The lime tree, which is more like a shrub than a tree, is an evergreen plant that is native to Southeast Asia or India. Lime trees can be grown indoors or out, either as container plants or garden specimens.
On average, the height of the Mexican or key lime tree, the most cultivated in America, is 6 1/2 to 13 feet, with extending, slender branches that spread in a bushlike, squat shape. Different cultivars have varying sizes, such as the Tahiti lime tree, which grows to heights of 15 to 20 feet.
If planting a Mexican or key lime tree outdoors, Purdue University recommends spacing the trees 25 feet apart for optimum growth. Trees planted any closer together will not produce adequate yields. Tahiti trees, which are a less-vigorous grower, can be planted 10 to 15 feet apart in rows that are 20 feet apart.
According to the Oregon State University Extension, lime trees such as Baerr's can be grown in indoor containers if the size of the pot is appropriate to the root system of the tree. Container pots should be as tall as they are wide and switched out for larger containers as the tree matures. To keep a lime tree's growth to a minimum, trim the roots by one-third and replant when the tree begins to outgrow the pot.
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