finger limes

Cultural Practices for Finger Limes

Daniel CooperEvents, Limes

finger limes

At a recent finger lime field day, horticulturist Tripti Vashisth reported that most citrus rootstocks do well with finger limes. She said that Volkamer lemon and X-639 create the most vigorous trees, and that they and US-812 seem to be promising rootstocks for finger limes.

Vashisth is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) associate professor of horticultural sciences at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred. Her presentation, Best Horticultural Practices for Finger Lime, came during an April 24 finger lime field day at the CREC.  

Other take-home messages on finger limes that Vashisth reported were:  

  • Good nutrition is essential for good canopy growth.
  • 150 to 200 pounds of nitrogen per acre per year is ideal to promote canopy growth. 
  • The scion is important for fruiting characteristics.
  • Manual pruning to open the canopy is essential once trees are more than 5 years old.

Vashisth also provided the following general guidelines for finger lime fertilization and irrigation:

  • Foliar sprays to influence fruit quality can be beneficial.
  • For fruiting trees, potassium sprays can help with improving fruit size.
  • Potassium and calcium can improve peel integrity.
  • Good irrigation is critical for fruit size and improving fruit retention; drought stress should be avoided.

She also reported that in finger lime trials, conventional fertilizer improved canopy growth better than controlled-release fertilizer.

Manjul Dutt, UF/IFAS assistant professor of horticultural sciences at the CREC, also discussed cultural practices for finger limes. He reported that finger limes require much less fertilizer and pesticide input compared to conventional citrus. Dutt added that finger lime trees begin to flower and fruit within a year after planting, and that stable production is obtained after the third year.

In addition to his comments about cultural practices, Dutt presented an introduction to the finger lime.

The field day also included a report on consumer and food industry representative views of finger limes.

Share this Post

About the Author

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large

Sponsored Content