Large Finger Lime
These instructions are sent with the plant gift
The finger lime (Citrus australasica) comes from Australia where the fruits are favourite for 'bush tucker'. Despite their southern origins these plants do surprisingly well in this country and the smaller leaves make them particularly hardy. This plant has been grafted onto a hardier root stock too so in sheltered areas of the UK it should be possible to grow them outside all year round. They have white flowers and coloured fruit and can bring pleasure for years with the right care.
If you are keeping your plant inside remember citrus trees like lots of light and a cool but not cold room. A light room near a window or a conservatory is ideal. In winter, try and keep your tree away from central heating and in the summer protect it from strong direct sunlight. If you are keeping your plant outside choose a sheltered patio and it will enjoy the fresh air. Don't let the roots freeze - if the ground is frozen outside then the plant should be inside, or the pot wrapped in fleece to protect from the worst of the cold.
When you water the plant, make sure you water the whole rootball all the way through until water dribbles out of the bottom. Water heavily when the top of the soil is dry and expect to water much more frequently in summer than in winter. In the summer, citrus trees will benefit from citrus feed every few weeks to encourage growth. There is a winter feed also, to encourage fruit and flowers.
Overwatering, underwatering and shock can all be a cause of leaf drop. One or two leaves is not something to worry about but more than 20 and your plant is in a grump. However, in most cases, return to a regular watering routine and temperature will lead to recovery. Our plants are grown in a pesticide free environment. In the unlikely event that you find any pests (including aphids or caterpillars) on your plant use a soft soap or pest spray to wash off the offending creatures and pick off any damaged leaves to keep the plant tidy.
The fruit of this tree is long and thin and finger sized and ripens in winter. When you open it up you will see the seeds inside - just like a pomegranate. Some call it lime caviar.