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Rescue a young lime tree

Just brought home a citrus hystrix - given as a gift last summer but left out over the winter - and it is bare, with sorry-looking branches. I scraped a small patch at the base of the main trunk and there is still green showing, so I think it is alive...but how do I go about reviving it, if this is possible? I thought to re-pot it, feed it, and prune, but not sure about the best compost, nor about where to prune. Can anyone help, please?


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  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,240
    This plant might be recoverable but needs a good feed of citrus feed and a warm place to live, like a conservatory.  Needs to be kept year round between 5 to 20 degrees.  Too cold or too hot will make it loose its leaves. Try a pot half as big again with free draining mix of grit/soil/compost. Water but don't drown as any stress means lost leaves. Sounds hard but when you get them going they are a pleasure to keep. The limes are beautiful in flower and fruit and are the only ones I know to have both at the same time, as mine fruits all year round. It will take time to recover but it is worth it. Good luck.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,240
    Here is a picture of mine.

  • BaWBaW Posts: 11
    And, should I prune off the brown twigs back to the green growth, or leave it and see?? 
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,037
    Don't prune yet!
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,240
    Agreed hogweed you won't know what is alive for a few weeks yet so leave  and just feed well.
  • BaWBaW Posts: 11
    THANK YOU ALL...Will follow advice and see what grows...
  • BaWBaW Posts: 11
    Hello again...I now have green shoots at the base of the main stem...although the rest of the tree remains in the same rather sorry-looking state. Please I just keep on doing what I am doing? I followed your advice with repotting, feeding and watering sparingly, and haven't cut anything. The plant is now enjoying being on top of my washing machine in warm scullery, with diffused sunshine. Thanks, in advance!

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,900
    What sort of soil do you have it in?  I believe limes like a sandy well draining soil, rather than that bark looking stuff you have it planted in.  Or is that just a mulch on top?
    Utah, USA.
  • BaWBaW Posts: 11
    Mix of grit/soil/compost, with good draining pot; and feeding it weekly with citrus feed.
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