Key Lime (Citrus × aurantiifolia)

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Pot Size
⚠ Citrus ships to Florida only ⚠

Key limes (Citrus x aurantiifolia, West Indian lime, Mexican lime, bartender’s lime) are as true as true can be to the best qualities of limes. These lime hybrid trees are naturalized to areas of the West Indies, but are related to original Asian varieties of limes. In Florida, these are the central ingredient to Key lime pie filling, which came about in an old-timey effort to make condensed milk palatable. Turns out, pies do grow on trees!

Key lime trees embrace the harsh realities of tropical climates, thriving in acidic, rocky soils with low requirements for irrigation and fertilization.  As limes are wont to do, key lime grows more shrublike than treelike, with thorny stems for a natural defense mechanism. Generally, care for key lime trees means very little coddling, except for cold protection. Key lime plants flower by late winter to spring, and produce fruit shortly afterwards.

Planting, cultural care, pruning, and harvesting are similar for all citrus plants, with a few slight variations. Generally, they are best planted in filtered sun with well-drained soil that can hold moisture and nutrients. Citrus trees a particularly high demand for nitrogen. If you’re fantasizing about long afternoons of picking fresh fruit from your personal citrus grove, keep this in mind: The key to growing citrus is setting it up for success from the start.

Plant Type
Subtropical Evergreen Fruit Tree

Harvest Season
Winter, Spring, Year-round

Main citrus fruit production will take place in late winter through spring, but may produce throughout the year

Mature Size
7-30 ft

Mature size varies by citrus tree type. Overall, citrus varieties can be grown in containers and maintained at smaller sizes.

Soil & Moisture
Well-drained, high fertility and good moisture-holding capacity; High nitrogen demands. Regular watering throughout the first year and throughout flowering and fruiting season.

Light Requirements
Full Sun, Part Shade

Overall, citrus prefers slightly shady areas and has better fruit production in part shade lighting conditions.

Self-Fertile
Yes

Growth Rate
Medium 

Zone Hardiness
Outdoors 8-11; Patio/Greenhouse 4+

Although their fruit provides a distinctly tropical twist to any drink or dish, Citrus trees trees are actually very cold hardy fruit trees, taking temperatures down to the low 20's!

Propagation
Grafted and ready to produce. 

See More
Sow Exotic offers many different unique varieties of Citrus trees. Shop the Citrus Collection!

Small: 2" Peat Pots
Medium: 4" Coconut Coir Pot
Large: 6" Peat Pot
X-Large: 8-10" Pot 
Citrus: 4x14" Pot

View Full Plantable Pot Size & Materials Guide Here 

Dig Deeper

Sweet, tangy, juicy citrus fruit is more than just a delicious snack or an essential ingredient in your Sunday afternoon mimosas!

Citrus (especially oranges) is an amazing source of Vitamin C, an essential vitamin that helps prevent and treat the common cold/upper respiratory infections and improve heart health. Your body can’t make vitamin C on its own so you need to get it from fruits like citrus, fresh vegetables, berries, etc.

Shop All Citrus Varieties