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How to Care for a Lime Tree With Curled Leaves

By Tracy Morris ; Updated September 21, 2017

When lime trees are stressed by especially hot or cold weather or are attacked by insects and fungus, the symptoms often include curled leaves. Leaves that are attacked by leaf miners will curl or cup inward, and have squiggly lines on the surface. Aphid damage may appear long after aphids have left the plant. Leaf curl, known more famously as peach leaf curl, is caused by a fungus known as Taphrina deformans. If your lime tree's leaves are curling, you need to take steps to address the problem.

Move potted lime trees to a new location if they exhibit signs of leaf curl caused by extreme weather conditions. Leaves that curl from cold weather will have rust-colored spots on the back side. Warm weather stress can cause leaves to cup, but will not mark the leaves.

Examine leaves for aphids, which appear as little, mite-like brown, white or yellow insects. Most of the time, aphids will have departed before leaves begin to curl. However, if you find any aphids on your leaves, gently wash the leaves and branches of your tree with an insecticidal soap.

Spray leaves with an insecticidal oil to remove leaf miners. Prune away any curling leaves to remove any miners that you may have missed.

Spray leaves with a copper-based fungicide if leaves appear puckered and reddish. This is a sign of the leaf curl fungus.


Things You Will Need

  • Insecticidal soap
  • Insecticidal oil
  • Copper-based fungicide


  • Citrus tree leaves can also curl inward to stress caused by too much watering, cold or heat. Leaves that curl inward will appear different from leaves that curl due to pest infestation.
  • Always wear protective clothing, gloves and breathing protection when working with insecticides.

About the Author


Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.