A lime tree is a common garden tree because of its utility and medicinal benefits. It can easily be grown indoors as well as outdoors. Pruning alone will not give you a good yield of fruits. One should also give proper care to these plants. Importantly, lime trees require a lot of sunlight. So place them or plant them where they can receive full sunlight. Watering lime trees once a week is more than enough; however, if you fail to do so, the leaves will start falling, thus affecting the fruit yield. Finally, replenish the soil nutrients every 6 months. The leftovers from coffee ground are considered to be good for lime trees. Although considerable care is not needed by the tree, it needs to be pruned at least two times a year for healthy growth. Following tips will help you in the pruning of lime trees.
Start Pruning from the Bottom
Suckers are shoots that grow from the bottom of the tree. These suckers are unwanted parts of a lime tree, but they also compete with the fruit bearing branches for nutrients. If left unattended, they grow fast and reach up to the height of the parent plant in 6 months time, adversely affecting the plant’s overall growth and fruit yield. These suckers are usually seen in the form of small shoots at the bottom (near the soil level) of the tree. Suckers are easily identifiable since they are bright green in color. Just pluck them from the main shoot and discard them. Prune them as soon as they sprout, particularly if you are growing the lime tree indoors.
Right Time for Pruning
Pruning is particularly important for trees that are being grown indoors. Keeping a check on the size of indoor trees is very important as oversized plants are usually not preferred indoors. Even if you are not growing the tree indoors, lime trees planted in open require lot of sunlight to produce good quality limes. Therefore, small or weak branches (which cannot bear the weight of fruits) need to be pruned. Lime trees should be pruned before the bloom or immediately after the harvest.
Proper Pruning Method
No special equipment is required for pruning the lime tree; a normal pruner is sufficient. First, remove any ripe fruits that remain on the tree. Then, remove any dead or unhealthy branches. As a thumb rule, any branches having thickness less than that of a pencil should be cut. Although these branches may not compete with the healthier ones, they certainly block the sunlight falling on other healthy branches
If the tree is planted indoors, there is a chance of uneven growth, i.e., more growth towards any one side. Remove stems and branches from that side of the tree and give it an even shape. Also, cut out any stems that are overlap each other, ruining the shape of the plant. Moreover, such branches do not allow proper air circulation within the tree, which may also increase the chances of infections.