Are you a fan of Key Lime pie, but have had to settle for a less-than-authentic version due to the limited availability of Key Limes in your local grocery store? This article help you grow your own Key Limes just about anywhere!
What is a Key Lime Tree?
Also known as a Mexican Key Lime Tree, the Key Lime plant is a shrubby, evergreen citrus tree that produces Key Limes. The trunk of a Mexican Key Lime citrus tree rarely grows straight, and its branches originated low on the trunk. The Key Lime Tree growth rate is vigorous when the tree is planted in the ground, and Key Lime Tree height can reach up to 16 feet. Key Lime Tree leaves are about one to three inches long and ovate, and greatly resemble orange leaves. The tree is covered with Key Lime thorns to help protect it, especially when it’s young.
What does a Key Lime look like?
You might be wondering, what is a Key Lime fruit, and how different are Key Limes vs. limes? If you’ve bought a lime from your local grocery store before, it was probably a Persian or Bearss lime. The first thing you’ll notice when comparing Bearss Lime vs. Key Lime or Key Lime vs. Persian lime is size: Key Lime size is smaller than a Persian lime’s, which is about 2½ inches in diameter. The average size of Key Limes is around 1, or at most 2, inches in diameter). Key Limes are also rounder than conventional limes. Yellow Key limes are ripe but taste bitter; most cooks prefer them when they’re still lightly unripe and yellow-green in color. In that stage, the Key Lime tastes tart, but not too acidic, and has a very distinctive aroma that makes it popular for use in both desserts and cocktails. In a Key Lime, vitamin C content is high, just like in other lime varieties.
When do Key Lime Trees bear fruit?
Florida Key Lime season is throughout the summer and into the early fall. Whether you grow your tree indoors or outdoors, you’ll know when to harvest Key Limes buy their color and skin texture: unlike limes, the smaller Key Lime has a slightly yellow coloring when it’s fully ripe, and the skin should have a fine grain like leather.
Key Lime Tree Care
How to care for a Key Lime Tree depends a great deal on where you live. Key Lime Trees are hardy in the USDA Growing Zones 10 and 11 and are sensitive to cold weather. But Dwarf Key Lime Fruit Trees do well in pots and may be kept indoors when the temperatures drop.
Planting a Key Lime Tree in a pot will allow you to grow standard-sized, flavorful Key Limes. Keeping a Key Lime Tree indoors is easier than you might think. The most important thing is to have enough sun for it: Key Lime Trees should have at least 10 hours of full sun. You should also make sure the Key Lime pot you choose has a good water drainage system.
Dwarf Key Lime Tree care also includes good watering practices and regular fertilizing. If you find that your Key Lime Tree leaves turning yellow, that’s probably a sign that your tree is lacking in nutrients. In a Key Lime Tree, yellow leaves could indicate a deficiency in nitrogen, zinc, iron, or manganese. Other factors, such as overwatering or pests, can also be the root of the problem.
How tall do Key Lime trees grow in pots?
When kept in a container, a standard Key Lime Tree will reach about 12 feet in height, but a Dwarf Key Lime will grow only about 6 feet tall.
Consider a Cocktail Tree!
If you’ve always wanted both a Key Lime and Meyer Lemon Tree but you’re short on space, you don’t have to choose one over the other – choose a Meyer Lemon Key Lime Cocktail Tree instead! Through grafting cocktail trees allow gardeners with small spaces to grow more than one of the same types of fruit (citrus or stone, for example) on the same tree. Thus, you can plant a Key Lime Meyer Lemon Tree that will produce both fruits. A Meyer Lemon Key Lime Cocktail Tree can even come in a dwarf variety, as can a Key Lime Limequat Tree.
Where to Buy a Key Lime Tree
You can find a Key Lime Tree for sale at Citrus.com! Citrus.com also offers a Dwarf Key Lime Tree that can be kept in a container. We also offer Citrus Tree Soil, Citrus Tree Care Kits and other helpful accessories that will help ensure your tree stays healthy, produces plenty of delicious fruit, and provides you pleasure and enjoyment for year to come.