How to Garden With Lime Trees


Lime trees add an attractive dimension to your garden with their shiny, dark green evergreen leaves and dangling green to yellow fruit that typically ripens in winter. Limes also provide among the highest amounts of vitamin C of all citrus fruits. You can grow a lime tree outdoors in your garden if you live in a climate zone that receives only light, or has just an occasional winter frost, or you can grow one in a large pot that you bring indoors when temperatures drop to freezing or below.

Step 1

Purchase a grafted lime tree to ensure you will be getting the best quality fruit in the shortest possible time.

Step 2

Dig a planting hole in a sunny spot in the garden where drainage is good. Make the hole about twice as large as the root system of your young tree. Mix the soil with any type of organic compost, using a ratio of one part compost to four parts soil. Or, fill a large container about half full of acidic potting soil if you plan to grow your lime tree in a pot that you can move indoors during winter.

Step 3

Refill the planting hole about half way with your soil/compost mixture before you set your tree into it. Remove your tree from its nursery pot and set it into its pot or planting hole. Fill the hole or pot with additional soil mix or potting soil and firm it around the base of the tree with your hands.

Step 4

Water your new lime tree well, until water comes out of the drainage hole of your pot or the soil in the planting hole is saturated. After this first watering, allow the soil to dry slightly before you water it again and then water it thoroughly when the soil is dry. Watering lime trees once each week is usually correct.

Step 5

Fertilize your lime with a balanced fertilizer designed for citrus trees four times a year in spring and summer, at evenly spaced intervals, following label instructions. Avoid fertilizing during the winter.

Step 6

Control any insect pests with insecticidal soap spray as soon as you notice them. Control snails and slugs by spreading diatomaceous earth or iron phosphate granules on the soil around your tree.

Tips and Warnings

  • Cover your outdoor lime tree with plastic or a blanket when cold nighttime temperatures are forecast.

Things You'll Need

  • Grafted lime tree
  • Compost
  • Large pot (5 gallon or larger) with drainage hole
  • Slightly acidic potting soil
  • Water
  • Citrus fertilizer
  • Iron phosphate or diatomaceous earth (optional)
  • Insecticidal soap (optional)


  • Gardening Know How: Lime Tree Tips
  • Gardening Know How: Learn About Fertilizer
Keywords: lime tree, citrus growing, gardening fruit

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.