How much to water

The lime plant is particularly afraid of water stagnation, therefore it must be planted in a soil that is well draining but at the same time compact, able to retain moisture. It is a plant suitable for living in tropical climates, therefore it tolerates periods of prolonged drought, however for good fruit growth it is advisable to irrigate it adequately during the hottest months of the year. Furthermore, being a plant that develops a taproot root system that descends to great depths, it is good to irrigate it especially near the roots, so as to avoid lateral elongation of the roots, which could hinder the surrounding plants. The temperature of the irrigation water must not be too different from that of the soil and the plant,

Care to be provided

Lime is a citrus fruit that grows mainly in warm and subtropical areas (although it adapts very well to the mild climate of Italy), therefore it is significantly affected by winter frosts, which could even lead to its death. The tree reaches a height that is not too high, settling on average around 5 meters. It requires many hours of sunlight to develop, but it fears the wind, which can easily detach the flowers. The lime plant must be well spaced from other plants, as it could become competitive for the soil. When they have reached maturity, if desired, it is possible to remove the flowers (known as orange blossom, white in color and very fragrant) to create essential oils used in cosmetics or air fresheners.

How to fertilize

Fertilization, for plants that grow spontaneously in nature, is not necessary; for cultivated plants, on the other hand, fertilization is highly recommended both as a defense tool and as a contribution to the optimal development of flowers and fruits. Specifically, for newly planted plants, fertilization must be carried out periodically in spring and summer, using mature bovine or equine manure containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium; the fertilizer must have a granular consistency, must be slow-release and must make the soil well draining. When the plant is in the adult stage, it is advisable to use a nitrogen-based fertilizer once a year, in spring but before flowering, associated with a product containing many micronutrients including manganese,

Lime: Diseases and pests

The pests that generally attack the lime plantare those common to all citrus fruits. The main insects that attack lime are in fact aphids and scale insects. Aphids are tiny insects (less than a millimeter large) that feed on the lifeblood of the plant’s vegetative organs, especially those that are growing, causing their death and therefore their fall. In addition, to feed, they make holes on the page of the leaves, then injecting harmful salivary secretions into them. Aphids can be easily removed with the aid of specific pesticides or, in the case of a low number of specimens, through manual methods. As for the scale insects, they too feed on the vital sap of the plant, but they manifest themselves more clearly as they cause white spots on branches and leaves, sometimes surrounded by a reddish halo. The scale insects can be removed manually, using ethyl alcohol, or with a natural pesticide based on Marseille soap.

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