Does a Kaffir lime bush need special citrus soil and citrus fertilizer? I have an unheated glasshouse. Last winter I forgot to bring in the Kaffir lime plant and it dropped all its leaves. When I brought it in, I thought it would survive, but after a few months still no growth visible. I guess I killed it with frost and overwatering. Does it need citrus compost and fertilizer? I repotted it with it, no help either.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It is very possible that your tree succumbed to winter damage/injury. Lime trees need to be kept in a place that does not get colder than 50 degrees F or they will die.
Was your lime tree watered over the winter months? Lime trees will also drop their leaves if left dry too long and need to be watered consistently. However, I am not certain since you mentioned over-watering, but maybe that was a response to a dry lime tree? And, for how long a period was was it over-watered (months)? Over-watering can also lead to root rot, which Kaffir limes are susceptible to. More information on root rot can be found here:
I would recommend giving your tree a scratch test per the guidelines in the following article: http://www.starkbros.com/growing-guide/article/how-to-do-a-scratch-test/ A scratch test will help determine if your lime tree is still alive. With a scratch test, "green is good" and means there is hope of recovery.
For more information on the care of kaffir lime trees (which includes fertilizing requirements), please visit the following links: