I have a lime tree inside behind the window in a pot. It's got a couple of fruits on it and it seemed to happily grow new foliage up until about 1 month (or so) ago. I also stopped watering it a few days ago as I thought it wasn't as thirsty anymore i.e. the soil would stay moist and not dry out. What could be the problem here? When I shake it, it doesn't drop any leaves. but also it doesn't have a whole lot of foliage on it...

The leaves on the bottom are rather new and on the branch on the left side, you can see a fruit, the largest on the tree (there's three smaller ones), too. enter image description here

I tried to take another picture to give you some better context but it's difficult as it's nice and sunny out.

enter image description here

When watering it, I've been using a fertilizer that contains:

  • Nitrogen
  • Available Phosphoric Acid
  • Soluble Potash
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Zinc
  • EDTA

Is that okay, should I keep using it or use just water or a different fertilizer?

1 Answer 1


This plant is growing under low light conditions and it has a typical nutrient deficiency. Chances are good the water you are using is alkaline and this has helped to change the pH of the soil so that the Iron and Manganese are no longer available. See here and here and here for details. You can deal with these issues by:

  • repotting with a tropical plant soil less mix
  • fertilize at quarter strength with a citrus fertilizer every other week for a few months
  • cut the plant down to a strong leader to encourage tree like growth
  • move to a much higher light situation and watch for spider mites

I see that you are using a fertilizer with a chelating agent, EDTA, so I am surprised to see the nutrient deficiency indicated by the veining on the leaves. (Dark veins, light green leaf). If you can find a fertilizer specifically for citrus which can be heavy feeders you should use that.

  • Yes, it does have spider mites! I've seen them. Thanks for the links! I have repotted it about 4 months or so ago, into a larger port and i used some citrus soil mixx to fill in the empty spaces
    – stdcerr
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 22:40
  • Please also see EDIT1 above, Thanks
    – stdcerr
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 22:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.