Growing Zones: 4-11 patio / 8-11 outdoors(hardy down to 20℉)
This plant is perfect for your area!
- Mature Height:
- 5-10 ft.
- Mature Width:
- 3-6 ft.
- Growth Rate:
- Harvest Time:
- Late winter-Early spring
- Year to Bear:
- Can Fruit the 1st year!
- Botanical Name:
- Citrus hystrix
- Does Not Ship To:
- AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY, AL, DC
Don't Buy Bare-Root Trees (learn why below)
Lime Zest That Beats The Rest
Kaffer Limes have a bumpy rind that gives them a unique look, different from common limes with smooth skin. However, that’s not why they’re the most popular lime used by chefs all over the world. Their popularity stems from their strong zesty flavor.
The flavor of Kaffer Limes is often described as a powerful jolt of sour citrus, which adds a delightful kick to numerous different recipes. By adding just a little of the peal to curries, soups, pies and more you’ll be adding an irresistible spicy lime flavor that will be sought after again and again.
Although Kaffer limes are abundant producers of fruit, you don’t have to wait until your limes are ready to be harvested to enjoy their zesty taste. Their leaves have the same powerful flavor as the peels. You can pick leaves off of your tree to season your dishes all year.
Kaffer limes are hard to find in grocery stores. If you do manage to find one, they’ll be expensive. It’s much easier to grow tons of fresh limes at home. With the Kaffer Lime’s low maintenance qualities and abilities to thrive in containers indoors, you won’t have to leave your home for fresh fruit.
By only growing to about six feet tall, and three feet wide your Kaffer Lime Tree will fit anywhere. It’s perfect for tight spaces and gardens that don’t have a lot of room. They will also fit easily in any room of the house to flourish as a phenomenal houseplant.
The leaves and limes on this tree are a delight to grow because they have a strong citrus scent that will fill the room and naturally freshen the air. By placing your Kaffer Lime Tree in a container and growing it indoors you’ll have an organic deodorizer that will keep the air in your home crisp and clean.
The sweet citrus scent only increases when Kaffer Lime Trees erupt with tons of fragrant and beautiful white flowers. The alluring blooms pop against the Kaffer lime’s long, dark, glossy leaves to stand out and capture attention.
Kaffer Limes are among an elite group of citrus trees that will grow without any trouble. With the correct amount of water and sunlight you’ll have a wonderful Kaffer Lime tree to enjoy for a lifetime.
Kaffer 'Kieffer' Lime Tree Pollination
Kaffer 'Kieffer' Lime Trees are self-fertile. You will get fruit with only one plant. However, adding an additional Kaffer 'Kieffer' Lime Tree will drastically increase the size of your crop.
Customer Reviews & Photos
Planting & Care
The Kaffer ‘Kieffer’ Lime Tree (Citrus hystrix) is a dwarf lime tree reaching a mature height of 5-10 feet and width of 3-6 feet. Recommended for USDA growing zones 8-11 when grown outdoors, its small size makes it perfect for those located in colder climates to grow this tree in a container. The dark green, glossy leaves have a unique double-leaf characteristic where two leaves are joined together. They make for a beautiful backdrop to the white pop of flowers in spring. The limes themselves are also unique as their skin is not smooth like a typical lime but rather have a bumpy appearance. While the limes and leaves on this tree give off a citrusy scent that will freshen your home, the fruit itself is often described as too tart and not juicy enough to eat alone. Instead, the rind is often used when grated finely as well as the leaves which can also be used to flavor Asian dishes.
Selecting a location: Choose a location where your tree is going to get plenty of sunlight, 6-8 hours per day is best. They can tolerate some shade, but thrive in full sun. You’ll want to ensure trees are spaced 8-10 feet apart if planting more than one. These trees also do better in areas with high humidity so you may also need to create humidity for your tree by misting the leaves daily with water. Potted plants do enjoy a daily misting for humidity but placing a tray with rocks filled with water under the plant will feed humidity to the tree as the water evaporates.
Planting Directions (in Ground): If you are located in zones 8-11 and your winter temperatures stay consistently warm, your Kieffer lime will do well being planting outside in the ground. Be sure the area has well draining soil.
1) Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root system.
2) Place the tree in the hole and back fill it with your sandy, well-drained, acidic soil. If you have clay soil, try amending it with sand, stone, perlite or fine potting soil.
