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    Citrus Simplified

    Top 5 Tips for Growing a Kaffir Lime Tree Indoors

    Top 5 Tips for Growing a Kaffir Lime Tree Indoors

    Are you thinking about growing a kaffir lime tree indoors? If so, read on to learn the top 5 tips for optimal indoor growing.

    Kaffir lime leaves are the epitome of many Asian cuisines!

    While this dwarf citrus tree can grow outdoors up to 5 feet tall, it's actually best suited for indoors. When confined to a container with adequate drainage, the tree can reach a maximum height of about 3 feet.

    Apart from providing a constant supply of Kaffir lime leaves for your dishes, the tree will also complement your interior design.

    Use these five effective tips to grow your Kaffir tree indoors.

    1. Use a Large Potka

    Choose a pot that is at least 18 inches wide and that can hold at least 5 gallons of soil. The tree will need to be re-potted after every three years. You can upgrade the container at this point if need be.

    There are several container options for growing kaffir limes in a container. You can use a wooden planter, a plastic barrel, a decorative pot, or just about any container with good drainage holes. Fabric pots are another great option. While they don't have holes, their fabric mesh allows proper soil aeration and drainage.

    2. Choose the Right Potting Soil

    For all citrus trees, it's recommended to go for moist, well-drained potting soil with neutral pH. During its growing stage, the tree will require a somewhat humid soil condition. Since the air indoors is mostly too dry for citrus plants, it's advisable to increase the moisture by misting your Kaffir tree with a small humidifier.

    However, keep in mind that the tree's roots can easily rot if constantly kept on wet soil. For best results, allow the potting soil to dry out after the daily waterings.

    3. Provide Adequate Sunlight

    Kaffir lime trees require six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily for best results. For maximum sunlight exposure, place the tree next to the window. Also, turn the tree every week to ensure all sides get equal sunlight for proper growth.

    You can also supplement the natural sunlight with artificial lighting. These specialized light fixtures mimic the attributes of natural sunlight to stimulate the growth process of your citrus tree. They also regulate the temperature conditions of the plant. Lime trees enjoy indoor temperatures of about 16°C (60 F), especially during the cold season.

    4. Choose the Right Fertilizer

    Kaffir trees require both macronutrients and micronutrients to grow properly. Macronutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, while micronutrients include iron, zinc, and manganese.

    A citrus fertilizer will typically contain all these minerals. Make sure you follow the directions on the package to know when and how much fertilizer you should apply.

    5. Prune Your Lime Tree

    Kaffir trees should be pruned while still young. This encourages proper branching and the growth of healthier leaves.

    When it's fully grown, you can prune the tree at any time to keep it in shape. It's okay to remove the thorns on the tree because they don't serve any purpose indoors. What's more, they can be dangerous to your kids and pets.

    Where to Buy a Kaffir Lime Tree

    Want to grow your own lime tree at home?

    At US Citrus, we offer healthy high-quality Kaffir lime trees. We'll get your tree shipped to your home in the shortest time possible.

    How to Care for a Kaffir Lime Tree

    How to Care for a Kaffir Lime Tree

    Are you growing a Kaffir lime tree at your home? Learn how to care for a Kaffir lime tree below!

    Are you fond of Asian cuisine? If so, then you'll love the Kaffir lime tree.

    The leaves are a key ingredient in Thai cooking such as curry and coconut-based dishes. It's also used in other Southeast-Asian cuisines because of their intense citrus aroma.

    Because of the pleasant smell, you can dry the leaves and turn it into potpourri. The leaves are also rich in essential oils which you can extract by DIY methods.

    Just having the plant present will fill any room with an enjoyable scent. Added to the fact that these plants have a unique look and are resilient, they're one of the best houseplants to own and care for.

    While the Kaffir lime can survive in less-than-ideal conditions, you still need to do specific things for optimal growth. Read on.

    The Kaffir Lime Tree Loves Sunlight

    Like other citrus trees, the Kaffir grows best in a subtropical climate. This means warm weather and plenty of sunlight.

    Ideally, you want them to be exposed to sunlight for eight to twelve hours. You'll rarely find a spot in your home with that much natural light so just put them near a sunny window. If needed, you can supplement with fluorescent plant lights.

