The key lime isn't a particularly pretty fruit: small, sometimes egg-shaped and greenish yellow in color. What it lacks in looks, though, it makes up for in taste. Anyone who has had a slice of key lime pie can attest to that. The dwarf Mexican key lime is less cold hardy than the lemon and will need protection from frost. Although dwarf Mexican key lime trees make wonderful patio plants, or even indoor plants, you can grow them in the garden in warmer regions of the country. The dwarf Mexican key lime tree is hardy to USDA zones 10a to 11.
Acclimate the dwarf Mexican key lime tree to the temperatures in your garden by giving it longer periods of sunshine daily for one week.
Choose a planting site for your lime tree that gets all-day sun. In warmer regions, the dwarf Mexican key lime tree will tolerate a bit of afternoon shade; otherwise, make sure the planting location receives eight hours of sun per day.
Amend the planting site by using the gardening fork to dig into the soil to a depth of 10 inches. Turn the soil over and crush any large clumps of soil. Remove any debris, such as rocks and old roots, from the planting area.
Lay down a 3-inch layer of sand and 2 inches of peat moss and mix it in well with the existing soil. Level the area with the rake.
Dig a hole the same depth and twice the width of the pot in which the dwarf Mexican key lime tree is currently growing. Turn the pot onto its side and gently tip the tree out of the pot.
Lower the dwarf Mexican key lime tree into the planting hole until the roots are touching the soil at the bottom. Fill the hole halfway with soil. Fill the hole with water and allow it to drain, then finish filling the hole with soil. Tamp down the soil around the base of the lime tree.
Water the tree until the water puddles, then water it weekly, just as deeply, until it is established. You will know this has occurred when there is new growth on the dwarf Mexican key lime tree.