Kaffir lime bush is dying quickly from unknown cause

Asked May 24, 2019, 12:01 AM EDT

Hello, I've had a kaffir lime plant for 6-7 years and it has been wonderfully healthy until late last season when it started to develop browning/rust along the midribs and margins of the leaves and has dramatically defoliated over the winter. The leaves turn pale and then rust-colored starting at the margins until they drop off the plant. The leaves seem to break off where the the two blades meet (each leaf is composed of two blades). The fruit is also affected with similar symptoms. I've asked a couple local nurseries and they have no answers for me. Have also searched far and wide on the internet and cannot find any photos that match the symptoms that my plant is exhibiting. I am desperate to save this treasured plant as I've enjoyed it tremendously for the past 6+ years and would hate to lose it. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Thank you for your question. It would be helpful to examine the leaves and fruit under a microscope to help diagnose. This is a comprehensive list of lime plant deficiencies and diseases: http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/C107/m107bpleaftwigdis.html But a more rarely encountered issue is the insect discussed here: http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/r107400511.html If you could bring samples to an Extension office most convenient to you, we could narrow down the options: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/mg/metro/have-gardening-question Good luck!