Unhappy Lime

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by Andrew_M, Mar 18, 2021.

  1. Andrew_M

    Andrew_M New Member

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    Hey! First post from a previously successful citrus grower from the UK now living in Vancouver.

    I purchased a Key Lime tree about 2 months ago from a garden shop in North Vancouver and ever since it came home it's done nothing but shed healthy leaves and basically die on me.

    I've watered it once a week and let it drain through before returning it to it's purch, and it's had a feed of nuterients once a month using a product recommended by the shop that I purchased it from.

    It arrived with full foliage and flowers, and now half of the branches have died, and the remaining leaves are just hanging on but look like they are starting to show that sign of nuterients is lacking.

    It's still in it's original pot just sat in another pot to make it look pretty as I didn't want to repot it too quickly but I was hoping to get a bigger pot as the roots were showing on the surface until I put a layer of soil on top.

    It's been near a window to get good light and away from a breeze or either hot or cold.

    Genuinely a little fustrated, and tempted to take it back to the shop as I still have the receipt for it.

    Photos are a mix of this week and last week. I moved it to a larger window this evening in an attempt to give it more light before I move it outside to bask in full sunlight as and when days and evenings are a bit warmer
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2021
  2. Will B

    Will B Active Member

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    the leaves do not have the normal signs of nutrient deficiency. Some of the branches do look dead already, so the ones that are obviously dead should be pruned off as they may have a fungal infection that will slowly spread to the rest of the plant. Based on the photos, if I had to guess I would guess root rot has set in unfortunately. The soil looks quite wet in the photos. Does the outer pot have a drainage hole? If not it is possible water built up inside... my suggestion would be to prune away all dead branches, take the plant out of the outer pot so the soil can air dry properly and don't water until it seems fairly dry.
     
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Which direction does your window face and how close to the window is your tree?
     
  4. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    Looks like too wet soil and possibly too little sunlight.
    I water my citruses in wintertime ca once per month. They are in a cool room, the temperature is around +15°C.
    If your container is without a drainage hole, then its roots must have been drowned.
     
  5. Andrew_M

    Andrew_M New Member

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    Thank you everyone for your replies!

    I'm certainly of the belief that I have contributed with over watering as it got some water once a week, however I did give it 30 minutes or so to drain out the bottom before returning it to it's purch.

    In an attempt to rescue it I have now added plenty of holes to the plastic pot and taken it out of the ceramic one it was sat in. The ceramic pot does have a drainage hole at the bottom yes however I never watered it with it in there for the very reason to avoid drowning it in standing water.

    The windows are east and south facing windows.

    As suggested I have also pruned the dead branches, but I worry that it's at this point basically dead and $75 just wasted.

    I am also concered that the environment it came from originally was already enough to upset it too as it was tucked in with a few other plants in the shop which wasn't in direct sunlight either so I don't know how long it had been in those conditions either as I don't believe that it would have flourished in the shop with flowers.
     
  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The tree is far from dead; there are still many green stems and a decent complement of leaves. For the time being, until the weather warms up outside, place it in front of and as close to the south facing window as possible. Also I suggest an inspection of the root system to assess its condition. Since you have not repotted since purchase it should be fairly easy to ease the entire root ball out of the container. We won't know for sure if the problem was over-watering otherwise. The tree may have slowly starved if the lighting was insufficient at the store and had not been improved upon since purchase.
     
  7. VancouverCathy

    VancouverCathy Member

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    I bought the same kind of tree in Vancouver about a month ago. I read it needs constant moisture, not soggy buy constant and that you should give them a few tablespoons every other day, depending on light conditions. I've done that and mine is going strong.
    I wish you luck with yours!!
     
  8. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    One month is usually too short time to evaluate, if your watering habits are good or bad. So be careful! I'd rather gave proper watering every week or two (it depends very much on temperature, humidity, plant size and container size, but also other factors like the potting mix, air movement, exposure to the sun etc).
    By watering only with couple of tablespoonful of water you may not moisten all the potting mix and there could develop constantly dry zone in your container.
     

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