food insects tree

Lemon and Lime


I bought a lemon and a lime tree last year. The Tropical Nursery advised that I plant Nasturtiums around them to prevent aphids. Apparently the insects would rather eat the juicy flowers than bother to climb up the tree. Something has almost destroyed the Nasturtiums, or maybe they are just at the end of their growing period. I have now planted marigold seedlings. The leaves of the trees have been eaten up. And the unusually wet Durban has brought out snails by the million. What to do about them, what to do?


7 replies on “Lemon and Lime”

Hi Julia

I would suggest the following:

Sprinkle salt around them / lay beer traps / pick ’em off and toss them in a bucket of soapy water / squash ’em 🙂 ;


get coffee grounds from your local coffee shop and sprinkle round your trees;


sprinkle diatomaceous earth round the trees;


We have planted lemon trees and find that the (large) grasshopper / locusts love citrus leaves. We spray them with an eco-friendly spray (I’ve given the recipe on my blog

Hope one of these help.


Hi Julia, I get up early in the morning, catch the snails, put them in a bucket and take it to my friend’s chickens. That way everybody is happy and while you catch the snails you can make a list of what to do next.

Dear Julia

Lemons are part of the citrus family (I would also have a look to see if perhaps the leaves have been eaten by caterpillars as opposed to snails, or slugs). Swallowtails use the citrus family as a host plant to lay its eggs. My understanding is that Swallowtails will use the broad family of citrus, which is not always the case since butterflies are quite host specific, Should this be the case it is nature’s pruning and no doubt the leaves will grow back soon.

Citrus belongs to the family Rutaceae, which include our KZN Vepris lanceolata (White-Ironwood) and Zanthoxylum capense (Small Knobwood), Teclea natalensis (Natal Cherry-orange) and Calodendrum capense (Cape-chestnut) to name but a few. Exotics in KZN of this group include the Murraya’s, the Curry leaf tree and the Orange Jasmine.


Update is —— the marigolds didn’t last two days. They were eaten by something. Thank you for all the tips. I will certainly try some out.
My husband takes great delight in squishing the snails when he sees them, but I don’t have the stomach for that. I thought of putting salt down but didn’t know how that would affect the Ph of the soil.
I know someone with chickens. That way everybody wins!

For aphids – I was told to take a couple of cigarettes and break them open in a jar, pour a litre of boiling water over them and leave them overnight. Strain the liquid and spray them on the leaves of the plant. Has anyone tried this? Does it work?

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