How To Take Care of a Lime Tree

How To Take Care of a Lime TreeWe purchased a lime tree for the first time this year.  We were so excited to have a citrus tree of our very own, I know… we are dumb like that.  Really I was just thinking it would save us millions of dollars on limes for our beers come summer time. ;)   Ok – maybe not millions… but at least a few bucks every once in a while.

Our lime tree (Mexican lime tree to be exact) is now about 5-6 foot high.  We planted it in a pot, instead of the ground since we live in the desert practically (West Texas).  This means that during the summer all is well, but come fall & winter – we have to move it indoors.  Lime trees are OK to leave outdoors (or plant in the ground obviously) as long as the temperature stays over 40 degrees in the winter.  In other words, if you live where we live… get ready to move it inside when winter time comes.

How Much Light Does My Lime Tree Need?

Lime trees need about 10 hours of sunlight each day.  If you own full-spectrum fluorescent grow lights – they can supplement for the sunlight fine (but who has those handy?).  The light is what is the main factor in flower production come springtime – so this light needs to be watched closely. 

What Kind of Soil To Use For My Lime Tree?

As far as the soil best suited for lime trees, you need to be sure to have a light well drained commercial soil mixture.  You want your pot (if potted) to drain well so be sure to pick a pot with a good drainage system so your lime tree has adequate air & water flow.  Fertilize your plant as needed.

How Do I Water My Lime Tree?

When watering a lime tree, you want to be sure you keep the soil moist.  Do not overwater where soil becomes soggy.  This could mean anywhere from a fourth of a gallon of water or a half gallon of water every week.  Use your moisture meter to best determine your soil moisture level – you can find these at most gardening supply sections at your favorite store.  Also when you are in low humidity areas (or the plant is inside) you might want to mist the leaves with water to help foliage stay healthy and lush.

I Have Aphids On My Lime Tree, What Do I Do?

Aphids is a big problem with any type of plant, lime trees seem to have their issues with them as well.  First thing first, find your ant problem.  Ants harvest aphids and with a few others and if you have an aphid problem – you have an ant problem first to deal with.  Of course you can always hit the aphids (and your lime tree) with a nice spray from your water hose in order to get them knocked off.  A solution of a few drops of dish soap mixed in with 8 ounces of water can be sprayed on (with a squirt bottle) to help combat aphids.  Removing them with your hands and smashing them is another method that gardeners tend to lean towards.  It is the meanest way to get rid of those bugs.  Be sure after killing the aphids (should take a few days) you spend time dealing with your ant problem so that you aren’t doing this again in 5 days.

Lime trees are becoming more and more popular these days and with a little TLC they can become a great indoor/outdoor plant that will produce enough limes for your everyday needs come summer.  The blooms smell great and they look beautiful in the spring time.

11 Responses to “How To Take Care of a Lime Tree”

  1. Good writing!!! But why does it have to be a mexican lime tree?

  2. hehe – I guess because it is from Mexico?!

  3. oh ok, I thought you were trying to send me a message or something….

  4. It’s your cousin!

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  7. Yall,
    I live in Kentucky, I purchased a Mexican lime, Lemon and Orange tree on a recent trip to Texas. As it is cold here in kentucky, I have all my trees inside the house. Both the Orange and the Lemon Tress are doing find but my Mexican Lime tree is drying up and loosing all its leaves. I thought it would be ok if I had them inside the house during the winter. Could it be that I shocked it bring it this far north. Outside the temp is 15 but inside the house it is 70. I need help as I do not want to lose my ML tree.
    Or is that during the winter months it loses it leaves just as other outside trees do.

  8. Ruben,
    Lime trees need a low pH soil, so maybe try some acidizer if the leaves were turning yellow.

    SD

  9. maybe it’s late in the game to be giving advice, but what tha …
    from my vast experience, I know that citrus gets chlorotic (can’t make enuf chlorophyll)…it needs a special fertilizer that has iron in it. I’ve seen the yellowing with my citrus and it’s like night and day when you give it the fertilizer with iron. Seems the iron works with citrus a bit like it does with our red blood cell supply, when we don’t get enuf we get iron-deficiency anemia, when the citrus doesn’t get enuf, it has trouble making chlorophyll (which is the green thing for leaves).
    Also, according to Four Winds Citrus, when the temp drops to freezing you need frost protection or to bring it inside. But 1/2 way house it on the patio for a couple of days first.
    Sincerely, the know it all, Jeannie

  10. hello,

    can you please tell me do I need to cut off the spikey branches that have come up from the bottom of our lime tree the rest of the tree which is only small has no spikes on it?? We only got one lime from the tree all the others fell off when they were very small, we got told that it takes a couple of seasons before fruit stays on is this right??

  11. My lime tree has been overwatered in the heat of the day (here its in the mid thirties) and the leaves and new tiny fruits are looking very ill. Any immediate remedy, or have I lost the tree?

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