How to Understand Lime Trees


Lime, known botanically as Citrus aurantiifolia, is a species of fruit-bearing citrus with several cultivars, including Mexican lime, Rangpur lime, sweet lime and Tahiti lime, according to Texas A&M University. Limes are prized for their acidic pulp, juice and peel for use as a flavoring in food and drink preparations. They are subtropical by nature, which significantly narrows the locations where they can successfully be grown.

Step 1

Give consistent care to your lime trees all year long as they are evergreen trees capable of growing and producing fruit nearly year round.

Step 2

Provide warm, frost-free ambient growing conditions throughout the year. Lime trees are especially sensitive to cold temperatures, with no tolerance for heavy frost or freezing temperatures. They can be grown outdoors in USDA zones 9 through 11.

Step 3

Supply a well-drained soil of moderate to good fertility. Lime trees easily succumb to root rot when the soil is kept too moist or the soil is so dense that the roots suffocate. Lime trees should be planted slightly above grade to ensure good drainage and should not ever be mulched within 2 feet of the trunk to ensure good air flow and prevent rot.

Step 4

Water your lime tree regularly and deeply, but not frequently. Wet the soil 1 foot down once every seven to 14 days and possibly less when it has rained. Water more heavily in summer than in winter to keep the soil evenly moist but not wet.

Step 5

Boost the nutritional content of the soil surrounding your lime with three annual applications of ammonium sulfate fertilizer with a guaranteed analysis of 21-0-0 or a similar ratio. Give one pound of fertilizer for every year of the tree age divided equally between February, May and September applications.

Things You'll Need

  • Easy draining soil
  • Ammonium sulfate 21-0-0


  • Texas A&M University: Home Fruit Production--Limes
  • University of Florida IFAS: Dooryard Fruit Varieties
Keywords: lime tree requirements, understanding lime trees, caring for limes

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.