Key lime tree grow and care – tree of the genus citrus also known as Mexican lime or West Indian lime, Key lime tree perennial evergreen plant, grow for edible fruits, can be used also as ornamental plant and can grow as dwarf tree or bonsai, can grow in tropical, subtropical or mediterranean climate and growing in hardiness zone 9+.

Leaves color green in elliptic shape and the tree has thorns, flowers are white-purple with yellow stamen.

Key lime edible fruit

Fruit size ~3-5 cm’ and color is green, yellow, with sour taste. The inner fruit divided by segments, the segment cover with soft thin layer, it containing the pulp (little cones covered with a thinner layer). The rind color: green sometime green-yellowish, the rind is edible but little bitter also used as flavor and fragrant.

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How to grow Key lime tree growing and care:

Well-drained soil, better loamy soil, moist soil in the fruits season and better to put mulch

How to care:
Design for easy to pick the fruits (when there are thorns it’s important but not all cultivars have thorns), add to the soil, organic matter, humus and fertilizer, in location with hot summer sun that the main trunk is expose to the sun better to better to whitewash (lime paint)

What is the best way to start growing:
Plant / Seed / Cutting / Air layering

Is it necessary to graft or use vegetative reproduction??
Yes, necessary to ensure the existent of the fruits and quality of the fruits and better to graft more than one cultivar or more than on citrus.

Cutting need to use for the base of the tree for: disease-free, base that fit for different soils, resistance for drought, base that won’t resist for grafting.

Difficulties/Problems with growing:
Thorns

Planting season:
Spring to summer in hardiness zone 9-10a, spring or autumn hardiness zone 10b-11a, possible also in summer and winter the main problem it’s hot and cold days that might cause future problem and even kill the plant, hardiness zone 11b+ planted all year

Pests and diseases:
Citrus leaf miner, aphids, citrus foot rot, ant, citrus gummosis

Pruning season:
All the year

How to prune:
Dead branch, cross branch, too much growth density

Size of the plant?
3-6 m, 10-20 feet

Growth speed in optimal condition:
Medium growing to slow growing

Water requirement:
Average amount of water, usually the plant need more water in the fruits season, but usually it’s when there are rains and if raining season delay need to increase the amount of water that the fruits won’t be dry and won’t explode.

Light conditions in optimal condition for growing:
Full Sun and possible to grow in half shade in the right care but will produce less fruits

Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant?
No, but possible to grow next to window with sun that possible, grow it as dwarf tree and will take more time to get fruits

Growing is also possible in a pot, planter, flowerpot or containers:
Yes, when grow in container need to choose the desirable container if it’s small plant it directly if it’s a big container bigger than 100% than the root ball consider start to grow with small container, better to switch the soil once in few years, when start to grow check that the graft of the tree not too much high and choose plant that can grow as dwarf tree or to grow it as bonsai.

Blooming information

When does flowers bloom?
Most of the year

General information about the flower
White or purple flowers with yellow stamen

Thinning / Deadheading of the blossom:
The first two years should thinning the flowers,

Pollination is done by:
Bees

Edible Fruits

When does it yield:
Most of the year

Pests or diseases in Key lime fruit:
Citrus stubborn disease, citrus black spot, Alternaria

What can be done with big quantities of Key lime fruit?
Eat, juice alcohol, the rind used fragrant, fruit leather, sugary rind

Work requirements on the fruit:
Pick up (sometimes cut brunches that grow into the fruit)

How long does it take to bear fruit?
3-4 year, and from seeds take longer

Ripening of fruit
Possible to pick up the fruit before and let them ripening them in the house (or even to use them)

Scientific name:

Citrus aurantiifolia

Alternative names: West Indian lime, bartender’s lime, Omani lime

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