Miniature Lime Tree - Knowledgebase Question

San Ramon, CA
Avatar for mrzick
Question by mrzick
January 11, 1998
I have a miniature lime tree in a fairly big container and for the last three years, I have been getting good sets only to have the limes fall off. I fertilize as recommended, and between February and the rainy season, water with a dripper system every other day for 15 minutes. What can I do to keep the sets from falling?


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Answer from NGA
January 11, 1998
Let's start with some general guidelines for growing citrus. The dwarf varieties are especially suited to containers and need a container with a diameter of at least 1 1/2 ft. Make sure your tree gets lots of sunlight. The plant needs moist, but not dripping wet soil. It's best to water deeply twice a week than to give it constant moisture. (The roots need some air between waterings.) You might even want to put a layer of mulch over the roots to help retain moisture.

It's possible thatyour fruit is falling off because it is inadequately pollinated. Try hand-pollinating the blossoms with an artists camel-hair paintbrush, or a cotton swab. When the blossoms are fully opened, you can help transfer pollen by just dabbing the inside of each flower with the brush. Hope you have a great crop!

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