Position – Full sun in a spot sheltered from the wind is best. Limes do not tolerate cold temperatures and will not thrive in places that dip to 10 degrees Celsius or below. If your garden is exposed to cold conditions, plant your lime tree in a pot so that it is possible to move it to a sheltered spot, possibly indoors. Plant your tree with a space of at least five mts all around.
Size – A full-grown lime tree can be 5 mts tall and 5 mts wide. A seedling will take between 3 and 6 years to bear fruit and reaches production at 8 to 10 years old.
Soil Type – Lime trees thrive in warm, moist soil, well-enriched with nutrients, whether in a pot or a garden. However, the soil needs to have excellent drainage, as any residual moisture will threaten the survival of the tree.
Mulch – Citrus trees, in general, do well with an organic mulch that keeps the soil pH optimal and retains moisture. Use materials like green pine needles, leaves, straw, or bark. It’s best to replace the mulch each time rather than turning it into the soil (as this may disturb or damage the roots).
Watering – Water your lime tree frequently but conservatively. Key Lime Trees do better with regular sprinklings rather than heavy soaking.
Fertilising – The lime trees feed heavily on the soil around them, quickly depleting the natural nutrient content. So, fertilise regularly with compost or a high-nitrogen fertiliser (especially in spring and summer).
Pruning – Lime trees are easy to care for because they don’t require much pruning. However, it’s wise to prune them at least once every year or two for optimal conditions. Pruning helps to prevent disease, strengthens the limbs, and produces better, healthier fruits.
Harvesting – Your Key lime tree will likely produce fruit during summer, but some produce all year round. Pick the delicious limes when they are vibrant green and juicy inside. By the time they have turned yellow and wrinkled, they are over-ripe and will be bitter.