Should I Prune My Persian Lime?

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by Baker, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. Baker

    Baker New Member

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    Florida, US
    Hey guys,

    I am new here. I started gardening last season and have been building more and more interest ever since. Being that we're stuck at home during this quarantine, I have been extra busy with my gardening. That being said, I bought a Persian lime tree last season (about 16" tall at the time) and I am trying to figure out if I need to be pruning it to ensure it grows into a proper tree. It has about doubled in size over the past year and is growing and looks healthy to me. However, neat the soil, it has a split which sends about half of the growth to each size. Is this ideal? I see everyone else's lime trees that have a straight up shoot to a bushy tree top. It might be too late to achieve this shape, but i wanted to post here to see if I could do anything as of now. All the research I did yielded information about pruning tall, mature trees that are bearing fruit. Any advice would be appreciated.
     

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  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    The situation may resolve itself given time so I'd leave it for now. There's new growth in the middle of the long stem, the one growing towards the right, in the second photo. That may turn out to be the new central leader. Wayward branches can always be removed later to improve the shape of the tree. You may want to nip the growing tips of the lower branches to control their size.
     
  3. Will B

    Will B Active Member

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    I am a big believer in heavy citrus pruning when appropriate. Citrus tend to respond well to it. My suggestion would be to cut now, before the citrus wastes too much energy on growth patterns you don't want. The longer you wait, the more energy is wasted on the branches you want to cut anyway. However, do keep in mind some things:
    1. Any cut you make will take away from the plant, so don't cut without a reason.
    2. Any cut you make can be a source of infection. You can reduce the chance of infection through a couple of simple techniques I like to use: a) bordeaux paste or b) hydrogen peroxide.
    3. The cuts you make are permanent. Can't take it back. So make sure you really do want to cut.
    4. The smaller the cut the better. The "nip" that Junglekeeper mentions is certainly the best way to guide a citrus. To nip a citrus you use your finger nails to remove the very tender growing tip of a citrus. It is the least disruptive and will result in a much bushier plant.
     

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