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Indoor Lime Tree Leaf Drop Crisis

Hi all,

I have indoor lime tree, about 3ft tall in a big pot. I got it in spring and since it has been pretty healthy with new leaves growing etc (though no fruit). 
Recently however I noticed significant leaf drop and then realised it had been sitting in stagnant water for a while, so I suspect the leaf drop was caused by the roots being too permanently wet.
To try and save it I put the tree near radiator (not right up against) and sat the pot on paper towels. Over a few days the towel soaked up lots of water from the bottom of the pot and now there appears to be nothing left to absorb from the bottom. Test from the top - the soil is still damp though.
The leafs are still falling at a steady rate, soon there won't be any left.

What do I do now! 

Any tips most welcome!

I also have a finger lime tree indoors and this one's leaves have started dropping -however this one wasn't sitting in standing water!?

Is this something to expect because it's autumn?



  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 11,006
    Hello Ross, welcome to the forum  :)
    Hopefully someone with more knowledge can help, but l would guess the water was the problem. I know that generally they hate centrally heated rooms.
    Bumping this up and hoping they can be saved. 
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,224

    Quite possibly the roots have rotted on the really bad one.

    Take the whole thing outside, empty the pot, prise away the compost, see how many roots fall off and if they are black with rot, trim it up, put new compost in, replace the tree, top up the compost, give it the lightest, the lightest of waterings to settle the compost and then leave it alone.

    They like a lot of light in winter. Don’t mind cold unless it gets below zero. Not keen on radiators but love underfloor heating. Need very little water in winter. Will lose a few leaves (one or two) from time to time.

    Good luck.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,299
    They are trees, not indoor plants, they dislike hot dry atmospheres, (which is most houses) never heard of them liking underfloor heatin, (mine never told me!!) Ours are in a greenhouse,no heat, bubble wrapped walls, and if frost is forcast, another layer over them.  Only time we lost leaves was "the beast from the East", last March, when it got to -12c over night in the SE UK 10 minutes from the sea, and unheard it here.  In spring they all grew back.Don't need to say more, Pansy has nailed it.I don;t lnow where you live, ours go outside March, usualy, they are soaked in a bucket of water, left to drain (most important)
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,299
    As you mentioned "fruit", I am assuming you mean a member of the citrus family.  I actually have a tree (in the conservatory now,  )which is called "The House Lime", or Indian Hemp, it's neither of these things really, correct name "Sparmannia Africana.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,224
    Here’s my lime tree, which just came indoors last week as the weather started to play a bit rough.

    Sitting in the conservatory with under floor heating, the flower buds have come on in leaps and bounds over the last few days.

    Ripening limes at the bottom of the photo.

    It will stay there until maybe May, when the last frosts are over.

    It’s in a terracotta pot, resting on three pot feet, which lessens the chances of the compost staying wet and rot setting into the roots.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,299
    What temp does the underfloor heating get up to pansy? I suppose the fact that the pot is on feet, helps it overheat, though suspect that is as drying as rads?
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,224
    There’s a thermostat on the wall, nanny beach, which is set at 19°, but when you walk on the tiles in bare feet they don’t feel especially warm.  More like, just not hippy hoppy skippy jumpy cold.🙂

    Not sure if the thermostat is talking about the air temperature either as I’ve never put a thermometer in the conservatory. It doesn’t feel warm enough to sit in for a long time without another heater being on unless the sun is shining. But mire comfy than the greenhouse.🙂
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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