Why does my lime tree only produce one fruit a year?

Q.

Why does my healthy looking lime tree only produce one fruit per year?

Yvette Lindsay

A.

Hi Yvette, lime trees are subtropical fruit trees so need a warm, sunny sheltered spot. Limes need heat and lots of water in summer to flower and fruit and are frost tender in the early years, once established they are more tolerant of frost and cooler temperatures. The reasons for fruit not setting could be due to wet weather at the time of flowering, as well as windy conditions, bees and other pollinators do not work in wind and rain. Frost at the time of flowering and fruit set, or sudden temperature changes, hot to cold. Another reason is inconsistent watering at the time of flowering, or the tree drying out after fruit has set.  Limes fruit on current seasons growth, so if you are regularly pruning your tree, you may be cutting away fruiting wood. If the tree is putting on a lot of green growth it may be getting too much nitrogen which could come from compost, blood and bone or a nitrogen rich fertiliser. Citrus need a balance of nutrients, especially potassium for flowering and fruiting and phosphorus for fruiting and root development, Tui Citrus food is perfect for citrus in the garden, or Tui Enrich Citrus, Fruit, Tree and Shrub controlled release fertiliser. Lianne  

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