Care for a Kaffir Lime Plant


Kaffir limes are about the size of standard limes, but the bright green skin is wrinkled and bumpy and the fruits produce very little juice. However, the distinctive dark green leaves, shaped much like figure eights, are a staple in many Asian dishes. Although the kaffir lime tree (Citrus hystrix) can be grown outdoors in warm, humid climates, it is well-suited for indoor container growing.

Step 1

Plant kaffir lime in a container filled with good quality organic potting mixture. Kaffir lime plants require excellent drainage, so be sure the container has at least one large drainage hole, or several smaller holes.

Step 2

Place the kaffir lime near a sunny window. If necessary, supplement available light with a grow light.

Step 3

Provide the kaffir lime plant with plenty of air circulation. Keep a window slightly open or allow a fan or ceiling fan to circulate through the room. However, never allow the fan to blow directly on the foliage, and never place the plant near a heating vent or air conditioner.

Step 4

Water your kaffir lime plant when the top inch of potting soil feels dry to the touch, then water the plant until the water runs through the drainage hole. Pour out any water remaining in the saucer. Never allow the container to stand in water, as too much moisture can cause root rot.

Step 5

Fertilize kaffir lime once every month during spring and summer, using a fertilizer formulated specifically for citrus trees. Withhold fertilizer during the fall and winter months.

Things You'll Need

  • Container with drainage holes
  • Organic potting mixture
  • Grow light (optional)
  • Fan (optional)
  • Fertilizer for citrus trees


  • Gardening Know How: Care Of Your Kaffir Lime Tree
  • Thai Food and Travel: Kaffir Lime Care -- In a Planter
Keywords: kaffir lime plant, fertilize kaffir lime, water kaffir lime

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.