The citrus at worldplants are on the small side, (9") but there's another nursery called Mckenzie Farms that sells hardy citrus..He ships taller trees.
August wouldn't be a good time to plant though, if you're interested, I'd wait until spring, after all signs of frost is gone.

Spataro, do you ever shop at Jamacian Gardens in Morton Grove? They've got lovely plants, and 'just looking, lol' is worth the trip..They have a second store, smaller, further north, I believe in Libertyville..They both sell citrus, but prices are fairly expensive. I also love shopping at Ted's Nursery, and want to visit Sid's some day.
Most of my citrus came from FL, but w/the current ban, we can't order.It's ashame because two nurseries I order from, Briteleaf and Harriscitrus ship nice-sized, healthy trees, for 15-20.00 each..
Good luck w/your palms this winter..Do you add Christmas lights to keep warm? Toni

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 5:05PM
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Yes i do add some christmas lights. I have to windmills planted in the grounda. One i planted about year and half ago and the othr i planted in april. I plan on sticking four pvc pipes in the ground around the palm and wrap with heavy duty clear plastic and fill the inside with some dry leaves and i will put a set of christmas lights the netting ones on the fronds and wrap a strand of regular lights around the trunk. I will only turn them on if it gets below 15 degrees or so. Last winter i just covered my windmill with a heavy duty 55 gallon garbage can with christmas lights and it worked great just some damaged fronds that i had to cut this spring. we will see what happens....i will keep you updated.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 2:10PM
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Hi Spataro..I'd love to see pics of your Windmills..how tall is the older?
Do you have any other tropicals growing outside year round? If so, do you winterize them the same way you do the palm?
How far apart are palms planted?
Would you happen to know if Botanical treasures is still around? I think they closed their doors a while back..Toni

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 2:32PM
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