How To Grow Lime Trees in Pots


Growing lime trees in containers will produce fruit. According to the University of Florida, the variety of lime tree must be of a small size or a dwarf type tree. This ensures that once the newly transplanted tree begins to grow in the new environment, the roots of the tree will not outgrow the container or pot size. An advantage to growing a lime tree in a pot is when cold weather arrives, the tree will be moved indoors. In this way the tree will continue to grow, keeping its evergreen appearance while producing fruit.

Step 1

Place a single layer of the fine mesh screen in the bottom of the large container. Position the screen over the lower drain holes of the pot.

Step 2

Fill the lower portion of the container with 1 to 2 inches of pea gravel. The pea gravel allows for drainage of excess water.

Step 3

Mix equal parts of sand, peat and either vermiculite or perlite for the potting soil mix. Move the container to its location before adding any soil. The container will become heavy once filled with soil. All citrus trees require 8 to 10 hours of full sunlight. Be sure the outdoor location fulfills this light requirement. Fill the pot to approximately 1/3 full.

Step 4

Remove the small variety lime tree from the nursery container. Inspect the root system. Cut all broken roots from the root ball with the pruning shears. Prune all upper dead or broken limbs from the tree.

Step 5

Insert the lime tree into the pot. Keep the upper soil level with the tree's root ball, 1 to 4 inches below the upper lip of the large pot. Finish placing the potting soil mix around the root ball of the lime tree. Press the soil down around the roots with your hand.

Step 6

Irrigate the lime tree with water. Allow all excess water to drain from the pot.

Step 7

Layer a wood by-product or pea gravel mulch around the tree. The mulch will improve the appearance of the potted tree and retain moisture.

Step 8

Fertilize the lime tree when new growth appears on the upper limbs. Follow the fruit tree fertilizer label directions. The tree and container size will dictate the amount of fertilizer to be applied. Do not over-fertilize the tree. Excess fertilizer will cause root problems to all container-grown fruits.

Step 9

Water the lime tree when the upper 2 inches of the soil feels dry to the touch. Reach under the layer of mulch to inspect the soil for dryness. Irrigate the lime tree until excess water drains from the lower drain holes.

Step 10

Prune the lime tree when the upper limbs begin to show signs of thin branches. In most cases, the lime tree will not show long thin branches until moved indoors during cold weather.

Things You'll Need

  • Large pot or container (15 to 20 gallons with lower drain holes)
  • Fine mesh screen
  • Small pea gravel
  • Sand
  • Peat
  • Vermiculite or perlite
  • Small variety lime tree
  • Pruning shears
  • Mulch (optional)
  • Fruit tree fertilizer


  • University of Florida: Growing Fruit Crops in Containers
  • Texas A&M University: Home Fruit Production
  • Oregon State University: How To Grow a Potted Tree on Your Patio or Porch
Keywords: container grown limes, grow limes indoors, patio porch limes

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.