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Key Lime Trees

Q.Key Lime tree flowers do not appear to have a stigma (no female parts)

Zone 80015 | Brendonious8 added on January 31, 2019 | Answered


I have a question about a key lime tree. I’ve had it indoors for a few months now and it’s been showing a lot of new growth and is blooming all over.

There’s something strange going on with the flowers however. They are very small, brittle, and fall off very easily. Even shaking the shelf it is on slightly will drop a few. It’s been dropping a few buds as well and while that is not all that concerning, it’s concerning with how many it is dropping constantly.

In addition, the flowers that do bloom and open up have no stigma. They have pollen and all, but there is nowhere to pollinate them. Not that it would make too much of a difference since they fall off, but essentially there isnt anything in the center. There is a tiny yellow looking dot, but you gotta go deep in the flowers to get to it.

Is this normal to happen? It seems a bit early to be blooming but the plant gets plenty of light and looks healthy otherwise. It did drop most of lit’s leaves when I first moved it inside, but it has been regaining them and is showing lots of new growth recently.

I’ve attached some photos of the flowers if that helps.


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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on January 31, 2019

This is a perfectly normal response to the drop in light and humidity of being brought indoors. To be able to ever produce a fruit it will need supplemental lighting and humidification, as even in the brightest window, these requirements will not be met.

I suggest at least 200 watts of horticultural lighting per tree. They respond very well to high grade LED, but stay away from any cheap fixtures. A somewhat decent LED will have a price in the triple digits. This is what my citrus reside under happily all year.

Fertilization is a must as well. This is especially true in container. a citrus fertilizer and soil mix will take out any guess work.

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Answered on January 31, 2019

Great thanks BushDoctor! So are the lack of stigmas a natural response as well? I can’t find a single stigma on any flower

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