Grape Fruit, Lime and Lemon

Grape fruit, lime and lemon: Importance, cultivation and management practices

Also read: Cultivation of Sweet Orange

Grape fruit

Botanical name: Citrus paradise
Family: Rutaceae
Origin: West India

The grape fruit trees bear fruits in cluster like grapes. Hence is it known as grape fruit.
Fruits ripen during September-October
Fruits should be harvest when green colour changes to yellow.
Yield goes up to 300 fruits per tree.
Grape fruit can tolerate highest temperature (48 °C ).

It is under limited cultivation in home garden and border plants.

Grape fruit is susceptible to tristeza virus.


Important varieties are Marsh, Duncan, Marsh-seedless, Sharanpur special,
Foster, Thompson, Ruby, Ganganagar special and Triumph.
Variety developed by mutation breeding is Star Rubi.

Lime and Lemon


Botanical name: C. aurantifolia (Lime)
C. limon (Lemon)

India is the largest producer of lime in the world.
Andhra Pradesh leads in lime production in India.
Acid lime or kagzi lime are native to India.
Lime is good source of vitamin C.
Acid lime is propagated by seed and resistant to viral infection.
They are also be planted by air layering and stem cutting.
Planting time is July to September.
Ideal spacing is 4-5 x 6 meters.

India’s ranks 5th among the major lime and lemon producing country.
Acid lime/Kagzi lime is highly polyembryonic spp. and mostly cultivated in
Andhara Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Sweet lime is mainly cultivated in Punjab and Tamil Nadu.
Lemon and lime are resistant to cold injury.

Types of lime

Sweet lime

Botanical name: Citrus limon
Native place: India.

It is self incompatible.
Sweet lime contains Non acid juice.

Resistant to greening

Tahiti lime

Botanical: Citurs latifolia

It is triploid.

It is sterile (produces unviable pollen)
Produce seedless fruit.

Rangpur lime

Botanical name: Citrus limonis osbeck
Native place: India

It is fairly tolerant to frost.


Botanical name: Citrus grandish
Largest fruit.
Self incompatible.

Kagzi lime

Indicator plant for tristeza virus and is highly susceptible to this disease.

Acid lime

It is a tropical plant.
Optimum temperature for Rangpur lime is 20-30 °C.
Acid lime grows well in 1000 m from M.S.L.

Important variety of acid lime

Pramalini: It is tolerant to canker.
Chakradhan: Seedless variety of acid lime
Sai Sarbati: Itis tolerant to tirsteza and canker.

Jai Devi: It has pleasant aroma.
Other important variety are Vikram, PKM-1

Important variety of sweet lime

Mitha chikna.

Soil requirement

Black and light loamy soil
Soil depth 2-2.5 m
The optimum soil pH is 6-7.5

Manure and fertilizer

FYM: 50 kg/tree/year.
N:P:K ratio is 900:200:500 gm/tree/year.


Irrigation interval in winter is 10-15 days.
Irrigation interval for summer is 5-7 days.
Drip irrigation gives highest fruit yield and saves water up to 22 – 50 %.

Growth regulator

For increasing shelf life: Deeping of fruits in 12 % waxol.
Most commonly used growth regulator for increasing shelf life is 2,4-D, 2-4-5-T.
Other growth regulator used are GA3 (200-500 ppm) and Cytokinin (10-25


Acid lime can be stored for 6- 8 weeks at 8-10 °C in 85-90 % relative


Botanical name: Citrus lemon
Planting time is February-March
Lemon grows well upto 1200 m from M.S.L.
Lemon is more tolerant to frost than acid lime.
Lemon is self incompatible


It can be grown in sandy loam and loamy soil.

Soil depth is 1 m.

Manure and fertilizer

FYM: 50 kg /tree/year.
N: 500 gm/tree/year.


Irrigation interval in winter is 10-15 days.

Irrigation interval for summer is 5-7 days.


8-12 weeks at 7-8.6 °C in 85-90 % relative humidity.

Important variety

Lucknow seedless
Nepali oblong
Nepali round


It is loose skinned orange.
Botanical name: Citurs reticulate
Most common citrus fruits grown in India.
It occupies 50% of total citrus area in India
Mandarin seeds are 70-80% polyembryonic.

Climate and soil

Grow well in frost free tropical and subtropical region.

It can be cultivated at an altitude of 379-1500 m from MSL.
The optimum temperature for growth is 10-35 °C.
Rainfall is 100-120 cm (1000-1200 mm) annum.
Medium to light loamy soil with good drainage condition are ideal.
Optimum soil pH is 6-8.

Propagation and planting

Commercial method of propagation is T or shield budding.
Since seeds are polyembryonic, they produce true to type and thus it can also
be propagated by seeds.
Planting is generally done during monsoon (August-September)

Planting system: Square system.
Pit size: 50 X 50 X 50 cm.
Spacing: 4.5 x 6.0 m.
For khashi mandarin: 4.5 X 4.5 m.
Kinnow mandarin: 5.0 X 4.5 m.
Nagpur mandarin: 6 X 6 m.
Croog mandarin: 5 X 5 m.

