Have lime seeds

Real lime, lime tree


from 200.00cm to 400.00cm
Growth characteristics
  • upright
  • bushy
  • Thorns or thorns
  • Planters
  • Winter garden
Garden style
  • Mediterranean garden
  • Pot garden


The real lime (Citrus aurantifolia), sour lime or Mexican lime, also known as key lime in American, belongs to the genus of citrus plants (Citrus) within the botanical family of the rhombus plants, like the real lemon (Citrus limon) and orange (Citrus sinensis) (Rutaceae). The real lime is originally at home in the tropics. The German name was borrowed from French, where the word limette means "little lemon". The juice and essential ingredients of the plant are used commercially.


The real lime grows as a small, short-stemmed bush that is heavily branched and forms a dense crown. In its natural environment, the lime tree grows to between two and four meters high, as a potted plant in our latitudes it remains significantly smaller. The relatively thin shoots are armed with thorns.


The oval, about eight centimeters long, leathery, dark green leaves of Citrus aurantifolia are reminiscent of those of the bitter orange (Citrus aurantium), from which it probably got its Latin name, but do not have such a strong shine.


The many small white flowers of the self-fruiting species adorn the lime tree in early summer. They give off an aromatic scent. If the real lime gets a lot of sun, the flowers turn purple.


Citrus aurantifolia bears fruit very reliably. These fruits of the real lime are much smaller than those of the larger, largely seed-free common lime (Citrus latifolia), which is also often offered in stores. The approximately table tennis ball-sized, yellow or green fruits, depending on the temperature, contain many seeds and have as strong a scent as the flowers.


Since the real lime is a tropical plant and loves warmth, it is best to place the plant in a heated winter garden. In summer they are quartered in a sunny, sheltered place on the terrace or balcony so that the plant grows nice and bushy.


Plant the real lime in well-drained substrate with a high mineral content such as grit, expanded clay or lava fragments, which is loosened up by coconut fibers. The soil should be rich in humus and free from peat.

to water

Limes are thirsty and should be adequately watered on warm days. The water supply must be penetrating so that the substrate is well moistened. Tap water and rainwater are suitable as irrigation water.


Use a good quality citrus fertilizer to fertilize the lime tree. 20 percent nitrogen, 4 percent phosphate and 14 percent potassium are an optimal mix. Fertilize your lime weekly during the growing season between March and October.


The lime is always repotted when the pot is completely rooted. The best time for this is in March before the new shoots. With young plants this is the case about every two years, later repotting is much less frequent. Choose a slightly larger plant pot as the new container.

To cut

Citrus aurantifolia is cut compatible. A regular cut helps with a nice, dense crown build-up. In late winter, prune the lime tree before it sprouts. Make sure that you always cut just above an outward-facing bud or a leaf base. Smaller shape corrections during the summer are also possible.

Other care

In the case of citrus plants, make sure that the roots in the pot do not heat up excessively (for example in the case of dark planters), otherwise they will stop working and the lime will dry out despite the damp earth.


The overwintering of Citrus aurantifolia is not that easy, as the plant does not hibernate, but the light yield and temperature in our latitudes in winter do not meet their needs. That is why it usually sheds its leaves in winter and needs a longer regeneration phase in spring. The ideal winter temperature for the real lime is between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius. The warmer the winter quarters, the lighter it has to be. Also in winter quarters, make sure that the substrate never dries out and it is better to water less penetratingly than constantly a little. There is no fertilization in the winter quarters.


Basically, the real lime can be propagated from seeds or cuttings. When growing from seeds, however, there is a risk of bitter fruits. For the propagation of cuttings of ungrafted lime trees, head cuttings are cut, the lower leaves are removed, the interface is dipped in rooting powder and the shoots are placed in loose growing substrate. The cuttings take root at temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius under a plastic cover. Especially with very young plants, make sure that they are not too cold. Most of the trees offered in stores are, however, grafted specimens that are not so easy to rearrange.

Diseases and pests

Citrus plants are particularly susceptible to the typical potted plant pests such as scale insects and spider mites if they are poorly cared for or drought. The scale and mealybugs can be easily combated with a mixture of alcohol and soft soap. There are own suitable remedies against spider mites. Use the spray in small doses and not in direct sunlight.