Lime trees belong in the rue family (Rutaceae). They are widely grown in tropical and subtropical areas for their edible acidic fruits. You can grow your own lime tree by purchasing our lime seedling. The lime fruit is a key ingredient in certain pickles and chutneys, and lime juice is used to flavor drinks, food, and confections.
Features and Benefits
- The tree seldom grows more than 5 meters high and if not pruned becomes shrublike.
- Its branches spread and are irregular, with short stiff twigs, small leaves, and many small sharp thorns.
- The evergreen leaves are pale green, and the small white flowers are usually borne in clusters.
- The fruit is usually about 3 to 4 cm in diameter, oval to nearly globular in shape, often with a small apical nipple.
- The peel is thin and greenish-yellow when the fruit is ripe.
- The pulp is tender, juicy, yellowish-green in color, and decidedly acid. Limes exceed lemons in both acid and sugar content.
How to Plant a Lime Tree
The steps for how to plant a lime tree are pretty much the same whether you plan on planting it in the ground or in a container.
- Make sure that where your lime tree will be planted will receive plenty of sunshine. If at all possible, choose a location that gets southern sun.
- Second, make sure the drainage is excellent. Growing lime trees in soil that does not have excellent drainage will kill your lime tree. Amend the soil to improve drainage to make sure that your lime tree will never be exposed to standing water.
- When backfilling the hole or container, be sure to make sure that the soil is firmly in place around the root ball. If a pocket of air is created, the tree will die. Tamp the soil continually or water the soil every few inches (7.5 to 12.5 cm.) while you backfill.
Note: If planting in the ground, make sure the soil around the tree is a little higher than the ground outside the planting hole to prevent the pooling of water around the lime tree.