So, your Finger Lime has looked promising with its many little flower buds and then all of a sudden, they’re gone and there’s no fruit forming either. Not again!
We get this question about Finger Limes from lots of keen gardeners and while it’s hard to be precise as to what the problem is, we can narrow it down to a few key things.
Six reasons why your finger lime isn’t producing fruit:
1. Not enough water during fruit set
It’s critical to water your finger lime tree during fruit set – especially if you have it in a pot. Make sure you are watering it twice a week to ensure the soil is moist. To test, insert a couple of fingers in the soil close to the trunk of your finger lime. If it’s damp, great! If it’s dry, then time for water! Not enough water will result in the tiny fruit dropping and leaving you with no finger limes for summer!
2. Not enough sunshine
While the finger lime is a rain forest plant, we know they LOVE full sun. As long as you are regularly watering your finger lime, you should find it will respond well to a very sunny position.
South East Queensland and Northern NSW are where finger limes naturally grow. Western Australia also has success with finger limes but it’s the humidity of NSW and Queensland that sees finger limes burgeoning and reaching their full potential. Dry, arid or frosty and colder climates will challenge the hardiest of these varieties and usually see you losing your fruit to frosts. If possible, have your finger lime in a hot house for the colder months to recreate the tropical vibes of its natural environment.
There’s plenty of talk about the significant reduction in bee numbers all over the world. For keen gardeners and farmers alike it’s important to have plenty of flowers and plants that attract the bees to your garden and orchards to get them to do their work. As with any fruit, finger lime flowers are pollinated by native and honey bees – if the flowers aren’t pollinated, your finger lime tree won’t produce fruit. Alternatively, you can try pollinating yourself with a small, clean and sterilised paint brush.
Single finger lime trees seem to be particularly prone to not producing any fruit. Having two or more in your garden or pots seems to provide our friends with the success they are looking for – no doubt the bees doing their pollination work also contributes to this point.
Regular feeding with a nitrogen phosphorus and potassium fertiliser should give you great results with your finger lime tree. Just be sure to make the right dilution and do not fertilize while your plant is flowering. Before or after is OK.
Let us know how your plant is doing or if you’ve got a question, contact us here.