Complete guide to lime tree care
Add some zing to your outside space with an easy to look after lime tree.
Lime trees (citrus aurantifolia) are a popular citrus variety. Typically lime trees require a warm climate and plenty of sunshine to produce fruit, but our potted lime tree, Leon, will do just fine in the UK. With proper care, you'll have a healthy tree that produces an abundant harvest of tasty limes. Here's how:
- Give your lime tree plenty of sun - the more sunshine, the more ripe fruit
- Water regularly in summer
- Feed weekly in summer to keep its nutrients topped up
- Bring your lime tree inside over the cold months
About lime trees
There’s something very luxurious about having your own lime tree. Given enough sun and water this handsome tree will produce lots of bright green, edible fruit. White flowers, which smell wonderful, will start to appear in spring, followed by fruit, which should be ready to pick at the end of summer.
What's the best location for my lime tree?
If you're planting your lime tree, choose in a sunny location with well-draining soil. Plant in a hole that is twice the size of the root ball. Add a few inches of organic compost to the hole before planting. Put potted lime trees in the sunniest spot you have; they love to soak up the sunshine.
How often should I water my lime tree?
Water your lime tree regularly, especially during hot, dry periods. Water deeply to ensure the roots are getting enough moisture. Your lime tree will need a lot of water in summer when it's actively growing and producing fruit. In winter, just keep the soil lightly moist.
What's the best temperature for my lime tree?
This plant loves the sun and warmth, but it's surprisingly hardy and can withstand temperatures just below freezing. However, when the temperature drops, it's best to bring your lime tree inside over winter so it can stay warm. Pop it by a bright window and it will be perfectly happy. When moving your lime tree inside or outdoors, introduce it slowly. For example, take your tree outside during the day for a week or so before moving it permanently outside for summer. In winter, bring your tree inside at night for the first week. This will help your tree acclimatise to its new environment.
Should I fertilise my lime tree?
Fertilise your lime tree every week in summer with a liquid fertiliser or a fertiliser that's specially formulated for citrus trees. This will give your lime tree the nutrients it needs to keep producing lots of a lovely fruit.
Do I need to prune my lime tree?
Prune your lime tree regularly to promote healthy growth and ensure a better harvest. Prune away any dead or diseased branches and thin out overcrowded branches.
Common lime tree pests
Keep an eye on your lime tree for signs of pests or disease. Treat any problems promptly with an appropriate insecticide or fungicide.
How do I harvest fruit from my lime tree?
Limes are ready to be harvested when they are bright green and slightly soft. Cut the fruit from the tree and store in a cool, dry place. Flowers will appear in spring and your limes should be ready to harvest towards the end of summer - perfect for a G&T in the late summer evenings.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your lime tree is healthy and produces an abundant harvest of limes.
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