How to Plant Key Lime Seeds


Anyone who has a taste for gardening and loves real key lime pie may at some time have wondered if they can grow a key lime tree from the seeds. Well, the answer is, yes. Seeds from the key lime, also known as the Mexican or West Indian lime, can be grown and kept indoors as an ornamental, or outdoors in southern Florida or California. With a compact form, glossy green leaves and tart, dark green fruit, a key lime tree can be a great addition to any home. With a few simple items, you can germinate and sprout your own key lime trees.

Starting Your Key Lime Seeds

Step 1

Cut open a key lime fruit and retrieve the seeds.

Step 2

Cut the disposable cups down to about three inches high and poke holes in the bottom for drainage.

Step 3

Mix equal amounts of potting soil and sand, fill the disposable cups and water thoroughly.

Step 4

While the seeds are still fresh and moist, plant one seed in each cup approximately half an inch deep in the soil mixture.

Step 5

Place each cup in a medium-sized, zip-type plastic bag and seal it. Place the cups in a warm place to allow them to germinate.

Step 6

Check the seeds in two to three weeks to see if they have sprouted. Once the seedlings have three to four leaves on them, you can transplant each seedling to its own pot. As the tree grows, plant it in a large pot to keep indoors during colder weather, or plant outdoors in fertile soil with good drainage. Water and feed with citrus fertilizer regularly.

Things You'll Need

  • Key lime fruit
  • Disposable drinking cups
  • Scissors
  • Potting soil
  • Sand
  • Medium-size, zip-type plastic bag


  • Purdue University Department of Agriculture
  • Texas Cooperative Extension
Keywords: key lime seedling, grow key lime tree, key lime seeds, plant key lime seed, key lime propagation

About this Author

In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.