How To Take Care of a Lime Tree

07. April 2008 Gardening, Living Green 11

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.

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