Kaffir Lime Leaves
Also known as Makrut lime, Leech lime or Thai lime, this lime is a variety grown mainly for its aromatic leaves rather than the fruit. The dark, glossy leaves look like two separate leaves joined together. Mature fruit are yellow and bumpy and they have many seeds. They are usually harvested when still green. Juice and oils from the fruit are used in shampoos, cleansers and air fresheners.
About Kaffir Lime Trees
These lime trees are small with large sharp thorns. They are similar in size to a Western lime and the fruit is dark green with a bumpy surface. They prefer tropical conditions but can be grown in cold climates if protected from cool winds and given lots of sunshine.
Planting a Kaffir Lime Tree
The Kaffir lime tree grows well in pots. Though it can thrive outdoors, it is more appropriate for indoors. If you live in an extremely cold area, plant these trees in pots so that you can move them inside conveniently. Use a container that allows proper drainage.
Selecting a Location
Before planting your tree, pick a location that receives maximum sunlight. After all, this dwarf citrus tree may not bloom to its absolute potential in a shaded area. These trees can often grow as high as eight or ten feet, thus it is imperative to choose a spot that can accommodate your lime tree easily.
Time to Get Started
Use a spade to make a hole in the soil. This hole should nearly be twice the thickness of the root ball of your tree. Make sure to use well-drained soil to plant your tree. Place high-quality organic material or compost into the hole. Add fertilizer or soil amendments, if required. You can help the roots expand to the right level by arranging the walls of the hole with your spade.
Positioning Your Kaffir Lime Tree
Arrange the root ball of the tree in the hole. Use a spade to fill the hole with the soil. Flatten the surface to remove any possible air pockets. Spread enough soil around the stem such that this area doesn’t collect water.
Watering the Tree
Provide water to your newly-planted tree. Don’t provide too much water as it can cause root damage. If you’ve planted your tree in well-drained soil, make a basin around its perimeter so that water can run efficiently.
Noticing yellow leaves on your lime tree? This may be an indication of a deficiency of fertilizer. Implementation of proper, effective fertilization strategies can provide you with fully grown, juicy limes.
Spreading Compost Pellets
Once you’ve planted your tree, intersperse sheep or chicken compost pellets near its base. Spread these pellets to the drip line. It is important to leave enough space between the tree’s stem and pellets. When you water the plant, the pellets gradually start releasing nitrogen into the soil.
Applying Granular Fertilizer
Apply a grainy, slow-release fertilizer in spring as well as at the starting and end of the summer season. If your tree is around three years old, spread enough fertilizer around your tree’s base. You can even spread it beyond the drip line. You may have to use large amounts of fertilizer in case your tree is over three years old.
Get a Rake
Gently mix fertilizer with the soil using a rake. Avoid exerting too much force as it can damage thin roots.
Once you’ve fertilized the Kaffir lime tree, give it almost one inch of water.
Care for Your Kaffir Lime Tree
Though Kaffir lime trees are likely to thrive in almost any kind of conditions, it is important to fulfill certain lime tree care requirements to ensure their optimal development.
Sun, Soil, Water – A Few Prerequisites
Kaffir limes grow well in well-drained, moist soil. If your tree is planted indoors, set it close to a sunny window. Provide them with adequate amounts of water during the growing periods. Since excessive water can damage its roots, it is better to let the soil dry out before you water your plant once again.
Protection From Frost
Kaffir lime trees need to be protected from harsh, cold climates. If your tree is planted outside, bring it inside the house during winter.
Efficient lime tree care can help you get a fully-developed, healthy, and sweet-smelling Kaffir lime tree.