3) Tamp the soil down as you backfill the hole to cut back on any pockets from forming.
4) After planting, be sure to give your lime tree a deep watering for about 5 minutes. Mulching around the tree will help insulate the roots and keep your plant warm in the colder winter months as well.
Planting Instructions (potted): If your winter temperatures are consistently below 40 degrees, plant your tree in a container that can easily be brought outside in the summer months and inside in the winter. A planter with built-in casters is a good choice so it can easily be moved. Choose a pot slightly larger than what it was shipped in that has plenty of holes in the bottom to allow for drainage. Be sure to plant in well-draining potting soil preferably recommended for acid loving citrus plants.
1) Fill your pot halfway with soil. Remove the tree from its original pot and gently place it in the potting soil.
2) Fill in around the tree with the remainder of the potting soil but be sure not to cover the grafted area of the tree. Leave about an inch from the soil surface to the rim of the pot for easy watering.
3) Lightly pack down the soil. Immediately after planting, give your tree a deep watering until it flows from the holes in the bottom of the pot.
4) Place your tree in an area of your home, preferably a south-facing window, where it is going to get plenty of sunlight. Supplement with a grow light if it will not receive at least 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. You may also need to create humidity for your tree by placing the pot on a saucer of pebbles or misting the leaves daily with water.
Watering: Limes do not like wet feet. Be sure to give your tree a deep watering so that it can penetrate into the root system. After watering, allow the top 2-3 inches of the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Yellowing and droopy leaves is a common sign of over watering while brown, dry leaves are a sign of under watering. Mulching can help retain the soil moisture and also combat competing grasses/weeds.
For potted Kieffer Limes, stick your index finger into the soil down to about 2 inches. If there is moisture present, hold off on watering until it feels more dry at that depth. When ready to water, stop once you see it escaping the drainage holes at the base of the pot.
Pollination assistance: You can pollinate your indoor trees by hand since most people do not keep a healthy bee population within their home. Simply take a small, dry, fine tipped paint brush and stick it into the center of the bloom. Swirl it around and collect the pollen on the brush. Go to the next bloom and repeat the process until every bloom has been treated. Do this once daily and don’t wash the paintbrush until after the blooms have been pollinated. The bloom will fall off naturally and the fruit will begin to form.
Fertilization: Feed your lime tree during the warmer spring and summer seasons with a citrus specific fertilizer once every six weeks. Espoma Citrus Tone is highly recommended but any organic fertilizer specifically for citrus should suffice. This will help keep your tree on a healthy growth cycle but also replenish the nutrients in the soil. During the fall and winter season, ease back to fertilizing once every 2-3 months. Once the tree has matured a bit and has got a few years on it, you can skip the cold season fertilization. The same fertilizing regimen should be followed for potted lime trees as well. Make sure to follow the application instructions written on the fertilizer bag.
Pruning: Pruning can be done at any time of the year for in ground planted limes except in the winter. Make 45-degree angle cuts to remove dead or crossing limbs and also to thin out the tree to allow more light to flow between the branches. “Leggy” looking branches may indicate that there is not enough light getting to the tree’s interior. After the tree fruits, remove any dead wood and ventilate the center of the tree. Remove suckers as they form/grow from the base as they will steal away nutrients from the primary trunk of the tree. Pruning can be done at any time of the year for the potted lime.
Most items ship the next business day unless otherwise noted
Estimated Shipping Time: Most orders ship immediately, however some orders may ship in 1-2 business days (we do not ship on the weekends) from date of purchase. As noted on the website, some items are seasonal, and may only ship in spring or fall. Once your order is shipped, you'll receive an email with a tracking number.
|Amount of Order||Shipping Charge|
|Less than $15||$11.95|
You can still order, but due to cold weather, we have delayed shipping to the areas shaded on the map below. We want your new plant to thrive right out of the box, so we will wait on shipping your order until the weather is ideal. This includes anyone in
Growing Zones 3 - 6. If you are unsure of your growing zone, visit our
Growing Zone Finder.
Some plants are not available for immediate shipment, and delayed delivery is noted.
We will resume normal shipping in the Spring. Please see the table below for your approximate ship date.
|Growing Zone||Shipping Resumes|
|Zones 3 & 4||Week of May 4th|
|Zone 5||Week of April 13th|
|Zone 6||Week of March 30th|
|Zones 7 - 11||Ships Now!|