    During the summer, you can move the Kaffir outside if you wish. However, make the transition gradual. Expose the plant to more sun bit by bit each day.

    When the weather starts getting cold, carry the Kaffir tree back inside your home. Freezing temperatures are fatal for the warm-loving citrus trees.

    Don't Go Loco with H2O

    The Kaffir tree prefers moist but well-drained soil. You can water thoroughly if you notice that the surface of the soil has become dry. But you should allow the compost to dry out some between watering sessions, especially during winter.

    You don't want the soil to become too wet and soggy. Kaffirs are prone to root rot.

    During dry weather, you should mist the leaves to increase the humidity around them. Another method to increase the humidity is to put a garden saucer under the pot which holds the tree.

    Groom for the Best Look

    Pruning is an important part in the care of this citrus tree. Pruning encourages branching and also helps you maintain its small stature.

    The method used is to cut at a 45-degree angle above the leaf node. Try to remove damaged branches to maintain a healthy plant.

    Pollination Isn't a Priority

    Unlike the leaves, the fruit of the Kaffir lime has limited use because of its minuscule juice production. The fruit is not the focus of growing a Kaffir lime tree.

    The fruit does have some use in cleaning and hair conditioning. If you want to stimulate fruit production, pollination has to be done by hand if you're growing a Kaffir tree indoors. You can do this by using a dry paintbrush that you can dab on each flower.

    Keep Pests Away

    Kaffir trees are usually tough vs common pests but can become susceptible to mites or scales. This usually happens when the plant is exposed to other plants with infestation when you bring them outside.

    As always, vigilance is key. You want to do regular inspections for insects and remove affected parts as necessary. If the damage is extensive, you can try a DIY organic insect spray or resort to using a commercial insecticide.

    Care for Some Kaffir?

    The Kaffir lime tree is a very interesting plant and it's well worth it to know how to take care of it properly. With this knowledge, you'll have plenty of leaves to use on your favorite Asian dishes.

    Learn more about the Kaffir lime and tree in our previous article about Kaffir lime and tree history, drinks, and characteristics.

    If you think the Kaffir is cool, we have articles on other amazing members of the citrus family, like the Meyer lemon and the Persian lime, that you're gonna love.

    Keep visiting our blog for everything citrus!

    Top 6 Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits

    citrus fruits

    Citrus fruits should be a part of your regular diet. Read on to learn about the top six benefits of citrus fruits.

    Every year, there are more than 120 million tons of citrus fruits produced all over the world. That makes citrus trees the most important of all fruit tree crops in the world.

    In fact, the United States is one of the biggest consumers of citrus produce. Back in 2015, folks in the U.S. consumed 517,500 tons of oranges alone! That's about seven per cent of the entire global consumption.

    After all, these fruits are so tasty and versatile they're perfect for dishes and drinks. For many of us, mornings won't be complete without a refreshing glass of OJ. Citrus fruits are great for low-cal snacking too.

    But most important of all is the long list of health benefits citrus fruits deliver. We'll take a look at six of them, so make sure you keep reading!

    1. Cancer-Fighting and -Protecting Properties

    A Harvard study backs this up. It discovered components in citrus fruits that can reduce esophageal cancer risks. These components include Vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids, and folate.

    Another study also found citrus tree fruits to have antiangiogenic properties. This means they aid in keeping the spread of cancer at bay.

    The American Cancer Society also says these fruits help reduce stomach cancer risks.

    There are many other studies that support these findings. But the above should be enough to get more citrus in your system!

    2. Lower Risks of Stroke in Women

    Many fruits of the citrus tree family are chock-full of flavanones. They're compounds that studies, like this one, have found to have stroke-reducing properties. They can help bring down the risks of stroke in women by as much as 19%!

    Best of all, the list of citrus fruits containing these compounds is quite the long one! That means you have many options to choose from, aside from oranges and grapefruits. The Kaffir lime fruit is one such addition to your diet you should consider.

    3. Helps with Weight Loss or Maintenance Goals

    The mandarin fruit, as well as oranges and lemons, make for great weight loss snacks. Aside from the fact that they're rich in antioxidants, they're also low in calories. Plus, they boast high fiber and water content, which makes and keeps you feeling full.

