Treating Whitefly on Lime Trees

White Fly

Treating Whitefly on Lime Trees

I have a problem with my lime bush. It has a black film over some of its leaves and what appears to be tiny whiteflies. It’s a large bush but produces very few limes. How can I improve the health of this bush?

It sounds like the leaves of your lime tree are covered with a black sooty mould that lives on the saliva of insects such as whitefly (or scale insects). They often gather in large numbers under the leaves of limes and numerous other plants. 

Spraying regularly with water at high pressure and a fine mist will disrupt the whiteflies and to a certain extent, wash off the sooty mould. Repeat this practice two to three times a day, for three to four days and the whitefly population will rapidly diminish. You must direct the hose to the underside of the leaves as this is where the whiteflies live. Alternatively, spray with a good quality Horticultural Oil or Neem Oil. 

Healthy trees are less prone to pests and diseases so regular attention and feeding are important to improve the plant's vitality and fruit cropping. Apply Daltons Garden Time Fruit & Citrus Fertiliser during spring/early summer (not during the peak of summer) and again through the autumn months. Apply a good layer of mulch around the tree over the dry summer months and ensure the area where the plant is growing is well-drained because they do not grow well in wet, cold soils.

Fruiting of limes can be very frustrating! Some limes do not produce significant crops until the tree is up to seven years old, while others produce fruit a few years earlier. Be patient, you will harvest lots of limes each season once the tree commences fruiting.

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