Are you looking to grow an Australian finger lime tree? If so, continue reading below to learn how to grow and care for one.
The Australian finger lime is a citrus fruit that is used for luxury foods around the world. It is often nicknamed "lime caviar" due to the small beads of zesty juice in the fruit.
The proper name is Citrus australasica and is a native to Queensland and New South Wales. But this citrus plant can grow elsewhere.
Read on to learn how to grow finger limes at home.
Buy an Australian Finger Lime Tree
Depending on where you live, you can buy an Australian finger lime tree from your local nursery.
Or, you can buy an Australian finger lime tree online right here at US Citrus.
Even if your plant is tiny to begin with, it will yield fruit after only a year or two.
Choose the Right Soil
The Australian finger lime can grow in a variety of soils with a pH of 5-7.
You will need to use well-draining soil for your lime tree. This will prevent root mold.
Finger Lime Tree Placement in the Yard
You want to place your finger lime tree in your yard in an area that is protected from winds.
Australian finger lime trees do best in full sun or dappled sunlight. If you live in a cooler clime, a north-facing direction that is partly shaded is best.
Finger lime trees, just like other citrus plants, make great hedges. They do well against fences and walls, too.
Finger limes can withstand a light frost. But, if your climate gets colder than that, it's best to plant your Australian finger lime tree in a pot and move it indoors during the cold months.
Water and Fertilize Your Lime Plant
You want to keep the soil of your finger limes moist, not wet. How often you will need to water your plant depends on where you live.
Use a liquid fertilizer once a month during spring and summer. Look for a liquid fertilizer that has a good supply of iron, manganese, and zinc.
Pruning Your Plant
Pruning lime trees will increase airflow, decrease the risk of disease, strengthen the limbs and make it easier to harvest fruits. You can prune a finger lime tree to any shape you want.
Flowers will bloom from small shoots where the leaves connect with the stem. If you get too much new growth on the tips of your tree's branches, you can prune them back. This will help keep your tree height where you want it.
If you use a pot, re-plant the finger lime tree in a larger pot when it gets too big for the current size.
Harvest Your Fruit
You'll know finger limes are ready to harvest when they pull off the branches easily. Ripe fruit won't fall off the tree, you need to pull them off.
If you pull fruit and it resists, try again a week later.
Ripe finger limes can be from 1-5 inches long. Even small fruits can be ripe so don't worry about the size.
Now you know how to plant and care for an Australian finger lime tree. All you have to do now is figure out what delicious recipe you will try first with your harvest.
Are you thinking about growing your lime tree in a pot?
Check out our article on how to grow Australian finger limes in containers.