The Indian sweet lime or Mosambi is an exception to the usual tart lime. This sweet fruit is primarily cultivated in India, North Vietnam, Egypt, Tropical America and countries along the Mediterranean coastline. In America, the tree is mostly grown for ornamental purposes but in the other countries, these fruits are used for culinary purposes and also as rootstock.
The Sweet Lime is a hybrid between Mexican type of lime and a sweet citron. It was introduced to America in 1904 from Saharanpur, India.
The Indian sweet lime is very sensitive about the temperature. Therefore, it is better to plant them in a container so that they can be moved with respect to weather changes. The tree should be protected against frost or too much cold. Watering should be done according to the weather as the water requirements vary depending on the temperature.
The plants need much light. Therefore they should be kept in a spot where they receive bright light. The plants are very fussy about the temperatures. Neither should they be exposed to the frost nor should be kept at very high temperatures. The temperatures should be above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
The sweet limes need water once every week if planted in a garden. If they are potted, then watering once every day should be enough. The soil should not be kept soggy.
The Indian Sweet limes prefer a soil with good drainage properties. The plant cannot stand soggy soil.
The most common problem with these plants is leaf curling. This usually happens due to improper watering. If new leaves are coming out curled, the plant is either being overwatered or underwatered.
Leaf curling can also be induced by pests like aphids, spider mites, leaf miners etc. Pests can be controlled by applying neem oil to the plants.
If none of the above options are applicable, it is possible that the tree is suffering from bacterial or fungal diseases. Spraying a copper-based fungicide is recommended after the disease has been identified.
The trees have serrated leaves and almost wingless petioles. The fruits are yellow-green in colour and have a sweet taste.
In America, the sweet lime is generally used for ornamental purposes. However, in other countries, it is used for edible purposes and also as rootstock for sweet orange and other citrus fruits.
The Mosambi serves as a popular fruit that can be eaten fresh or can be made into drinks. It is also said that this fruit works wonders in improving the skin and hair quality.