Lime is a citrus fruit, smaller than lemon, typically round, green in color, and contains acidic juice vesicles. They taste similar to lemons with a slight difference in scent and flavor. They are often used to add flavor and tang to foods and drinks.
Today, Lime trees grow year-round in many countries like India, Mexico, China, and the U.S. The lime trees grow into small shrub-like trees, and like other citrus trees are best grown outside in full sun for best results. Lime grows slow and bears fewer fruits if it does not get enough sunlight.
How to plant a Lime tree
In growing your lime tree, knowing beforehand how to care for your tree ensures that you get the best possible results for your efforts.
Like other citrus varieties, lime trees are sensitive to frost and are likely to not survive when the temperature gets below freezing for a long time.
As mentioned earlier, lime trees enjoy full sun, at least 6 hours daily, so place your tree where it can receive as much sun from morning to late afternoon.
Lime trees enjoy a good-draining rich soil. Although they prefer sandy loam soil, they can tolerate other soil types except for salty soil and heavy clay soil.
Too much water will kill your lime tree and too little will do just the same. Make sure the tree will not be exposed to standing water and avoid planting them near other plants that require frequent irrigation. Lime trees need consistent moisture to grow well. It is better to water the soil once or twice a week deeply, than frequently and with shallow sprinkling.
Lime trees are heavy feeders, and can quickly deplete nutrients in the soil around them, whether in the ground or a container. Fertilize with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer every few months to replenish lost nutrients from the soil.
Protection from the cold
As mentioned earlier lime trees are not likely to survive freezing temperatures over a prolonged period. For cold-weather areas, you can plant the lime trees in containers and bring them inside during the winter. Make sure to place them where they can receive sunlight.
Potted Lime Trees
In areas that have a prolonged period of cold spells, a potted lime tree is a perfect solution for the freezing problem. You can bring them indoors to protect them from the cold during winter and take them outside to bathe in the sun during summer.
When choosing the lime tree for container planting, dwarf varieties are the best choice. Among the varieties best suited for containers are the Bearss lime also known as Tahitian or Persian lime, and the Kaffir lime tree a bush variety.
Care for potted lime tree
Care for your potted lime trees much like you would with ground planted lime trees. Because potted trees are usually under more stress, you should pay more attention and make that extra effort to help the tree thrive. Your container must have good drainage to avoid standing water. Potted plants dry out faster than ground-planted plants so pay extra attention by keeping the soil moist and not letting the tree dry out. Repot your lime tree every couple of years and use a pot that is a size larger than the previous pot. If you do not repot, you should prune the roots and a third of the foliage and repot with fresh potting soil.