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How to Grow a Lime Tree in Florida

lime? image by tomcat2170 from

Lime trees belong to the large family of citrus trees. Unlike many other citrus trees, lime trees are a little more tolerant of cooler growing temperatures, but they cannot tolerate frost. Growing a lime tree in Florida requires fast-draining soil, lots of sunshine and plenty of water.

Select a planting site for the lime tree that will provide full sun for optimum growth. If you live in areas around Northern Florida where there is frost, the University of Florida suggests locating the planting area where there is some protection and plenty of warmth, like near a south- or west-facing location near your home.

Eradicate all weeds and their roots from the planting site. Do not leave any objects which can create any fungal diseases, such as decaying roots or old wood. Add between 1/2 to 1 cubic feet of an organic matter (such as compost or aged manure) to the soil in the planting area if the soil has less than ideal conditions, like in the coastal and flat-wood areas of Florida.

Remove the lime tree from its current growing container. Hold the stem of the lime tree and give the container two to three taps downwards using a trowel or a hammer. To promote new growth, use a knife to make two or three vertical cuts across the root ball if it is bound, or matted, as recommended by the University of Florida.

Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the root ball of the lime tree. It should be the about same depth and width of the growing container.

Place the lime tree into the planting hole. Plant so that the top of the root ball is sitting about 1 1/2 to 2 inches above the soil line. Scoop soil in and around the planting hole to fill the hole about 2/3 full. Pour water into the hole until it is 1/2 full. Then, scoop in more soil to fill the hole full of soil after the water has dissipated.

Spread out a 2- to 3-inch high circular dam of dirt that is about 24 to 30 inches in diameter around the lime tree. Then, fill the basin up with water slowly. In Florida, plan on watering the lime tree three times a week for the first two weeks after it is planted. Then, cut back waterings to once a week, if there is no rain.

Fertilize the lime tree with a 8-3-9 or 8-2-10 fertilizer about two to three weeks after planting, and plan on fertilizing every six weeks after. Refrain from fertilizing after October 1 until February 1 for the first two years after planting. Follow the directions on the label to determine how much fertilizer to use on the the lime tree.


Plant lime trees in early spring after the last spring frost. For Orlando, plant after January 30th; for Tampa, plant after January 19th; for Tallahassee, plant after March 21st; and for Jacksonville, plant after February 26th.

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