May 11, 2008 at 6:08 am #243192
Our good friends gave us a finger lime as a house warming present. I planted it about nine months ago.
The good news is that it didn’t die.:D The bad news is that it has grown only a little and what is more some of the branches seem to be suffering die back. 🙁
What can I do to turn it into a happy little tree. Do they like sun or shade or more food etc etc etc?
Is it possible to transplant them?
-MegMay 11, 2008 at 8:44 am #341378bushyMember
Bit hard to comment without a bit more info, but I can say that in my f/limes, they are painfully slow ( in an area where a tahitian lime will grow 2m in a year), they seem prone to die back and leaf miner, which may explain your dieback.
I have some growing in total shade and some with 50/50, and all seem similar.
Have trasplanted some close to 2m tall and they did well, but a few died, so maybe a bit touchy.May 11, 2008 at 10:36 pm #341379plumtreeMember
It’s just my own ‘rule of thumb’ but I always try to give a plant such as a tree or shrub at least 1 year or a season before trying to judge it’s performance.
It often takes that amount of time for a plant to settle in and start developing again. Might even take longer!May 12, 2008 at 1:13 am #341380Lyn BagnallMember
Plumtree, the finger lime is an Australian native and probably wouldn’t respond well to the amount of fertiliser given to normal citrus, in fact, rich fertilsers could burn the foliage. However, the dieback indicates a possible root problem causing a nutrient deficiency. Try giving it a thorough watering, then applying some well-rotted cow manure to the soil surface under the tree. Dampen the manure, then cover it with about 5 cm of organic mulch â€“ keeping the manure and mulch at least a hand’s width from the trunk. The manure has a gentle fertilising effect and also stimulates the growth of mycorrhiza, a group of beneficial fungi in soil. Many plant families rely on mycorrhiza to supply the roots with nutrients and moisture. Without this group of fuungi present in soil, plants struggle to absorb enough nutrients for healthy growth.
Poor drainage can cause similar symptoms – so check that the site is well drained. 🙂May 12, 2008 at 10:08 am #341381bushyMember
oh yeah, I forgot to mention that, Lyn’s spot on there, the ones I have mulched well look better and have a deeper green colorMay 13, 2008 at 2:30 am #341382
Funny you should say that. I added some well rotted cow manure to the soil surrounding it on Sunday. Didn’t know about the mycorrhiza issue. Does the absence of this fungi affect other Australian natives, like lillipillies? I fed them with organic chook poo, would that encourage the fungi too?
I might put some of my compost around it too I guess that would act as a good mulch.
I want to try and keep it alive as our good friends gave it to us.
Would salt spray affect it as even though we are back a little from the sea we still get salt spray on the windows in a storm?
Thank you for your advice you much all have really wonderful fruit orchards? :clap:
-MegMay 18, 2008 at 1:20 am #341383Lyn BagnallMember
Meg, I suggested well-rotted cow manure for Plumtree’s lime because it is a lot milder than chook poo – which is quite strong. Because many Australian soils are low in phospkorus, natives have become very efficient at absorbing it from soil, and the amount of phosphorus in unprocessed chook poo, fresh manures and chemical ferilisers can be toxic to some natives.
There are some processed chook poo fertilisers that are said to be suitable for Aussie natives but it’s the humus in soil than provides a habitat for mycorrhiza, not the fertiliser. A very high percentage of both native and exotic plants are assisted by mycorrhiza. Humus in soil also reduces the riskl of root rot. Natives don’t require as much humus as fruits, vegetables and some exotics, and some well-rotted cow poo be act as both a fertiliser and mulch for many natives. 🙂May 30, 2008 at 7:30 am #341384
Thanks Lyn, it seems building up the humus in the soil is pretty critical to ensuring plant health.
I will stay away from that chook poo when fertilizing my natives, from now on.
So much to learn about soil science!!! :geek:I guess one step at a time.
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