Are you a fan of lime fruits? Growing your own lime trees is a rewarding and healthy experience! Below are six tips for growing lime trees you need to know!
Growing lime trees gives you the ability to just pop outside and grab a lime for your cocktail, key lime pie, or for flavoring your fish tacos! For example, Persian limes are considered the "gold standard" for cocktails and cooking and can give you a year-round supply of citrus fruit!
If you want to try your hand at growing a lime tree such as Persian lime trees or thornless key lime trees, keep reading for six tips for a flourishing lime harvest!
1. Don't Overwater
Lime trees need consistent water to grow, but you also don't want to overwater them. If you see drooping leaves that don't perk up after watering or leaves that are yellowing, you might be overwatering.
Depending on temperature & humidity, the amount you water your citrus tree can range, such as daily to once a week. This means that you should water enough that the soil is wet to about 6 inches. Once it becomes dry to 6 inches, it's time to water again.
Just like you don't want to overwater, you also don't want your lime tree to dry out. Wilting and drooping leaves can indicate that your tree needs more water.
2. Fertilize Often
In general, citrus trees are heavy feeders, and lime trees are no exception. You need to fertilize your citrus tree every couple of months with citrus plant food or slow-release fertilizer. You should also make sure the fertilizer has extra nitrogen. After the tree flowers, make sure you give them a good amount of fertilizer to keep them flowering and growing fruit.
3. Keep an Eye on the Temperature
Most citrus trees grow best in zones 8 through 11 in the US. Persian lime trees, however, are the most cold-hardy of the lime trees. Even still, you shouldn't leave citrus trees outside if the temperature drops below 50 degrees.
If you live in a cold-weather area, plant your citrus trees in pots that can be brought indoors if the temperature is going to drop below 50.
4. Prune Regularly
If you've ever picked citrus fruit before, you know that the trees have thorns that are rather prickly and painful when picking. You can always go with a thornless key lime tree variety, but if you are set on Persian limes, be sure to prune your citrus tree regularly to make picking painless. If you cut the thorns off, it won't impact the tree, so don't be afraid to do that.
5. Know When to Harvest
When limes are completely ripe, they turn yellow. But wait, does that mean they are lemons? No, it doesn't.
The limes that we buy at the store or get in our drinks are green, meaning they are picked before they begin to turn yellow. The most flavorful stage for limes is when they are still green but are starting to develop a yellowish tint.
When deciding whether your limes are ready to be picked, take a look at the skin to check the color.
6. Watch Out for Pests
Citrus trees are prone to pests, like aphids and caterpillars, particularly the orange dog caterpillar. Make sure you are watching your trees for any signs of pests and getting rid of them as soon as possible so they don't kill your trees.
Growing Lime Trees is Simple
If you follow these rules, growing thornless key lime trees or growing Persian lime trees is simple and you don't have to have a green thumb to do it. Make sure you are taking care of your lime tree regularly and you'll be enjoying a bountiful lime harvest year-round!
Growing trees is fun, but if you want to have delicious, seasonal citrus fruit right away, join the Craft Citrus Club!
Get a curated box of fresh-harvested citrus fruit from South Texas sent to your door every month!