Dwarf Key Lime Tree

Growing Zones in Ground: 8 - 11 / in Pots: 4 - 11

$52.95

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Size Age Price Est. Arrival
1 Gallon 1 Year $52.95 Tuesday, July 23rd

Ships on Tuesday, July 23rd

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Description

The Dwarf Key Lime Tree is bushy and has spindling branches that has short to medium length thorns. Key Lime Trees produce small white flowers that emit a spectacular aromatic scent. Key Limes have an invigorating blend of acidity and sweetness that is unique and unlike any other lime in the world.

Growing citrus trees comes with many benefits: it’s fragrance is fresh and relaxing – a natural air freshener – and the fruit that is just within your reach is delicious, refreshing and can be used for cooking, mixing drinks, baking and even cleaning; plus, it is so easy to grow. The same thing can be said for the Key Lime tree or commonly known as Mexican Key Lime tree.

The Key Lime tree is native to the small islands on the southern tip of eastern Florida. Mexican Key Lime trees are relatively small and seldom reach 12 ft in height. This hardy citrus tree is naturally resistant to pests and diseases and can adapt to many types of soil. It is bushy and has spindling branches that has short to medium length thorns. Key Lime Trees produce small white flowers that emit a spectacular aromatic scent that can last a whole season through.

Another notable aspect of this type of lime trees is that they are self-pollinating; meaning you only need one tree for it to bear fruits. All you have to do is take one flower from your tree and swab it over the other blooms and pollination process is already underway.

The Key Lime tree – including the dwarf key lime tree – produces small, just about 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter, and round to oblong fruit that has an invigorating blend of acidity and sweetness that is unique and unlike any other lime in the world. The rind of Key Lime is thin and smooth, and the color is deep-green when unripe that turns to pale green when ready to be harvested. It also has 10 to 15 seeds that are polyembryonic.

Citrus Tree Care

When buying a Key Lime tree it is important that you know how to properly care for it.To get your lime tree blooming and bearing fruit in no time, check out the tree care tips below:

  • In-ground or container grown regular sized and dwarf lime trees flourish in the sun and should be planted against a south facing wall where it can get 8 hours of direct sun; doing so would not only give your citrus trees their much needed sunlight, it would also protect them from the cold northern winds.
  • Over or under watering can damage your lemon lime trees; it you let the soil dry out the leaves will wither and drop off; if you over water the leaves will turn yellow and start cupping. A good watering technique is to deeply water your citrus trees until the water has penetrated the root system and make sure to allow the top 2-3 inches of the soil to completely dry out before watering again. Cut down on watering before winter arrives to prevent any growth that may become damaged in colder temperatures.For a potted dwarf lime tree, stick your index finger into the soil down to about 2 knuckles. If the tip of your finger is still wet, hold off on watering until the time the soil feels dry at that depth.
  • To retain moisture and control weeds, place a 2-4 inch layer of mulch over the soil. However, keep the mulch one foot away from the trunk to prevent diseases.
  • Pruning a lime tree is imperative for it to grow healthy. Watch out for any suckers that grow below the graft union of the lime tree you bought, as they steal away or suck out nutrients from the main trunk of the tree. Doing so would help to maintain the shape of the tree and bolster fruit production. You can also snip the thorns off the branches to avoid getting scratches when picking fruits; removing the thorns won’t harm your tree.Remove dead wood and crossing limbs to properly ventilate the tree and allow sunlight to flow between branches.
  • Key Lime trees love temperatures over 50°F and grow best outside in US hardiness zones 8 through 11. These lemon lime trees can survive in USDA zones 4 to 11 when potted and brought indoor during winter or when the temperatures drop to 40°F. When taken inside, the best location for your potted lime tree is near a sunny window facing south.
  • Like other citrus trees, lime trees are heavy feeders and should be fertilized every few months. Feed your tree with citrus fertilizer containing extra nitrogen during spring and summer once every six weeks. Scratch into the top few inches of soil and water the granulated fertilizer for citrus trees into the ground. This will help replenish the nutrients in the soil. For fall and winter season, cut back fertilizing to once every 2-3 months.
  • Key lime trees are self-pollinating but if you only have one tree and it is potted indoors or the yield is meager, you can hand-pollinate the limes by removing one flower and gently wiping it over the other blooms.

Fruit & Harvesting

Fruit

The lime tree is extensively grown in Florida. The tree bears fruit all year round but yields heavier during 2 main seasons: May to June, and November to December.

Key lime fruit are small spherical fruit, just about 1 ½ – 2 inches in diameter. The thin green rind turns yellow when ripe but is usually picked when still green for commercial consumption. It is typically seedier (10-15 seeds per fruit), tarter and has stronger aroma compared to other lime varieties.

Harvesting

Harvesting limes can be a bit tricky since they are harvested prior to ripening for you to get the perfect blend of sweetness and tartness that is unique to its kind. To make it easy, the time from bud to harvest is generally 3-4 months.