    4. Keeps Your Crown Healthy, Shiny, and Full

    Two-thirds of American men aged 35 suffer from noticeable hair loss. But it's not a problem restricted to males. As many as 40% of those suffering from such conditions are females.

    Lucky us then, because citrus fruit benefits include healthier strands! Aside from making hair less prone to breaking, they also help lower hair loss risks too.

    5. Prevents Kidney Stone Formation

    Low citrate levels in urine pave the way for the formation of kidney stones. The good news is, you can protect yourself from this by drinking more fresh citrus juices. Especially fresh lemon juice, which has higher citric acid content than OJ.

    6. Lowers Stress Levels for a Happier You

    Too much cortisol (AKA the "stress hormone") in your system makes your stress levels go up. Elevated blood pressure, especially in a high-anxiety situation, does the same thing.

    If you find yourself facing triggers like these on a regular basis, load up on citrus fruits. Their Vitamin C content can help keep cortisol and blood pressure increases at bay.

    Live Healthier with More Citrus Fruits in Your Diet

    These are only six of the many other health benefits of citrus fruits. But they're amazing enough on their own to persuade you to get more of them into your diet.

    To top everything off, many citrus tree species are easy to grow right in the comfort of your property! Learn how now with our in-depth citrus care guide.

    Top 5 Citrus Fruit Recipes to Brighten Up Your Day

    citrus fruit recipes

    There's a lot you can do with citrus fruits. Read on to learn the top five citrus recipes to brighten up your day.

    There are so many fruits and vegetables which are healthy for us to eat, but they don't always taste good. Many people focus on eating fruit due to their fiber, vitamins, and minerals just to name a few.

    While most people indulge in bananas, strawberries, grapes, and apples, citrus fruits provide more health benefits despite their tart flavors and textures. If you want to start eating more citrus fruit but aren't sure how to incorporate them into your diet, look no further.

    We've come up with the top 5 citrus recipes. These citrus fruit recipes work great as snacks, on-the-go meals, or even as a dessert. Check them out below and get your citrus on!

    1. Candied Grapefruit Peel

    Candied grapefruit peels are one of the simplest snacks to make and certainly one of the tastiest. All you'll need is 2 large grapefruits (either pink or red) and 1 cup of sugar.

    Cut the peel off the grapefruit into 3/8 inch strips. Make sure to leave 1/4 inch of the white pith attached. Place the peels in a saucepan and cover them in cold water.

    Once the water comes to a boil, drain the peels. Repeat this process twice.

    Next, you'll add another 1/2 cup water and the sugar in the same saucepan as the peels. Once this comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the peels are translucent. This should take approximately 15-20 minutes.

    Drain the peels and move them to a wire rack to dry and cool - this should take 2-4 hours. Once dry, toss the peels in more sugar and enjoy!

    2. Orange and Ginger Brownie Cookies

    These cookies are perfect for an after-dinner snack, especially around the holidays. While they do involve a few ingredients and a little bit of work, they're completely worth the effort. With the perfect combination of citrus fruit, chocolate brownie, and ginger, your mouth and stomach will thank you.

    3. Kale and Citrus Salad

    Salads are already pretty healthy, so it's the obvious choice to add a bit of citrus into your diet. This kale and citrus salad provides a yummy, nutritional meal while also not being too much work. What more can you ask for?

    All you need is:

    • 4 large oranges, peeled and supremed (keep the trimmings for later)
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • 4 tablespoons honey
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 8-10 kale (baby or matured, stemmed)
    • 2-3 medium shallots (toasted, peeled, and thinly sliced)
    • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (soaked in cold water for 10 minutes)
    • 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, hulled

    Make the dressing by squeezing the orange trimmings into a large bowl to get 1/4 cup of juice. Then, add the salt, pepper (to taste,) and honey to the juice. Whisk in the olive oil.

    To make the salad, toss the kale, shallots, supremed orange segments, and pumpkin seeds together. Add the dressing and toss again. Finish up by seasoning with salt and pepper, and adding small dollops of ricotta cheese.

