Main content area

A review of Thailand commercial success in growing lime (Citrus aurantifolia) in containers to control flowering time and canopy size

Issarakraisila, M.
Acta horticulturae 2018 no.1205 pp. 289-292
Citrus aurantiifolia, bamboos, buckets, canopy, cement, clay, flowering date, high density planting, irrigation, limes, markets, models, plastic bags, plastics, prices, pruning, rain, soft drinks, tires, trees, tropics, wet season, Thailand
There is a large demand of lime (Citrus aurantifolia) all year round in Thailand as it is a major ingredient of Thai food and also for cold drinks. However, the price of lime varies widely between high and low yield-months due to the large difference of supply in the market. Under the tropics, the flowering of lime is promoted by a dry period while it is limited by a rainy period; therefore the flowering and yields of limes are mainly dependent upon the yearly distribution of rainfall. Around fifteen years ago, research on growing limes in cement containers in the aim of controlling flowering by covering the container with plastic during rainfall was undertaken. Since then, growing lime in containers was progressively developed as a commercial practice. At present different kinds of containers are used commercially such as used tires, clay pots, bamboo baskets, plastic buckets and plastic bags of different sizes. When lime trees are grown in a container the size of tree canopy is reduced, therefore a high density planting was adopted. Efficient irrigation and fertilizing systems have been also developed along with pruning practices according to the plant spacing. Nowadays, growing lime in containers is widely spread to every region of Thailand as it provides a model for the control of flowering time and canopy size under tropical conditions. The varietal cultivation techniques will be shown and discussed.