Training and pruning

Mandarin trees should be low headed with a dome like crown.
Pruning is done in the initial years of planting.
Training: Single stem system with 4-6 branches.

Manure and fertilizers

FYM: 20-25 kg + 0.4 kg N (Calcium Ammonium nitrate) per tree should be
applied at planting time.

NPK: 90 gm each /tree (1st year.)

In 7th year apply NPK at 450, 450, 900 gm/tree.


Intercropping should be rooted and is of short duration.
Example: Cowpea, Pea and Gram.
It depends on water holding capacity of soil, climatic conditions, plant age and

Irrigation interval

Winter season: 10-15 days.

Summer season: 5-7 days.

Weed control

Most effective for controlling monocot and dicot weeds Bromocil 6 kg/ha.

For controlling perennial grasses: Glyphosate 5 l per hectare.
Simazine is highly effective (5 kg/ha)

Crop regulation

Mandarin, flowers thrice in a year.
The February flowering is known as ambe bahar.
June flowering is known as mrig bahar.
Oct flowering is known as haste Bahar.
Under such circumstances (3 times flowering), plant produce irregular and small

For controlling these, bahar treatment is done (Bahar treatment = Root
exposure treatment).

In bahar treatment, the plants are exposed to sun by removing up to 7-10 cm
soil and 40-60 cm around the tree trunk and water is withheld for one to
two months before flowering.
During this period water stress occur, leaves show wilting.
Roots are again covered with FYM and soil and irrigated immediately and thus
plant gives new vegetative growth, profuse flowering and fruiting.
During April the farmer prefer, Mrig bahar treatment due to water scarcity.


Budded trees start bearing from 5th year.
Seeded trees start bearing from 7-8th year.
Sugar content during harvesting is 8.
Economic fruiting period is up to 15 years.


1000-1500 fruits per year per tree.

Physiological disorders

Fruit drop.

Fruit drop

May occur in three different stages.
1st fruit drop starts soon after fruit setting.
2nd fruit drop starts during May-June known as June drop.
3rd fruits starts during pre harvest and it is known as pre harvest drop.

Reasons /causes of fruit drop

Fluctuating temperature.
Low atmospheric humidity.

Imbalance soil moisture.
Lack of nutrition.
Hormonal imbalance.

Insect-pest incidence.


Application of growth regulator like 2–4-D (10 ppm), NAA (5 ppm) 2-4-5-T (5
Application of Aurefungin @ 20 ppm control fruit drops by controlling fungal


Physiological disorder of juice sac of citrus.
Juice sac becomes hard.
Concentration of pectin substance increases and juice content reduce there by.
Moreover sugar and acid content gets reduced and as a result they become
tasteless or colorless.
Granulation mostly occurs in young plants than old plants.


High relative humidity.
High temperature during spring.


Application of lime reduce granulation (lime includes acidity).
Reduction in irrigation also decreases granulation.
Application of 2-4-D (12 ppm)

Citrus decline

Trees do not die completely but remain unproductive.
After a prolong fruit production from citrus orchard, the bearing capacity gets
reduce on decline and this is known as citrus decline.

Dieback may also occur in citrus decline under severe condition and that is why
sometimes it is known as dieback in case of citrus decline.


High pH
Poor drainage
High salt concentration
Unwisely fertilizers use.

Insect-pest incidence



Improvement in soil fertility.
Control of insect pest.

Coorg: important commercial variety fro South India.
Nagpur mandarin – World’s finest mandarin.
Satsuma (seedless)

Emperor: Australian introduction.
Sutwal: Introduction from Nepal.
Others important varieties are
Khasi, Feutrall’s early, Srinagar, Laddu etc.
Kinnow: (1st generation hybrid) = King × Willow leaf.

In India it was first introduced in Punjab (1959).
Developed by N. B Frost in USA (1935).
King (citrus Nobilis) X Willow leaf (Citrus deliciosa)

Important points

Mandarins are highly susceptible to water logging.
Suitable root stock for High Density Planting.
Troyer citrange (1.8 X 1.8 m)
Polyembryonic: Mandarin, sweet orange, acid lime and grape fruits.
Mandarins are commercially propagated by ‘T’ budding.
Nuclear clone of mandarin: Frost, Washington Naval orange, Valencia.
Some important points
Rangpur lime is suitable rootstock for mandarin and sweet orange.
Pummelo, Tahati lime, Citron are Monoembryonic.
Citrus require micronutrients.
Bitter taste of citrus fruit juice is due to lemolin (Glucoside.)

India’s position in lime and lemon production is Fifth.
Classification of citrus: By Tanka and Swingle.(1945)
Largest exporter of citrus in world is Spain.
Break fast fruit is known as Grape fruit.
Citron is known as Persian Apple.
Glucoside present in Persian Apple is hesperidine.