Category Archives: Fruit

limes on the branch

What I’ve Learned From Growing a Lime Tree

lime tree growing in a pot
My Persian Lime Tree – August 2017

Gardening and growing things is an ongoing learning process for me. Last November I bought a lime tree and a lemon tree to put in my yard. I knew nothing about growing either type of tree but I hoped to pick fresh fruit one day.

That day has arrived! So here’s what I have learned from growing a lime tree. And it’s good news for anyone considering growing a lime tree in a pot. (The lemon tree isn’t doing so well, but I’ll get to that later.)

I kept the lime tree in it’s pot and set it on the corner of the patio in my backyard. I have read that these smaller citrus trees can be grown in pots. In fact they can be purchased through Amazon. This is something I never knew, and the buyers leave very good reviews. They won’t ship to some areas – like the places that can grow and sell their own trees, it seems. Florida is one.

One of the big advantages of growing in pots is the ability to move the plant / tree. Over winter it did get very cold one or two nights and I brought the lime tree inside. The Persian Lime tree is hardy to zone 10 and I am in zone 9b – a little too far north. When the temps get at or below freezing it needs to be covered or moved inside.

So it’s still in it’s pot, but pots constrict roots, and I’ve always believed that most plants do best in the ground. The lemon and lime have proven me wrong. Although I do realize that my Persian Lime tree may need to be repotted at some point – or put into the ground.  For now it is flourishing right where it is.

sliced lime
My first lime!

A few days ago I picked my first lime! I sliced it and put it into my glass of water… and boy was it good! I love limes… what awesome flavor. I had really been hoping for lemons, but I think I like limes more. It reminded me of the Mojitos I’ve had – but without the booze. The lime I picked was small, but juicy. I won’t go nuts picking all the fruit, but I will definitely be using the larger limes.

I had wondered when to pick my limes and I simply waited for them to be the size of the ones I see at the grocery store.  The time from flowering to picking was about 6 months.  It is so worth the wait!

Benefits of Growing Limes in a Pot

Besides the fact that a lime tree can do well and bear fruit while still in it’s original pot, I’ve learned that being in a pot means the fruit-laden branches won’t hit the ground.

This is the trouble I am having with the lemon tree. Once the heavy fruit began to grow, the branches drooped considerably. As you can see in my photo, many limes are growing in a cluster at the end of this branch which weighs it down.

If this tree was in the ground, this branch would be rubbing along the dirt – and in danger of being hit by the mower or weed-eater.

limes on the branch
Cluster of Limes

Shortly after I planted the lemon tree in the ground, I realized that my dream of having a row of citrus trees along the front of the house was unrealistic. The north wind blows from that direction and it can get very windy some days. I’m not saying it’s cold, I am in Florida, but the constant wind on the Lemon tree has been detrimental to it’s growth.  Between that and being hit by my son’s weed-eating job, the poor lemon tree is having a hard time.  I also think something may be eating the branches.  I may not have any edible lemons.

The Lime tree has none of those problems.  It is on the south side of the house and protected from the wind.  I can’t move the lemon tree now, I only hope it will recover and adjust to it’s spot.

Both trees receive citrus fertilizer every few months, except in winter. Fertilizing stops in November and begins again in March. This is according to the pamphlet I got at the plant nursery.

Here in Florida, if it doesn’t rain, everything needs to be watered daily in summer. I usually water the Lime tree twice a day. Being in a pot, out in the sun, means it will dry out faster.

I did have to set the potted tree inside a larger plastic pot and weigh it down with leftover bricks from building our patio. I had to do this because once the fruit began to grow the tree was top heavy and would blow over whenever the soil dried out.

In a Nutshell

I bought my Persian Lime tree in November 2016 from a local nursery for $12.99. It immediately began to grow longer stems and more leaves.   Maybe it was the direct sunlight compared to the nursery conditions, but the tree doubled in size!

A few months later it began to flower profusely and set many limes. Lots of those fell off, leaving the larger ones to continue to grow. Don’t worry if lots of the small limes fall from the tree. The tree seems to know just how many limes it can handle! Many will stay and continue to grow.

I picked one lime, and there are 28 limes left on the branches (I just went out and counted them). I see a few very tiny limes growing also, but they may fall off. Not a bad first harvest!  I don’t remember exactly when the lime tree began flowering, but it was later than the lemon tree – and I don’t have any edible lemons yet.  I’m guessing at around 6 months time to grow these limes.

fresh limes in water
Refreshing…. Limes from the yard in my water glass!
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persian lime tree

Wondering When my Persian Lime Tree Will Bear Fruit

Persian lime buds
Buds on the Lime Tree

A few months ago I purchased a lemon tree and Persian lime tree from a local nursery. Both are blooming and beginning to bear fruit. I planted the lemon tree in the ground, but decided to keep the lime tree in the pot. I’m glad I wasn’t in a hurry to put them both in the ground, because the lemon tree is not doing as well as the lime.

