Dwarf Persian (Bearss) Lime Tree

Growing Zones in Ground: 8 - 11 / in Pots: 4 - 11


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Size Height Shape Price Est Arrival
1 Gallon 2 - 3 FT Standard $89.95 04/04
AccessoriesEssential add-ons to ensure the health and growth of your trees. Accessories ship separately but at the same time as your tree.
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small-care-kit-citrus 3 Month Citrus Tree Care Kit $14.95
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The Dwarf Persian (Bearss) Lime Tree is a moderately vigorous tree with rounded, somewhat droopy yet spreading branches & dense green foliage. These citrus trees produce beautiful & fragrant, medium-sized white with purple tinted flowers that bloom in spring. Persian limes are juicy and acidic with a true lime taste.

The Dwarf Persian Lime Tree (Citrus latifolia) also called the dwarf Bearss lime tree, dwarf Tahiti Lime tree, or simply the seedless lime tree, is an evergreen citrus tree of obscure origin. It is believed to be of hybrid origin between a Mexican Key lime (Citrus aurantiifolia) and citron (Citrus medica) and the variety is known only in cultivation. Botanists believe that the dwarf Persian Bearss lime tree hybrid is from Iran (once called Persia thus its name) and introduced to the Mediterranean region. It was then carried by Portuguese merchants to Brazil and eventually made its way to Florida, United States in 1883. The fruit was grown in Lake Placid as early as 1897. After World War I, Persian Lime production became an established industry and was further augmented by the development of limeade concentrate.

The dwarf Persian lime tree is virtually thornless. It does well planted in the ground in USDA growing zones 8 to 11 and grows up to 6’ to 10’ in height. For all other zones it makes a great specimen plant to be potted and placed in a patio or near a sunny window indoors. This dwarf lime tree is a moderately vigorous tree with rounded, somewhat droopy yet spreading branches and handsomely dense green foliage. The leaves are medium in size, broadly lanceolate and have winged petioles.

Dwarf Bearss Lime trees produce beautiful and fragrant, medium-sized white with purple tinted flowers that are in full bloom in spring. Once pollinated, these blooms give way to green Persian limes that mature in fall. Persian limes are medium-small sized fruits that are typically rounded and have thin, smooth rind that is adherent to the flesh. The greenish-yellow flesh is juicy, tender and very acidic with true lime taste.

Citrus Tree Care

Getting a dwarf Persian lime tree not only gives you fresh limes within your reach, but also provides a natural air freshener due to the refreshing citrus aroma emanating from the blooms and leaves.So if you are planning on buying dwarf citrus trees to grow at home, look for a lime tree and include it in your purchase list.

While waiting for your newly ordered citrus trees to arrive let us talk about the proper care your citrus trees need in order for them to grow healthy and start bearing fruits in no time.

  • Citrus trees are categorized as tropical trees and thrive in areas where they can bask in full sun making them great for outdoor planting for USDA growing zones 8 to 11. They do not do well in cold areas and may get severely damaged or die if temperatures are too cold. However, you can still lime trees even outside of zones 9 to 11 by ensuring that you take the trees indoors when the forecasted weather is going to be below 30º. During the cold months, place your potted dwarf lime trees in front of a south-facing window where it can get the heat and sunshine it needs. Make sure to leave a couple of feet space for the tree to spread out as it grows.
  • Selecting a pot – Before your ordered dwarf lime tree gets delivered make sure that you buy a repotting container that is big enough to hold the roots without crowding them. Get a repotting container with casters if possible to easily move it indoors when necessary. Also select something with a lot of holes in the bottom to allow proper drainage; you can put a dish under the pot to catch the water coming out of the holes when you water your tree.
  • Repotting – When the citrus tree you ordered online has finally arrived, it needs to be repotted into the container you prepped; use an indoor citrus tree potting soil mixed with citrus tree fertilizer for dwarf trees. Carefully remove the lime tree from the pot it arrived in and set in the new pot – remove any twine or string around the root system – then fill the container with soil while packing it lightly around the base of the tree to prevent any air pockets from forming. Water deeply and thoroughly right after replanting.
  • Watering – Consistency is the key. Newly repotted growing dwarf citrus trees need to be watered at least three times a week to keep the root area moist but not soggy. After 3 weeks, cut back on watering from 3 times a week to once a week. Make sure not to overwater the lime tree to avoid root rot. To know the right time when to water your tree it is highly advised that you purchase an inexpensive moisture meter at any garden supply store to know moisture at root level; when the meter reads 50, it means it is time to deeply and thoroughly water the tree again.
  • Fertilizing – Start fertilizing young and growing citrus trees when you notice new growth after planting. Young citrus trees should be given fertilizer for citrus trees that contain 6 to 10 per cent nitrogen, available phosphorus pentoxide and potassium, with 4 to 6 per cent magnesium. As the lime trees start bearing fruits, change the formula to lower the phosphorus content to 2 to 4 per cent and increase potassium to 9 to 15 per cent. Apply equal amounts of granular citrus fertilizer four times from March thru September.

