Lime trees are an attractive addition to your landscaping. With proper care, lime trees can be grown in nearly any climate. In colder areas, trees will need to be moved to a greenhouse or brought indoors during the winter months. When growing indoors, containers with wheels are available to make moving easier.
Lime trees are native to tropical and semitropical regions and can be grown successfully in subtropical regions as well. They are affected by heat, humidity, sun and cold.
Lime trees are unable to withstand prolonged freezing temperatures and need to be protected when a freeze is expected. Some varieties are more cold hardy than others. The Tahiti Lime and Mexican limes will be damaged if temperatures fall much below 30 degrees F. Choose a variety that is cold hardy in your area.
Summer heat determines how sweet the fruit will be. Bearss limes have low heat requirements and can be grown where summers are cooler or for growing indoors. Other varieties are best grown in hot climates.
In desert areas where the sun is hot and the humidity is low, trees can be susceptible to sunburn. In these areas, it is important to plant the tree where it will be protected from the sun during the hottest part of the day.
Lime trees need humidity. In areas with high humidity, the rind will be thinner and the fruit will be juicier. Low humidity areas will have fruit with a thick rind and less juice.
Consider the space available in your garden. Do you have room for a mature lime tree? The size of the mature tree is determined by the rootstock and the variety. If a smaller tree is required, dwarf rootstocks are available.
Growing lime trees in a container indoors or in a greenhouse greatly extends the range where they can be grown. In areas with cold winters, trees can be moved indoors during the winter. Trees grown inside will not produce as much fruit as those grown outdoors.
Tahiti or Persian lime is large fruited limes that are ideal for containers. Proper pruning will keep the tree small and compact. Dwarf varieties are also available.