Dwarf lime trees, as in most all citrus trees, can be grown in both hot and cool climates. To grow a dwarf lime tree successfully in the latter, it’s important to give the tree those tools it needs to thrive. Citrus trees can be difficult to keep alive if you don’t know the right steps to take.
These are the quick basics of dwarf lime tree care, but it leaves many questions left unanswered. What kind of fertilization does the dwarf tree need? How often is a regular watering? What temperatures are okay and not okay for the tree? Let’s have a deeper look at how to care for a dwarf lime tree.
Caring for a Dwarf Lime Tree
There are a few important steps that are an absolute must when it comes to caring for your Dwarf Lime Tree.
Here’s are the steps you’ll need to know to properly care for your Dwarf Lime Tree:
- Follow a fertilization schedule.
- Water as needed.
- Prune your tree.
- Repot when your tree outgrows an existing pot.
- Keep your tree at a safe temperature.
- Make sure your tree gets enough sun.
Fertilize Your Dwarf Lime Tree
Dwarf lime trees need an extra amount of nitrogen in their soil. If you buy fertilizer, choose one that has a higher amount of nitrogen than potassium and phosphate. The recommended ratio is two counts of nitrogen for every one count of potassium and one count of phosphate. Other minerals that are good for the tree include zinc, manganese, and iron.
When to Fertilize
If your dwarf lime tree is younger than three years, try to aim to spread two tablespoons of nitrogen around the soil three or four times a year. If the tree is older than three years, increase the amount to four tablespoons three or four times a year. After, water the plant thoroughly.
Watering Your Dwarf Lime Tree
Whether the tree is in a pot or in the ground, make sure the tree is receiving good drainage. If the drainage is good, then an outside tree can survive a weekly watering since the water is reaching deep down to the roots.
In a pot, you want to water frequently enough that the soil doesn’t dry out but is still a little damp when you water it again. Also, be sure to spread the water out evenly around the trunk.
If your lime tree is overwatered, you will start to see the leaves turn yellow and fall off. If the tree is not getting enough water, you will notice that the next time you water it, the leaves fall off.
The longer the tree is left in dry soil, the more the leaves will fall off. This is sort of opposite from normal plants that lose leaves when the soil is dry rather than wet. Reduce watering before the winter months to avoid encouraging growth that won’t survive.
Pruning Your Dwarf Lime Tree
Pruning is an important step in maintaining healthy growth and lots of fruit on the tree. With pruning shears, cut off dead or leggy branches that aren’t serving the tree well. Cut off suckers from the base of the trunk. The best time to prune is at the end of winter, the beginning of spring, before the tree has started blooming.
Repot Your Dwarf Tree as Necessary
If you want to encourage your tree to grow bigger and taller when it becomes too big for its current pot, upgrade it to a larger one. Be sure to add gravel to the bottom of the new pot as a base layer before the tree and new soil is placed down.
You will probably need to buy more soil, so again, look for well-fertilized soil. Your tree will likely need repotting every three to four years.
Keep Your Dwarf Lime Tree at a Safe Temperature
Citrus trees thrive in warmer climates. They do not do well in cold climates where the temperature drops below 25 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time. This is especially true for the potted plants. It is recommended that outdoor lime plants be in zones nine to eleven. But they can survive up to zone seven in many cases.
Make Sure Your Dwarf Lime Tree Gets Enough Sunlight
Dwarf lime trees need at least eight hours each day of direct sunlight. If this is not achievable, you can also use artificial sunlight mixed with natural light to make up for it. Artificial lights are available online or at local hardware stores.
Caring for a dwarf lime tree requires much of your time and attention, especially if it is potted and outside of its optimal climate zones. But it comes with great rewards. The basic steps of care include proper nutrients, frequent watering, yearly pruning, and an awareness of light and temperatures. If you ever feel confused along the way, don’t be afraid to keep asking questions!