The Q&A Archives: Limes not Maturing

Question: I have owned a Monrovia potted lime tree for four years. We live in Atlanta so it is outside from May to October, and then we bring it in the house. The first three years it bloomed twice a year, tons of blooms, and we'd get 10-15 limes (the flavor is out of this world). The last three bloomings, the limes got about large pea size, then just fell off. What are we doing wrong?

Answer: Chrissy,

Potted lime trees will normally produce more blooms than they will set fruit. It is also normal for some fruit to drop after they set and begin to grow. However when you see a major fruit drop it is a sign of some type of stress, most likely soil moisture. Temporary dry conditions can cause a tree to cast off small fruit. Soggy conditions are also stressful as the saturated soil prevents the roots from getting oxygen. A dramatic change in temporature or sudden reduction in sunlight can also stress the plant. You may need to consider moving the plant to a larger pot so the roots have more room and the growing medium does not dry out so quickly after watering. Make sure the tree is getting plenty of light as sunlight is needed to produce the carbohydrates that enable the tree to produce blooms and mature fruit.

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