If you’re a lime-lover who believes the joy of growing your own limes is out of your reach based on where you live, it might be time to consider getting a dwarf lime tree! Dwarf lime trees allow growers to attain the same lime citrus as a full-sized tree, only on a smaller scale. Dwarf lime trees reach a height of about eight to ten feet tall, and can be grown in a container, meaning you can keep them indoors. Just like with a full-size lime tree, the limes grown on a dwarf lime tree can be used for juice, cooking, zest, or any recipe that requires fresh lime.
Growing citrus trees comes with many benefits: its fresh fragrance works as a natural air freshener, and the delicious fruit it puts within your reach can be used for cooking, mixing drinks, baking and even cleaning. Plus, it’s so easy to grow!
Lime Tree Varieties
Before you start looking for lime trees for sale, you may want to consider what type of lime tree you’re looking to get. How you want to use the fruit, and what kind of “look” you want to add to your indoor garden can definitely play a factor, as well as the environment you have to offer. Citrus.com has the following varieties for lime tree for sale:
- Dwarf Persian (Bearss) Lime Tree. Commonly available in your local grocery store, Persian or Bearss limes are juicy, tender and very acidic with a “true-lime” taste. Virtually thornless, the Dwarf Bearrs Lime Tree has dense, evergreen foliage and blooms each spring with fragrant, purple-tinted white flowers. This tree does well planted in the ground in USDA growing zones 8 to 11, and reaches up to 6’ to 10’ in height. For all other zones it makes a great specimen plant to be potted and placed on a patio or near a sunny window indoors.
- Dwarf Key Lime Tree. Known for their use in the famous pie named after them, Key Limes are small (about 1½–2 inches in diameter), seedy, round-to-oblong fruit with an invigorating blend of acidity and sweetness that is unique and unlike any other lime in the world. The rind of Key Lime is thin and smooth, and the color is deep green when unripe that turns to pale green when ready to be harvested. The Dwarf Key Lime Tree is bushy, with spindling branches that have short to medium length thorns. Key Lime Trees produce small white flowers that emit a spectacular aromatic scent. This hardy citrus tree is naturally resistant to pests and diseases, and can adapt to many types of soil.
- Dwarf Kaffir Lime Tree. Dwarf Kaffir Limes are acidic with a slightly bitter flavor and a fragrant smell. Dwarf Kaffir lime trees are shrubby and are easily distinguished by their aromatic, jade-green, glossy leaves that looked like two conjoined leaves. The leaves can be either used fresh or dried to give a spicy-lemony taste to many dishes. The Dwarf Kaffir lime tree thrives in potted environment.
- Dwarf Key Limequat. A Key Lime/kumquat hybrid, Dwarf Key Limequats are sweeter than Key Limes and have a more orange flavor. A small citrus plan that produces small, juicy fruit, Limequats can be eaten whole (just like kumquats) and produce flavorful juice. Dwarf Key Limequat Trees are easy to grow and even thrive in hanging baskets for many seasons with proper care.
- Dwarf Cocktail Tree. Why just grow one citrus tree when you can have two in the same pot? A 2-in-1 Meyer Lemon/Key Lime Tree or 2-in-1 Meyer Lemon/Persian Lime Tree uses grafting to combine two popular citrus varieties on the same tree, making them perfect for smaller gardens.
Dwarf Lime Tree Care
How is caring for a dwarf lime tree different than caring for a full-sized lime tree? Not as different as you might think, actually – like all plants, Dwarf Lime Trees have a few simple needs, and you must attend to these if you’re aiming to produce beautiful trees with delicious fruit.
- Watering. The first and most important of these needs is good drainage. While the roots must have a constant supply of moisture, they cannot tolerate waterlogged soil, or water that stands for too long. Lime trees also need warmth and sunshine to produce colorful, juicy, and flavorful fruit. Overwatering causes citrus foliage to drop off. Under watering can also cause this trouble, but drooping foliage usually calls attention to the lack of water in time to ward off serious leaf drop.
- Soil. Plants grown in containers do best with the least effort when they are planted in a lightweight, perlite-containing potting mix that drains well. An all-organic matter or native soil will compact too quickly, reducing aeration for roots. Look for planting mixes that are specially blended for citrus or succulent plants. There is seldom any overwatering problem in containers if a well-draining soil is used. In garden soil, excess water must have a means of escape. If the soil has naturally good drainage, there is little to worry about.
- Pruning. Young Dwarf Lime Plants don’t need much pruning. Give them a few years and they will become neatly rounded specimens. If you want to keep the plants quite low or add fullness, you can pinch out the tips of the new growth from time to time. You’ll also want to prune away any deadwood, and prune to maximize airflow. Prune off any branches that cross others and prevent sunlight from reaching the lower branches.
- Feeding. If your tree appears to be in need of nutrients, look for a citrus or lime tree fertilizer to help keeps things growing.
- Pests & Diseases. Indoor citrus trees can be susceptible to pests just like outdoor trees. Treat aphids with a hard, firm spray of water, or use an insecticidal soap. You should also be watchful for signs of scale and pick it or water-blast it off before it can become an infestation. A spray made from neem oil is an effective cure for these pests.
When You Can Expect to See Limes On An Indoor Tree
When people decide to buy a lime tree, the big question on everyone’s mind is this: how long does it take for citrus trees to bear fruit? The good news is that Dwarf Lime Trees can produce full-size fruit in as little as 3-5 years (much sooner than a standard-sized lime tree). Limes ripen all year – consult the planting information that came with your tree when you purchased it to know approximately when its fruit will be ready for harvest.