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Lime tree in container leaf curling?

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New Contributor

Lime tree in container leaf curling?

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 Hello

I have had this lime tree for two weeks. I have watered it deeply twice in the two weeks. I have a patio and it’s not very sunny so I have to use a grow light.  The moisture meter I have been using says the soil is wet. I have drained all of the water from the pot and under the drain pan. I originally thought it was root lack of oxygen so I removed some of the top soil and placed it inside the decorative pot. I also have a small drain container to catch the extra moisture and I also make sure the feet are dry after watering by using a Bastet to just absorb the access water.  The tops of the leaves are curling inward but still green. I sprayed an insecticide this week in the am. Is my lime tree in need of something else?  Please help me save my new lime 🌳. Thanks

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Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Lime tree in container leaf curling?

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @Soul2solyoga. It's wonderful to have you join us. I trust you will receive loads of helpful information, advice and inspiration for your projects around the house and garden from our amazing members. 

 

Let me tag the ever-helpful @Noelle who might like to kick off the discussion and share her knowledge and experience about how to care for your new lime tree. You might also find the Bunnings article How to grow and care for a lemon tree also useful - I'm sure Noelle can flag if there are any small differences in caring for limes compared to lemons. 

 

Please let me know if you ever need a hand getting the most from the site.

 

Jason

 

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Experienced Contributor

Re: Lime tree in container leaf curling?

Hi @Soul2solyoga 

 

Your lime tree needs to be in a much larger pot!  Even though you re watering it twice a week, there is not enough potting mix around the roots to sustain a tree of that size.  It needs to go into a pot of around 400mm in diameter. Use a premium quality potting mix formulated for fruit and citrus trees. It should contain enough slow release fertiliser to feed the plant for up to three or four months, so don't add any more fertiliser to it at this time.

 

Water it thoroughly and allow the excess to drain away freely.  Stand the pot on a couple of bricks or use 'pot feet' to keep it up off the ground. Don't stand it in a pot or saucer that holds water - it will be too wet. Don't water again until the top of the mix feels dry to the touch.  The time interval between waterings will depend on the time of the year but it is important not to keep the plant too wet in the cooler months.

 

Citrus trees have fibrous surface roots, so removing some of the soil/potting mix from the top of the pot was not a good idea. These plants do not like having their roots disturbed any more than necessary and they certainly don't like having them exposed. Using a premium potting mix will allow sufficient air to penetrate to keep the roots healthy.

 

There's not a lot of difference between growing lemons and limes, so the tip @Jason has given about reading the article on how to grow a lemon tree is a good one.

 

The leaf curl is usually a sign of either too much or too little moisture. Given the watering regime you have been following, I'd suggest it's over-watering seeing we are currently in the middle of winter.

 

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Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Lime tree in container leaf curling?

Hi again @Soul2solyoga

 

Just wanted to add to @Noelle's excellent guidance that she has written a fantastic step-by-step guide How to pot a plant, which you can find here - https://www.workshop.com.au/t5/Best-of-Workshop/How-to-pot-a-plant/ba-p/32905

 

We look forward to your lime tree flourishing soon.

 

Jason

 

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New Contributor

Re: Lime tree in container leaf curling?

Thanks so much for your reply and advice.  I was unaware that the pot was too small considering that I bought the pot and soil mix from a lime store online who suggested this pot size for this tree.  I will follow your advice and upgrade to a new pot and get new potting mix.  We are actually in the middle of Summer here in the Carolinas.  I had the tree under a saucer with stones and a pot planter with wheels under it.  I would drain the access water from the bottom and remove access water from the inside of the small container.  I believe it's used to elevate the tree so the feet of the tree don't remain wet.  Once I repot the tree will my lime have a chance of surviving?  I usually give it 9 hours of sunlight each day. thanks so much for your detailed response it is much appreciated.

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Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Lime tree in container leaf curling?

Hi @Soul2solyoga,

 

As @Noelle has mentioned a larger pot and good quality potting mix will take a lot of variables out of this equation. There should be no need to have any stones or pot planter or water reservoir under the plant and it should be allowed to drain freely standing on feet. Your lime will have a chance to survive if you re-pot and I'm sure Noelle would have advised if she didn't think it was worth it.

 

In regards to the 9 hours of sunlight, is that just from the grow light? Nothing beats the actual sun and potentially the grow light you have is not sufficient to be the only source of light. Perhaps it would be worth removing the light from the situation for the time being and placing the plant somewhere where it receives sunlight.

 

We look forward to hearing how you repotting goes and whether you see any improvement.

 

Mitchell

 

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New Contributor

Re: Lime tree in container leaf curling?

Hi Mitchell

 

Thanks for the reply and great info. I plan to move it to a larger pot and get a potting soil for citrus trees.  Unfortunately I live in an area where my lime tree only gets exposed to natural sunlight for about 2 hours.  This is the reason for the grow light.  My patio is receives significant amounts of shade during the day.  I don't have a yard to pace it in natural sunlight.  I will keep you posted on the repotting and if we see any improvements.  Thanks again for your help.

 

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New Contributor

Re: Lime tree in container leaf curling?

Hi

Any suggestions on a good potting soil?  I am on the fence between Miracle Gro cacti, Epsoma organic potting mix or black gold? Do you have a suggestion on a good quality mix? Thanks.

 

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Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Lime tree in container leaf curling?

Hi @Soul2solyoga,

 

I've had a look at those products and now realise we might be a bit spoilt for choice in Australia. We generally just head down to the local Bunnings and pick up a bag of Osmocote 25L Citrus And Fruit Potting Mix. I'd be tempted to go with the Miracle-Gro Cactus Palm And Citrus Potting Mix as the Epsoma doesn't have particularly great drainage characteristics and the Black Gold cacti mix doesn't mention citrus.

 

Apart from suggesting the Miracle-Gro, I don't have any other recommendations on a good quality mix, as in the US it seems they combine cactus and citrus into the same mix. There were no specific citrus mixes I could find that I could determine their differences for you and make a suggestion.

 

The key though is that we are looking for a free-draining mix which the MiracleGro certainly will be. Since it's not a specific citrus mix, like the one's available to us, you might like to add a citrus fertiliser in about three months time.

 

Please let us know if you need further assistance or had any questions.

 

Mitchell

 

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