Fruit & Harvesting

Persian limes are oval or elliptical with rounded base and ribbed or short neck. The fruits usually measure 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide and 2 to 3 inches long and are typically seedless.

The peel of Persian limes is vivid green that turns yellow-green after reaching maturity. The smooth, thin rind is tightly adhering to the flesh and is finely textured.

The pulp of the Bearss lime are light greenish-yellow and are enclosed in 10 segments. They are tender, juicy, acidic, and have a spicy and citrusy-fragrant aroma that is less intense and somewhat devoid of the distinctive bouquet of the Key lime.

Persian Bearss limes are commercially harvested while still green and are served as accompaniment to salads, Asian dishes and fruits like Avocados. However, they are more commonly processed into juice and used in making limeade and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages like daiquiris, mojitos, and the refreshing mint-lime-ginger splash.


Since limes are harvested while still green prior to ripening, it might be a little confusing as to when best to harvest the fruits. The first thing to look out for ripe limes with pale yellow rinds – do not use these fruits as they have reached maturity and are bitter and does not taste good. Next step is to look for limes that have shiny rind that is lighter green in color opposed to those that are darker green. Gently squeeze the fruit you selected and check if it gives a little; if it does, gently twist from the stem and cut open. Do a taste test and check if the juice is adequate and flavorful.

Additional notes: when your lime is starting to wrinkle it means that it has been left for too long on the tree and would naturally fall off the tree.

Growing Zones


Persian lime trees can be grown indoors or outdoors in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 to 11.  When planted directly into the ground it could grow up to 6’ to 10’ high, but tend to stay smaller when planted in a pot. The beautiful dainty blooms of these lime trees proliferate in spring and give way to green limes after sometime, which become ready for harvest in fall.

Dwarf Lime trees are less cold hardy than other citrus trees and must be protected from cold and freeze damage. Potted lime trees should be taken indoors before the temperature dips below 30º as cold weather will not allow the lime tree to grow properly.

Keep an eye out for brown, dead or diseased limbs and cut them immediately with clean and sharp pruning shears. These branches will only steal away nutrients from the healthy parts of the tree that actually need sustenance. Diseased branches should always be removed to avoid spreading the disease to the other parts of the tree.

Pests and Diseases

More often than not, you can grow lime trees without much problem since they are low-maintenance trees. They just need sunlight, proper watering and soil with good drainage. However, even under the best growing condition you can still run into lime tree problems like pests and diseases.