To determine if your limes are ready for harvesting, check if the rind color has turned from dark green to light green, feels smooth to the touch, and gives a little when gently squeezed. Once you find a lime that passes the physical inspection, snip or gently twist from the stem and cut it open. If the juice is appropriate then it is time to harvest.If there is not enough juice, you need to wait a few more days before harvesting. Bear in mind that like other citrus fruits Key limes do not ripen once picked off the tree so you have to be sure the juice and taste are satisfactory before harvesting.

Since Key lime trees are heavily laden with thorns, be cautious when harvesting limes and use a leather gloves to avoid getting hurt. Pick the low hanging fruit first since there is more danger of severe damage from frost or soil-based fungus to fruits closer to the ground. You use hand pruners to snip the fruit, or you can simply hand pick the fruit by firmly grasping it in one hand and gently twisting and pulling to remove it from the branch. Take care when harvesting the fruit and placing in a container, since bruised or damaged limes will not keep well.

Growing Zones

Advice

Key lime trees grow up to 6 to 10 ft when planted in ground but are smaller when planted in a pot. The flowers usually bloom in spring and yields fruit in fall. The Key lime tree also does well in sub-tropical climates and should be protected when the temperature drops below 32°F.

If the climate in your area is tropical to subtropical, it is best that you plant the Key Lime tree outdoors where it can bask in the sun. If the winter season is harsh and can damage the tree, it is highly recommended that the tree be planted in a pot to ensure that it can be moved indoors for protection from the damaging cold.

Pests and Diseases

Just like all other citrus trees, Key Limes can be affected by pests like leaf miner, scale, citrus mites, and aphids.

Leaf Miners – damages new developing leaves by distorting its shape and stunting its growth.

Leaf miners are commonly handled by spraying pesticide specifically formulated to kill leaf miners by being absorbed into the leaves. Another method of dealing with leaf miners is naturally killing them using beneficial predator bugs like Diglyphus isaea wasps.

Scales – these insects causes the leaves to fall off. You can control the spread of scales by removing them from the leaves using a sharp knife use alcohol soaked cotton and swab it on infected area. You can also spray neem oil on your tree if you are dealing with too many scales.

Citrus Mites – these mites feed on all parts of the plant and large infestation can cause the leaf to be stippled and fruits to be deformed. Infested leaves may look silvery or spotted with yellow necrotic sections.

To kill citrus mites you can use garden insects like Ladybird beetles for minor infestation or miticide spray for heavy infestation.

Aphids – may cause blemished fruit or premature fruit drop. You can naturally control aphids with beneficial bugs like ladybugs and lacewings. Get rid of ants that feed on honeydew produced by aphids so that the beneficial bugs can do their job in controlling the aphids.

Diseases include withertip, algal disease, collar rot Fusarium oxysporum and Sphaeropsis tumefaciens. Most diseases can be prevented or foiled by planting your tree in a well-draining soil, not planting it too deeply, and proper pruning and harvesting.

FAQs

How long can I expect a lime tree to live?

Up to fifty years under suitable conditions and climate.

What are some basic tips for growing a dwarf lime tree?

What are some basic tips for growing a dwarf lime tree?

How long does it take a dwarf lime tree to produce fruit?

Grafted citrus trees will begin to consistently produce fruit after two to three years in the ground or in a suitable container. Variations in fertilizer, water, sun, temperature, and other environmental factors can all affect how soon and how much fruit a given citrus tree grows. Citrus trees grown from seed will take much longer to mature to fruit-growing age: seven to ten years is common.

Is it normal for a potted tree to drop leaves when moving it indoors?

Yes. Any time you move a potted citrus tree from indoors to out (for example in the summer) or from outdoors to in (to overwinter the tree inside) it is normal for the tree to drop leaves. Once the tree has adjusted to the move, new leaves will begin to grow. This reaction does not harm the long-term growth of the tree.

What kind of potting soil should I pot my Key Lime tree in?

Key limes like sandy loam soil that is well drained. A suitable mixture for potting a Key Lime Tree is 3 parts potting soil, one part composted manure (such as composted cow or chicken manure), one part perlite, and one part clean sand. You can also mix equal parts regular potting mix and cactus mix soil.

Why does my Dwarf Key Lime tree bloom but only grows tiny fruit that never mature?

The most likely reason for a tree blooming but not finishing fruit is a lack of specific nutrients. Often growers will fertilize with products high in nitrogen, such as lawn fertilizers. These fertilizers grow beautiful trees filled with dark, healthy foliage, but lack the many nutrients needed to grow fruit. Be sure to use a fertilizer designated as citrus fertilizer, apply the recommended amount, and water in well. Some citrus fertilizers are branded as citrus and avocado fertilizers, and will also work well. Also fruit can fall as a result of overwatering or inadequate drainage. This is sometimes accompanied by yellowing leaves. Be sure your tree’s soil is well drained and watered accordingly.

Are Dwarf Key Lime Trees thornless?

No. Dwarf Key Lime trees possess small but persistent thorns.

Are Dwarf Key Lime Trees self-pollinating?

Yes. Dwarf Key Limes are self-pollinating. They will produce fruit even if they are the only citrus trees in your yard. But remember, growing more than one Dwarf Key Lime tree in close proximity to each other will likely increase the yields of both lime trees, because it increases the chance for pollination.

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