The Meyer lemon began budding almost as soon as it was planted. The tree itself is very small, so I expected no fruit from it. Surprisingly, some of the lemons are now getting to a good size, but many have already fallen off. I gave it a sunny spot, but failed to realize the amount of wind the tree would receive. The lime is more sheltered from the strong wind, on the south side of the house, and also gets a lot of sun.   From what I’ve read, this is more to it’s liking.  

budding persian lime tree
Potted Persian Lime Tree

Also, the lime tree (photo above), which was never removed from it’s original pot, began to grow like mad! It has doubled in size in the past few months, and is just now blooming. Because of the size, I have some hope of picking limes in the not too distant future.  Fingers crossed! I’m holding of putting it into the ground because it’s growing very well where it is.

Because I am not familiar with growing either types of fruit, I searched online for Persian Lime Tree Care and found an article at the Gardening Know How site.  In fact they have many articles with growing and care information.  That being said, I always get my gardening information from more than one source – especially when reading online.  In fact, this article “How Long Does it Take to Grow Limes?” at the Home Guides site, gives a lot more useful information.  It tells me that fruit is harvested twice a year; May-June and November-December.  This is the information I wanted to find.

Online articles can be written by experts, or by people who really have no idea what they are talking about.  Some people write online simply to make money and are not all that interested in truthfulness.  I prefer to find information on a blog written by someone with first hand experience.  In other words, someone who cares enough to share what they know to be true.

At the present time, I am not a lime growing expert, but I hope to become one by growing them myself.  As time goes on I will share MY first hand experience, but for now, I must count on others for solid information.

I’ll be sure to post about eating my first home-grown lemons and limes!

Pictures of Berries for Breakfast

I love to eat berries for breakfast. Usually I mix strawberries and blueberries into my yogurt and top with walnuts and coconut. Recently I have begun drinking fruit or vegetable smoothies, but later in the day.

Raspberries used to grow along the side of my house in New Hampshire. I only picked a few at a time because the birds would usually eat them first. The flavor of raspberries cannot be beat, but all those seeds get to me. Strawberries are my favorite fruit.

raspberries bowl on table
Photo by Daria Yakovleva @ Pixabay

At the end of June the blueberries would begin to turn blue. My favorite place to pick them was around Gregg Lake. It’s a quiet area and I was fortunate enough to live just up the road for three years of my life. Although the house was a rental, I enjoyed that area of New Hampshire immensely. The Girl Scouts ran Camp Chenoa which ran along one whole side of the lake, which meant that the area was mostly wooded with few residential houses. I used to write about that area at my old blog New England’s Narrow Road. I was not familiar with blogging back then, so the blog is a bit of a mess. I liked to share photos of that area of the country and I still link to it from time to time.

Photo credit: jill111 @ Pixabay
Photo credit: jill111 @ Pixabay

As I’ve said, strawberries are my favorite fruit. My grandparents grew them in their big garden and I remember helping pick the berries in summer. Now that I live in Florida, this (January and February) is strawberry season. Maybe the season hits twice here, I don’t know. There are many boxes of strawberries at pretty good prices in the store, but they are not organic. I buy organic everything as much as possible, but especially when it comes to the “Dirty Dozen”, and that means strawberries.

bowl of strawberries
Pretty table photo by jill111 @ Pixabay

Are you craving berries yet?
The photos here are all credited to their photographer, and every photo is free to use for any purpose. They can be found at Pixabay, or click on the picture to go there.

Growing a Meyer Lemon Tree

meyer lemon tree flowers
Buds on Meyer Lemon tree

Although my new yard is fairly small, there is a lot of sunny space out front.  I planned to plant a row of Florida citrus trees out there, but now I have some questions about growing citrus trees.

I bought a Meyer Lemon tree and a Lime Tree from Pells a few weeks ago.  The lemon is planted in the ground out front, and the lime is in a pot on the patio out back.

The lemon tree has pretty, purple buds on it, but it’s December – almost January – and I don’t think this is the time of year it should be getting flowers… but I don’t know.

I did find a Meyer Lemon tree growing article at the Fast Growing Trees site.  Between the information in the article about watering, fertilizer, pollination, and light needs, the comments from people trying to grow these trees also adds good info.

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-8-57-26-am
In the ground 3 weeks

My question is “Can I plant other citrus near my lemon tree?”  What if I put a lime next to a lemon?  Will the fruit end up tasting like a combination of the two?

I also wonder if it’s too early in the season for flowers to be forming on the tree.  We could have frosts and freezes in the months coming.  I thought that citrus began to bloom in Spring.

UPDATE: The staff at the “Fast Growing Trees” site have answered my questions.  Trees that have been growing in containers may take time to acclimate to being in the ground.  He said it is early for the tree to be blooming, but the tree will eventually figure it out.  

Also… it’s fine to plant citrus trees near each other.  It will help with pollination!  Thank you!  I can’t seem to figure out how I signed into that site so I can say thanks.

I’m new at this, but I live in a location where it should be easy to grow all kinds of fruit.  I know that I can cut the top off pineapples and stick them into the ground to grow.  It takes a couple of years before a little pineapple begins to grow out of the top, but it can be done.  I used to grow them when I lived here before.

pineapple welcome sign
Welcome address custom tile with pineapples and tropical flowers.

So I have posted my question with the above-mentioned site.  I’m always up for learning new things, and gardening of all kinds in Florida is something I must now learn.