Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hi Team

I have a grafted finger lime tree that has been bearing flowers for the last 6 years but they never set into fruits. Could you please advise me what is the problem.

Thank you.


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I have 7 citrus trees and have variable results. Best advice I can give is get the soil tested and you can see what you need to buy to get everything humming.

Thank you Craig. Sorry I forgot to mention that the other older citrus trees have no trouble bearing fruits.

Kind regards


Pictures and information about location (for the general soil type and climate) and actual soil type are always a good idea Angelene. Without a bit more to go on it's difficult for gardeners to give advice.

I don't personally grow any citrus but others, along with Craig :), might have more to add.

Thank you Lissa.

I also have seedling finger limes which flower but do not set fruit all my other citrus set well.


Well, mine set plenty of fruit. It would have been a seedling, planted it around 10-11 years ago and grubbed it out several years ago now. I planted it in a quite inhospitable site, western side clay underneath and little organic matter and I don't recall feeding or watering it.

What I didn't know was how spikey the plant would become and that it would have been best had I cut out all the internal branches to have the fruit only on the outside. Reaching in for the fruit was fraught with bloodied fingers.

There's a South American Auracaria sp tree called 'Monkey Puzzle' - trust me, this little native citrus is every bit as puzzling with twisted intertwined branches and spines.

Just thinking as I type suggests to me that maybe you are over-fertilising the plant. It grows in dry sclerophyll forests on slopes; it was growing naturally around the drier parts of the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

You may be killing it with kindness - it is certainly a true citrus but one adapted to the drier parts of Queensland.

Thank you Elaine. I doubt very much it was a seedling, because I could tell where it was grafted when I bought it. You could be right, it may have more water than it can handle. Thank you again.

Well the rootstock probably would be one of the commercial rootstocks perhaps adapted over time to generous nutrients and water. But the scion - the part which produces the fruit - is from a different branch of the citrus family which is adapted to harsher conditions. It's a guess at best.

Thank you again Elaine.


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