How to Force Blooms on a Lime Tree

There are two main species of lime trees, the Mexican lime (Citrus aurantiifolia), commonly called key lime and the Persian lime (Citrus latifolia). Although each species possess their particular varieties, there isn’t much variation between them. Growing in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 9 through 11, the lime tree is best produced in at least 8 hours of sunlight exposure every day, planted 15 to 20 feet away from buildings or other trees. Lime trees are very irritable and many common conditions induce the tree to never blossom, including over-pruning, substandard water drainage and lack of sunlight. Proper care is the main key when pushing a lime tree to blossom.

Water the lime tree to a depth of 18 inches throughout the growing season during periods of drought, as a great watering regimen is essential to an effective bloom production. Use a watering hose that’s put on a slow trickle. Begin watering at the back of this tree, slowly moving outward to the dripline.

Apply an even 6-inch layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree, starting 3 inches from the back and extending into the dripline. The mulch helps to conserve moisture and smother competitive weeds.

Fertilize the lime tree once a month from spring through fall with a 12-0-12 granular fertilizer, high in nitrogen and phosphorus. Hand spread the fertilizer around the base of this tree, following all package instructions. Nitrogen will encourage healthy green growth, while phosphorus will encourage flower production, forcing the tree to blossom on time.

Remove fragile or damaged divisions in the spring. Use pruning shears, which makes a 45-degree angled cut just above the leaf node or posterior division. If the branch is to be completely eliminated, make the cut flush with the back of this tree.

Remove suckers that originate in the tree trunk as soon as they form, as they deplete energy the tree would normally put toward thriving and finally producing fruit. Use pruning shears, making the cut just over the enlarged area where the sucker and the back match. Cut suckers growing in the ground across the back using a sharp shovel, which makes deep plunges to the ground Working in a circular motion.

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