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Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

Posted by citadel none (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 24, 12 at 6:05

I've just bought a small kaffir lime (see photo), but have no experience dealing with citrus plants. I've learned a lot from reading past posts about kaffir lime, but have a few questions:

1. The tree seems healthy, but there doesn't seem to be much new growth. Should I pick some of the leaves to encourage new growth?

2. I don't know what the rootstock is, but from the leaves it smells very similar to kaffir lime. There's a bud growing out of the rootstock - should I cut this off, regardless of the genus of the rootstock?

3. It's getting plenty of sun, but should I give it any additional feeding?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

prune everything that is below the graft. leave the top alone till it gets bigger.

there's probably some slow release fertilizer in the potting mix, so wait about a month before fertilizing.


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

First check to be sure you know what is the bud union. Unless it is a seedling (grown from seed), in which case there is no bud union, the leaves from the rootstock will be notably different than the kaffir leaves. If the leaves of what you think is coming from the rootstock are different, cut off the growth at the stem. I just visited my Son's kaffir and took off a root sucker whose leaves looked more like lemon than kaffir; it is easy to tell the difference, even for a beginner.


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

Are you sure it's not a cutting!?

Around these parts, all my Asian friends own Kaffir plants that are not grafted.

Please make sure. Is there anyway you can find the graft point and snap a pic? I don't see a graft at all. The bottom leaves look like mature ones taken from a mother plant and then rooted.

Mike


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

It appears that all the leaves are kaffir lime. The leaves have two lobes when compared to other citrus trees. My kaffir grew slowly after the first year I bought it and put it in the ground. Three years in, it it now almost 6 feet tall and grows quite quickly. it loves hot weather and usually has a growth spurt between now and the end of September. Make sure it has plenty of water in good soil.


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

could we get a close up of the white bandage. to me it looks like a side graft(dont know the correct term).

the leaves on top are definitely different than the larger bottom leaves below the white bandage. the upper leaves have lobes that are similar in size. the lower leaves have a giant lobe and a tiny lobe.


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

i cut and enlarged the area i mentioned. looks like a cut and graft.


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

Thanks for the responses! Yes it's definitely a graft - houstantexas' enlargement correctly identifies the location of the union.

The bottom leaves (below the graft) do indeed have one small love and one giant lobe, but they do have the distinctive double leaves - do any other plants besides kaffir lime have these double leaves?


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

ahh, from this doc, the smaller lobes are petiole wings. from the doc, i would guess sour orange.

also check out this site, it has probably all the different varieties of citrus on it.

http://users.kymp.net/citruspages/limes.html#kaffir

Here is a link that might be useful: Dr Malcolm Manners leaf id


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

Thanks houstontexas, I think you're spot on. The lower leaves smell similar to kaffir lime, but with a distinctly more sour note, so a sour orange would make perfect sense. I'll trim them off.


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

Hi,
I've got a kaffir lime tree in my balcony which is very sunny here in Rio.
I didn't realize it was an made but cutting, so I let the side graft grow a lot, getting even bigger than the kaffir tree itself.
The leaf had a maple shaped with three leaves together. Reading this article I decided to cut the side graft anyway.
Was it a good choice?
regards


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

Hi everyone!

I bought my Kaffir lime from 4 winds growers so my tree is on dwarf rootstock. I have my tree in a pot and it is doing fantastic. I've had it almost two years now. It took FOREVER to show new growth. I had bought two common citrus trees before this one and they were putting out new growth like crazy so I thought maybe I had done a bad job of potting it up. I actually repotted it again and when I pulled it out of the pot, there was one little white root so then I knew the tree was okay. It didn't get any visible growth until the spring. I thought I had a big black spider on my tree and it was the first new shoot. I didn't know the new growth was so dark. Lol!

This year I have the limes growing. Don't exactly know what to do with those but they are very pretty.

Sabernardo...cutting off the side shoot was a good thing to do.


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

Hi!

I germinated my Kafir lime plants from seeds. Planted 10 seeds and have 6 seedlings already!

I run a nursery centre and these are highly coveted plants- I didn't want to take a chance with grafted plants and growing from seed ensures you have the plant you want!


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

Anshudavar, I don't know if you noticed that the two posters above you, who also posted to an old thread, didn't get any replies.
That's often what happens when one posts a new subject onto an old thread.
I like your idea of planting seeds, but you will probably get more responses if you start your own thread.


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

Unless someone like me doen's even notice the date of the thread until he's read the whole thing..lol

Ans, that is nice..At least you will have the delicious tasting leaves always at your disposal..

Mike


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

Well, yea that's true, lol. I just feel bad when folks do that and then no one replies. The two before him got no replies, maybe if they'd started their own threads, they would have.
But then we went and messed up the trend,lol.

So do seedling Kaffir limes take forever to set fruit? My grafted dwarf gives me tons of limes, and it's only a few years old.


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

When it comes to planting citrus seed I've found that removing the outer husk works best, although it's usually a very slippery job when they're fresh. I've got some that about 3/4 years old now and are very easy to look after compared to my other grafted plants. The cuttings also seem to do better than the grafted plants.

The fruit I imagine will take another 4+ years. :/

Regards
Nick


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

Well, Barb, Kaffir lime isn't grown for its fruit, so I wouldn't worry about it. It's grown for its leaves. Unless you're just wanting fruit for ornamentation.

Patty S.


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

Thanks, I did know that about the leaves.

I don't have a seedling, it's a grafted dwarf, and I get a lot of fruit. I was just curious about how long a seedling would take.

This post was edited by BarbJP on Tue, May 20, 14 at 0:01


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

Patty,

I am growing kaffir limes for the fruit; actually for the seeds.
My long range plan is to produce enough kaffirs (I think the preferred name now is Makrut) to surround all my Meyer groves with a row of Makrut; because the ACP (Diaphorina) hate them; and the ACP always affects the outside row first. Note, the Makrut is not resistant or immune to HLB; it is only that the vector doesn't like it; and will go somewhere else.


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

Well, that's one reason to keep the fruit, John. That, and for its ornamental properties (they are kind of cool looking). But, in general, this cultivar is prized for its leaves, which are used frequently in Thai cooking, and not grown for it's fruit, Barb. And, no one calls this tree or fruit "Makrut" here in the USA that I have ever heard of. And nice idea to grow a border of them around your Meyers to ward off the ACP. Interesting.

Patty S.


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

True, most grow it for it's leaves. I've used my Kaffir leaves a few times in some recipes, they're delicious.
So I guess if you're just using the leaves it's fine if it's a seedling that never gives you fruit.

I have heard most don't use the fruit, but I guess I'm the odd one as I love the fruit. You can't use it as a direct substitute for limes, because it has a bitter finish to the taste, and a lot of folks don't like that.

But I swear they make a really great Gin Gimlet! The slightly bitter/sour tasting juice goes great with gin!

And, for me at least, it's a really easy tree to grow, never fusses and just keeps chugging along putting out tons of the delicious leaves and bumpy fruit.


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RE: Kaffir lime tree care - advice for newbie

And, I've seen the fruit picked when very green and placed in bowls in the house for decoration.

Patty S.


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