Having fresh, organic lime fruit to consume and use as an ingredient while cooking can add a distinctive flavor to any food, not to mention the odor.
That’s why you should know how to grow a lime tree indoors if you want to step up your cooking game.
While it can be tricky to grow a lime tree, especially if you live in a colder area, you should know that it isn’t impossible, and now I’m going to share all my knowledge on how to do it in a few simple steps.
Purchase A Dwarf Lime Tree Or Start From The Seed
As you can imagine, similarly to any other citrus tree, you can either
- Continue growing a smaller lime tree purchased online or in a store or
- Start from zero and plant from the seed
The choice is all yours.
If you decide to go with a tree, choose the dwarf lime tree because it’s suited for growing in a pot and it won’t grow high, which is perfect if you’re opting to know how to grow a lime tree indoors.
On the other hand, growing a lime tree from the seed takes more time, energy, patience, and caution.
Keep in mind that it will probably grow for a few years before finally giving fruits.
Even though this process is long and more complicated, a lot of people prefer to know how to grow a lime tree indoors from the seed.
Why? Because it offers greater satisfaction once the tree has grown and started blooming and giving fruits.
How To Grow A Lime Tree Indoors From The Seeds
When growing a lemon tree from seeds, you should plant the seed as soon as you take it out from a lemon and clean it. On the other hand, when it comes to lime trees, you should leave the seeds to dry for about two weeks.
After these two weeks, you can plant them into a baby planter with drainage holes and good-quality soil that’s damp.
Cover the planter with a transparent plastic wrap and poke a few holes on it.
You should keep the baby planters somewhere warm and light, preferably next to a really sunny window.
Or you can keep them under grow lights in a grow tent, if you’re germinating the seeds during winter, or in a colder area in general.
Germinating the seeds in the tent can be more precise because you will be able to control and mimic the optimal natural conditions, which will help the seeds germinate faster.
Don’t forget to water the soil, but keep in mind that the lime tree doesn’t like being overwatered, so that’s why the drainage holes on the container are really important.
Make sure that the room is humid enough, and the temperature should be around 25 degrees Celsius.
After a few weeks, you’ll notice the seedlings. This means that the germination process is over and that it’s time to replant the seedlings from the nursery planters to a bigger container.
You should do that by filling half of the larger container with slightly damp soil mixture.
Then you should take out the seedling very carefully, making sure that the roots aren’t getting damaged or tangled.
Place the baby tree into the new pot very carefully and fill the rest of the pot with the same soil mixture. Spray some water on the seedling and keep the container next to a sunny window. The soil should have a neutral pH level.
You can easily measure the pH level by using a good-quality soil meter. The meter will not only help you control pH but also the level of moisture as well as light exposure.
Don’t forget that the new, larger container should have drainage holes. As mentioned, the lime tree doesn’t like being over-watered, and those holes will get rid of the water excess.
Also, you should consider misting your lime tree on a daily basis because they prefer humid conditions to grow their best.
If you really want your “project” to work out and if you want to know how to grow a lime tree indoors without it dying, you should invest in a humidifier.
Watering The Lime Tree
This is one of the crucial things when researching how to grow a lime tree indoors because everyone knows that plants require the right amount of water to grow. Every plant is different, and it will require a different watering schedule.
When it comes to lime trees, it’s important to know that even though lime trees need water to grow and can’t thrive if being dehydrated, it’s also dangerous to exaggerate with the amount of water because that can be too much for the roots.
It’s important to keep the soil moist and not completely wet.
That’s why a preferable watering schedule would be 2-3 times a week, or more precisely as soon as you notice that the soil seems dry to the touch. However, it shouldn’t be completely dried out.
You can check that either with the soil meter or by sticking a finger into the soil and seeing if it’s semi-dry or not.
Light Exposure And Dark Time
Lime trees require 8-12 hours of light exposure if you want to have a lush tree that’s full of fruits.
If the tree has around 5 hours of light during the day, it will only be enough for it to survive, but you can’t expect the fruits.
When discovering the best tricks that will help your lime tree to thrive, it is also important to notice that lime trees do need some dark time, and that’s why too much light exposure isn’t good either.
If you live in a colder area or if the winters are darker and there’s not much sunlight next to the windows of your home, you can freely install grow lights since those will be of great help when growing a lime tree indoors.
You should do additional research when it comes to the grow lights you own or want to purchase them because every type and brand is different and not every set of grow lights will have to be installed on the same height.
Don’t Forget The Pollination
Plants that grow outdoors have natural helpers that make the pollination process quick and easy. When wanting to know how to grow a lime tree indoors, it’s also essential to learn how to perform the pollination by hand.
The process is quite simple, actually. Once you see that the white flowers are grown, take a cotton swab, and collect the pollen from the anthers (male parts of the plant).
Then distribute that pollen all over the stigma (the female part) and make sure it’s well-coated.
After a few days, you should notice tiny fruits forming on the flower, and this means that the pollination was successful.
Keep in mind that your lime tree will probably need up to three years to first start growing flowers and the fruits.
Indoors, we don’t have bees and insects that help plants with pollination, and that’s why the process of pollination by hand is essential. Learn how to do it correctly, and you won’t have to worry.
Should I Prune My Lime Tree?
Most definitely! As soon as you notice that some of the branches or leaves are dry, you can cut them carefully. By doing so, you’re getting rid of dead parts of your tree.
After that, the lime tree will have more energy to consume, and new branches will grow.
You can also prune it to reshape the tree and make it more appealing, or if the tree seems to be growing too high for your indoor conditions.
All of this won’t harm your lime tree but help it grow even better and richer with fruits.
Which Fertilizers Should I Use?
You can purchase fertilizers that are specially made for citrus trees, and that contain all the necessary nutrients for their growth.
If, however, you already own some fertilizers and you’re wondering if those will do the job, you should know which nutrients your lime tree needs before using it.
Like all citrus trees, a lime tree needs nitrogen to grow its best. Other than that, your tree with thrive when given zinc, copper, boron, magnesium, iron.
So, if the fertilizers you own contain these elements, you’re good to use them for your lime tree as well.
After reading this post, you may think that learning to grow a lime tree indoors seems really challenging, and it can be.
Even more so if you live in an area that doesn’t get too much sunlight during the year.
However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t grow a beautiful, lush lime tree and enjoy its benefits.
All of the tips and tricks from this post will surely help you become an expert when it comes to growing a lime tree, or any other citrus, indoors. All you need is patience and discipline, and your lime tree will grow delicious fruits in years to come.