  • Leaf Miner – these are minute moths that attack succulent new growth on citrus trees and leave trails on the leaves and fruits. Infected leaves become distorted and growth is stunted. Established trees can withstand leaf miner infestation but young trees should be protected since they can be extensively damaged due to the fact that their active leaf area will be reduced which will set them back considerably. Citrus leaf miners can be controlled with natural enemies like parasitic wasps that lay their eggs into the tunnels or into the leaf miner larvae and keep the leaf miner population to a low level. Use of broad spectrum insecticide or pesticide is strongly discouraged as it will only kill beneficial insects. If the population is uncontrollable and spraying is required, use horticultural oil in spring when new growth appears then repeated every 7 to 10 days.
  • Trunk and Root Disease – this disease is brought on by a pathogen called Phytophthora. Infected trees will have noticeable stunted growth, cracking bark or trunk with cankers. At its advanced stage when the canker girdles the tree, the tree will die. Plant your tree in well-draining soil and avoid over-watering. Prune low hanging branches about 2-3 feet above the ground and remove infected branches with clean and sharp tools. Disinfect tools with a solution of 1:10 bleach/water ratio before and after use to avoid spreading the disease.


How frequently should I water my lime trees?

Lime trees benefit from a combination of deep, thorough watering and consistent and proper drainage. When the soil is dry from the surface to about three inches deep, water the lime tree deeply and fully. A good standard is to water the lime tree deeply once every two weeks, then adjust watering to more frequently if the soil is becoming dry to below 5 or 6 inches before each successive watering.

What kinds of lime trees have thorns?

Mexican, or Key limes have small, persistent thorns on most branches. Persian limes have larger, but fewer thorns and some individual trees have very few thorns overall.

Is hydrated lime dangerous?

Hydrated lime is a soil additive used in many growing situations, but the inhaled dust can be toxic to humans and animals alike. Also, it is important to be cautious when applying dehydrated lime to the soil; be certain that no pets will walk through the dust, and come into contact with the potentially caustic powder.

How tall will a lime tree get?

Key lime trees (also called Mexican lime trees) reach a height of between 6 feet and 14 feet tall. Persian limes can grow as tall as 16 to 19 feet tall.

Will a lime tree grow indoors?

A potted lime tree can grow indoors if it is placed in a location that gets plenty of sunlight, or is supplemented with growing lights. One option is to move the container grown lime tree outside in warmer months, and overwinter it indoors. If the tree must remain inside, place it in a bright window, and turn the container monthly. The best citrus to grow indoors are smaller or dwarf varieties, such as Dwarf Meyer lemon, Dwarf kaffir lime, Trovita oranges, and Calamondin oranges.

When should I harvest my limes?

Limes become ripe at multiple times throughout the year. Mexican, or Key limes are usually ready to pick by summer and early winter. Bearss, or Persian limes begin to ripen in August, but will often continue to ripen into March. The best way to know if a lime is ready to pick, is to do a taste sample.

What causes limes to fall off the tree?

Since lime trees grow an abundant crop, some falling of individual fruit is normal and expected. Excessive fruit falling from the tree can be caused from uneven or inconsistent watering, as well as a soil pH that is either too alkaline or acidic.

How long will a lime tree live and produce fruit?

Lime trees can live for approximately 50 years. They will bloom and produce fruit from their third to sixth year, and continually after that as they age.

How big will a Persian lime tree get?

Mature Persian lime trees will grow to about 15 to 20 feet tall. They maintain a uniform shape and will spread to a width of 18 to 20 feet.

In what US locations are limes grown?

Spanish explorers first distributed lime seeds from parts of Europe and Asia as early as the late 1400s. From there limes have made their way to Florida, Texas, California, and all warm US climates. Today limes are grown wherever citrus is grown, and are widely distributed in both commercial farms and private gardens.

Do dwarf lime trees grow smaller fruit, or produce fruit more slowly?

Although dwarf lime trees are smaller in stature, their fruit is the same size as standard lime trees, and they produce fruit at the same rate. Like standard-sized lime trees, dwarf lime trees will begin to produce fruit after about 3 years of growth, and increase in yield after that.

How often do lime trees bloom and produce fruit?

Lime trees can produce ripe fruit about two times per year. Limes are usually harvested in May–June and November–December. Healthy lime trees grow at a medium speed of about 13 to 26 inches per year. Trees grown from seed begin to bloom and produce fruit at about 3 to 6 years old, while grafted trees will produce fruit sooner. Fruit production will increase as trees age, until they reach maximum yields from eight to 10 years old and beyond.