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I have a Tahiti lime tree which has suffered from drought whilst I was away in September.

The leaves had all turned yellow on my return. 😱

The plant has a sentimental value so I tried to revive it and it has recently developed two suckers at the base.

I can't see any clear sign of the plant being grafted.

I am reluctant to cut the suckers as they are the only sign of life in the plant. Also I am not too precious about the plant being pretty as long as it's alive.

Should I prune the suckers or should I wait and see what comes next?

If it helps at all I'm in the UK (winter) but the plant lives inside.

suckers

plant

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The tree is alive and the suckers appear to be “true to form” for a Tahitian lime. While I cannot see / observe a graft, it appears at least one of the suckers is well above where a citrus tree is normally grafted.

My advice, do two things...

  1. Buy a small bag of premium citrus potting mix. When the soil mixture in the pot is dry and the plant is ready for its next watering, instead do the following... Lift the plant out of its pot and shake off any old potting mix. Cut off old (black and stringy) dead roots. While you are preparing the pot, place the plant, root ball fully submerged, in a tub / bucket of water with half strength liquid seaweed tonic. Place some of the new potting mix in the base of the pot. Trim off any of the really fragile, spindly branches. Leave some of the stronger, thicker branches - citrus trees are amazing in what they may begin to regrow from. Do not cut the new growth. After about a half hour in the water, place the tree back in the pot and push new potting mix around the sides (don’t pack it in, just gently push it in so there is still plenty of air in the mix). (Note: As the soil settles over time and after each watering, you may need to “top up” the potting mix.) With the tree repotted, sprinkle a thin layer of decomposed cow manure across the soil surface. If you can find some fine pea straw or lucerne (alfalfa) hay, lay this over the soil surface at least 2.5cm / 1in deep. The combination of cow manure and mulch will help to rebuild soil microbiology. Healthy soil = healthy plant.

  2. Patience is the greatest virtue in gardening. Wait until next summer. When the plant begins to grow again, you will be able to “finish” pruning off the old growth that is definitely and obviously dead. In the meantime, leave the plant inside, place in a sunny warm position in your home and do not overwater during the cooler (winter) months.

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