    4. Blood Orange Chia Pudding

    Yogurt is a standard go-to as a snack or quick fix throughout the day. Why not add some citrus fruit to make it even better?

    All you'll need is 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon orange-flower water, 2 blood oranges, 1/2 cup fresh blood orange juice, a pinch of salt (kosher), 1/4 cup chia seeds, 2 tablespoons honey (plus more for serving), and chopped pistachios (for serving).

    Begin by whisking the yogurt, orange-flower water, blood orange juice, salt, and honey together. Whisk in the chia seeds; cover the bowl and chill for at least eight hours, but no longer than a day.

    While that chills, segment the blood oranges.  Stir the yogurt mixture and divide evenly in small bowls. Layer with orange segments and top it off with chopped pistachios and a drizzle of honey.

    5. Lemon-Garlic Cream Fettucine

    While quick snacks and easy lunches are good ways to incorporate citrus fruits, sometimes you need a hearty meal. That's where this lemon-garlic cream fettuccine comes in.

    It's the perfect meal to eat on cold nights and gives you all the ingredients you could need in a perfect meal.

    Healthy Citrus Recipes For a Brighter Day

    Not everyone enjoys plain citrus fruits which is why we've compiled this list of the perfect citrus recipes. From candied grapefruit peels to a hearty lemon-garlic cream fettuccine, you have the perfect recipe for any meal.

    Want to learn more about citrus fruit, citrus trees, and the like? Check out our blog where we have an assortment of articles answering your questions, and more!

    How to Care for a Calamondin Tree

    Calamondin Tree

    Are you growing a calamondin tree in your yard? If so, read on to learn how to care for a calamondin tree.

    Citrus trees offer their own unique beauty: white flowers, lush leaves, and bright fruit. However, they tend to need special care.

    Is a calamondin tree gracing your home, or are you hoping to get one? Then you'll want to know how to care for it and keep it thriving. With the right care, these trees won't just beautify your space: they'll also produce useful fruit. 

    Ready to learn all about calamondin tree care? Read on to find out how to make that tree thrive!

    What is a Calamondin Tree?

    Calamondin trees are also known as miniature orange trees and are usually used for decorative purposes. Like orange trees, they have white blossoms and produce orange-colored fruits. Many people love them for their delicately-scented flowers, and tart, small fruits.

    Unlike some citrus varieties, these trees are often grown inside. Since they're small, they're easy to manage. However, if you live in the right climate, they can also be grown outdoors. These trees thrive in direct sun, or partial shade. 

    Basic Calamondin Tree Care

    Now, let's take a look at what these trees need to grow well, indoors or out.

    Planting

    First, as with all trees, the way you plant a calamondin matters. You'll start with a young plant from a nursery.

    If you want the challenge of growing it to fruition, opt for one that's a year old or less. You'll need to care for it for a while before it starts flowering. But if you want flowers and fruit right away, get a tree that's already a couple years old.

    If you plant it inside, make sure to use a big enough container. Make sure the pot is plenty big for the ball of roots and has enough drainage. If you plant it outside, you'll need a hole that's properly sized. Don't dig down too deep, as this can cause the roots to rot. 

    Feeding

    Your calamondin tree also needs nourishment.

    When you plant it, use a mixture of one part organic compost, one part potting soil, and one part vermiculite. Place it where it gets full or mostly-full sun for the best results. 

    You can fertilize the soil regularly with a water-soluble fertilizer. Use full-strength in the growing season, and half-strength in the winter. 

    Caring

    With proper placement and feeding, your tree will start to thrive.

    To care for it, make sure to water it regularly to keep the soil damp. If the plant is outdoors, you'll probably need to water it more often.

    If you harvest fruit or flowers, use scissors so you won't damage the plant. You should also prune away any branches that die or show signs of disease. Clean the dust off the leaves regularly so mites can't infest the tree. 

    What to Do with Calamondin Citrus Fruits

    Soon, your calamondin tree will be thriving. Now, all that's left to do is enjoy the harvest!

    The fruits look like tangerines but taste much more tart. You'll want to use them as you would a lime or a lemon since they're too sour to be eaten straight. 

    After you successfully keep a calamondin tree growing, you might want to try your green thumb with other citrus trees. Check out our selection of trees for sale here!