Q.Recently Inherited A Lime Tree
Hello! I recently inherited a potted lime tree from my husband’s deceased uncle. I am very motivated and determined to take the very best care of this thing. I just have no idea what I am doing. I found a lovely article written by somebody on here about home care, but the only two big issues I’m having right now are: 1. not knowing if it’s been re-potted lately and 2. not knowing if it’s gotten fertilizer at all this year. My understanding about the fertilizer is that it needs it monthly until July? His uncle has been dead since August 2020 and I just got this tree yesterday and my mother-in-law knows nothing about whether it was re-potted or fertilized. All I know is that it was kept inside all winter. For context, I live in Oklahoma. Thank you in advance for the help and patience. Sally
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Container citrus tend to like being cramped in their container. I would be sure to wait to repot until you see quite a few roots on the surface of the soil. This will indicate that the container is a little too tight. Repotting is simple.
Either, pot up into a container 2 inches larger on all sides, or prune some of the larger roots out. I would opt for a larger pot, since trimming roots can be a bit risky for the novice gardener.
Feeding should be done, constantly. Citrus are hungry trees, so feed at least once per month with a citrus liquid feed, or 3 or 4 times per year with a citrus granular.
Now, let's get to lighting. Indoors, through the winter, you will need extra lighting if you want it to continue producing its best. 200 watts will suffice. I recommend a Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH) fixture. It is 315 watts, but more efficient than its predecessors. This is what I use, currently.
Watering should be done, as needed, not on a schedule. This means checking the soil moisture. When it is dry down to 3 inches or so, water deep and let all extra water drain out and discard.
A good citrus soil is preferred, but as long as you keep it on the acidic side with citrus fertilizers, and make sure that it is well draining, you shouldn't have much of an issue.
Humidity helps, too. Spraying it, while it is indoors, can help keep the leaves on the tree while it stays inside for the winter.
Here is a collection of articles that will give you much more information on lime trees: