Since lime trees cannot survive freezing temperatures, they need to be grown in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 10. The trees grow best when planted on the south side of buildings, where they receive more protection from cold spells. The trees prefer well-drained soils. Newly planted trees require water every few days. From then on, regular watering the tree every seven to 10 days helps establish and maintain the tree.
People in the Middle East and India pierce the lime and suck the mild-flavored juice out of the fruit. The fruit also gets cooked and preserved for use in a variety of dishes. In India, sweet limes get used for their cooling effect on fevers or jaundice.
A major pest, the Asian citrus leafminer, causes problems for lime trees. This insect arrived in Florida in 1993. The moths form silvery trails in new leaves of the sweet lime tree, causing the leaves to curl up and turn gray before they crumble. While the leaves look ugly, leafminer causes little damage on mature sweet lime trees. On trees less than 4 years old, foliar sprays help reduce the chance of stunted growth.
water sufficiently to get your tree established and thereafter as necessary during dry periods. No one can give you a formula for that; you will have to observe and evaluate. Low volume spray irrigation can be used effectively, but drip irrigation is of little or no use in sandy soils.
The only pests we have known to attack olive trees outside of olive producing regions is an armored scale insect. It is not common but should be watched for, especially if your site has other species prone to harbor scale insects. Inspect the trees by looking under the leaves and in the branch axils for a dark bump the size of a “BB.” These insects do not move in the adult stage; they attach themselves like barnacles. The presence of sooty mold on leaves and bark, or ants crawling on your tree, indicates the presence of scale insects.
If scale is found, it may be treated with a variety of products, depending upon personal preference. It may also be removed by hand if you have only one or a few trees. If you have other plantings that attract pests such as thrips or stink bugs, these may also have a go at your olive tree. Consult your local garden center or pest control specialist about the control of pests. Regulations vary from place to place.
Finally, be sure to keep ant colonies away from your trees.
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