Any lime tree needs specific growing conditions and care, and fails if it grows in the wrong environment. If you’ve recently transplanted a key lime tree and notice it failing in the new location, amend the growing conditions to save the tree.
Amend the soil around the base of the tree. Key limes require good nutrition and quick drainage, so your lime may be suffering from poor or impacted soil in the new site. Pile 3 inches of quick-draining soil and organic compost, in equal parts, on top of the soil around the tree. Mix this amendment into the top 3 to 4 inches of soil to increase drainage from the surface and nutrition in the soil.
Water the tree consistently. Lime trees are thirsty and begin to drop their leaves if they don’t get enough water. Give the lime tree at least 2 inches of water a week, and make sure the water is draining through the soil to the tree’s roots. If the soil is drying quickly, increase your watering to 3 to 4 inches of water every week.
Prune away any foliage shading the tree. Lime trees require full sun for at least eight hours every day and may fail if they’re not getting enough light. Prune overhead foliage to open the space for sun and air. Step 4
Give the tree time to recover. Trees take time to get used to new surroundings and will start growing again with the right care. Wait at least one year before you fertilize the tree, as feeding it too soon after a transplant could burn its roots and cause further damage.
- Purdue University: Tahiti Lime [http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/tahiti_lime.html]
- Aggie Horticulture: Texas Citrus: Home Fruit Production–Limes [http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/citrus/limes.htm]
- KeyLimePieTree.com: Growing Your Indoor Key Lime Tree [http://www.keylimepietree.com/indoorlimetree.html]
- KeyLime.com: Keylime.com: Horticultural Info [http://www.keylime.com/horti.ht