Growing Limes at Home
Limes are a popular ingredient in the kitchen. The freshly squeezed juice is a very refreshing drink. The flavour of lime is brilliant in all sorts of kitchen creations including cakes, desserts, marmalades, marinades and are the perfect garnish to add a fresh burst to cocktails and other drinks.
Tahitian Limes are the most popular lime and are very hardy and crop heavily. They make an excellent container feature.
Lime Bearss is a hardier selection of Tahitian lime with small, thin skinned, deep green seedless fruit which turns lime yellow at maturity. Tree habit is spreading and vigorous.
Kaffir Limes are mainly grown for the leaves and are an essential ingredient in Asian cuisine.
Mexican Limes, otherwise known as ‘The Bartenders Lime is a small green fruit.
Limes in pots and small spaces. There are varieties of dwarf limes available that are ideal for smaller gardens and pots on patios and balconies. These are grafted to produce beautiful full sized and full favoured fruits on a small growing tree.
Preparation and Planting
- Choose the variety best suited to your location and needs.
- Select a sunny position with well-drained soil.
- Limes need protection from frost until established as they do not tolerate heavy frosts.
- Dig a hole twice the size that is needed and dig in a high-quality soil improver and some organic Citrus fertiliser.
- Remove the new lime plant from the container and tease the roots to encourage root growth into the soil.
- Position the plant in the hole and backfill with the blend of soil/soil improver and gently firm down. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant’s root zone to keep water where it’s needed.
- Water in well after planting and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes.
Caring for your Lime
- Although quite drought tolerant once established, limes like a good regular supply of water for reliable fruit production. Water your tree every 7 to 10 days during the summer.
- Limes produce fruit for most of the year and require generous applications of citrus food. It is best to fertilise your trees in late summer/early autumn and again in late winter/early spring. Be sure to follow the directions on the packet and water well before and after the application.
- Left unpruned a Tahitian Lime can grow to 4m high. Pruning your tree is important to not only maintain a manageable sized tree but to ensure good healthy growth and an abundant harvest of fruit. Pruning is best completed in late winter/early spring before the time of peak growth. Prune for a good shaped tree and remove any weak or damaged branches.
- Pest Watch. There are a few pests and diseases that may affect lime trees. These include Scale, Leaf Miner, Stink Bugs and Sooty Mould. We highly recommend using GroVentive Garden Two Way Insecticide. If you spot a problem, bring in a picture and we can advise on the best method of control.
Enjoy the convenience of a continuous harvest of fresh and tasty limes from your own tree.