Information About Key Lime Pie Plant

Information About Key Lime Pie Plant

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Key Lime Pie Plant Care: How To Propagate Key Lime Pie Succulents

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

You may know key lime pie plants as crinkle leaf succulent plants. Whatever you choose to call these tough little plants, key lime pie plant propagation is about as easy as it gets. Click this article to learn about propagation of Adromischus succulents.

How to Plant Key Lime Trees

Lime trees are afflicted with very few pests that are life-threatening to the tree. If you must spray an insecticide, figure out what type of insect you are dealing with and select a spray specifically designed to use on key lime trees.

Do not mulch around key limes or other citrus trees. The additional mulch can cause the soil to retain too much water and cause the tree to develop root rot and die.

Never allow the key lime tree to grow in constantly flooded conditions. It will develop root rot and die.

Key lime trees are cold-sensitive, so they should only be planted in the warmer tropical and subtropical areas of the country. They will grow best outdoors in zones nine and higher. In colder areas, it is best to grow the key lime in a container that can be brought inside when signs of frost are present. Planting a key lime tree is not that difficult and follows the same basic steps as planting other varieties of citrus.

Select an area to plant your key lime that will receive full sunshine. It is also best to plant the tree on the southern side of the house to protect it from the cold, northern winds. Allow at least 12 feet of room on all sides of the key lime to properly grow.

  • Key lime trees are cold-sensitive, so they should only be planted in the warmer tropical and subtropical areas of the country.
  • Planting a key lime tree is not that difficult and follows the same basic steps as planting other varieties of citrus.

Remove any grass or weeds from the area where you intend to plant the key lime. It is best to maintain a weed-free area at all times around the base of the key lime tree. This will allow the tree to absorb moisture and fertilizer properly.

Plant your key lime tree directly in the soil without amending it. Key limes prefer a soil medium that drains well, thus sandy soils are perfect for growing a key lime. They will even grow well in soils that are rocky. Clay soils will retain too much water, and the lime tree may develop root rot and die.

  • Remove any grass or weeds from the area where you intend to plant the key lime.
  • Key limes prefer a soil medium that drains well, thus sandy soils are perfect for growing a key lime.

Dig a hole directly in the soil that is a little wider than the key lime’s container and at the same depth of the container. Place the tree in the hole, allowing the tree to be planted slightly higher that what it was growing inside of the container. Do not plant the key lime deeper than it was growing inside of the container. This will add undue stress to the tree, and it may die.

Cover the opened areas around the root ball with soil and water thoroughly. Stamp down on the ground to make sure any air pockets remaining in the soil are removed.

Water the newly planted key lime tree three to four times a week for the first three weeks. Cut back to watering once a week for the next several months. Once the tree is established, you can cut back the watering to once every 10 to 14 days.

  • Dig a hole directly in the soil that is a little wider than the key lime’s container and at the same depth of the container.

Fertilize the key lime tree only after new growth has appeared on it. Use a high-quality, all-purpose citrus fertilizer. Continue fertilizing the tree four times a year.

Lime, Mexican Thornless 'Thornless Key' (Citrus aurantifolia)


With a somewhat upright and bushy growth habit, ‘Thornless Key’ holds all the same attributes as its kin, the Mexican Lime but without those aggravating thorns. Glossy foliage and fragrant blooms are a striking addition to the landscape and add a relaxed tropical feel. The small fruits, ranging in size of Ping-Pong balls to golf balls are greenish-yellow when fully mature and hold a distinct flavor prized for countless culinary uses.

Utilize citrus trees in the landscape just like any ornamental tree. Give enough space that light is available from all sides, away from the shade of larger trees or buildings. A great plant for large patio containers where the fragrant flowers can be enjoyed and the fruit easily picked. Can also be grown indoors if space and ample sunlight can be provided.

Plant Feed

Apply a complete fertilizer formulated for fruit bearing varieties.


Water 2 - 3 times per week until established.

Organic-rich, well-drained soil.

Basic Care Summary

Plant where tree is accessible from all sides so that fruit can be easily harvested as it matures. Apply fertilizer formulated for citrus trees in late winter into early spring. Prepare fruit by peeling away the outer skin, slicing, or squeezing for juice.

Planting Instructions

Plant in spring or early fall to give plants the best start.

Choose a location that will allow roots to spread and branches to grow freely. Space plants far enough from building foundations, walls, and decks so that the growing foliage won't crowd the structure. Consider whether tall trees or shrubs will block windows or interfere with the roof or power lines.

To prepare the planting area dig a hole as deep as the root ball and three times as wide. After removing the soil, mix it with some compost or peat moss. This enriches the soil and loosens the existing dirt so that new roots can spread easily.

To remove the plant from the container, gently brace the base of the plant, tip it sideways and tap the outside of the pot to loosen. Rotate the container and continue to tap, loosening the soil until the plant pulls smoothly from the pot. The container can also be removed by carefully cutting it down the side.

Set the plant in the hole. If the root ball is wrapped in burlap fabric this must now be removed along with any string or wire securing the burlap. If roots are tightly packed gently rake them apart with your fingers.

Return the soil to the planting area packing it firmly around the root ball. Fill the hole until the soil line is just at the base of the plant, where the roots begin to flare out from the main stem.

Water the plant well then add a 2” (5cm) layer of mulch, such as shredded bark, around the planting area. Keep the mulch at least 4” (10cm) away from the trunk of the plant as this can keep the bark too moist and cause it to decay.

Watering Instructions

Depending on rainfall, new plants need to be watered weekly through the first growing season. A slow, one-hour trickle of water should do the job. During hot spells thoroughly soaking the ground up to 8” (20 cm) every few days is better than watering a little bit daily. Deep watering encourages roots to grow further into the ground resulting in a sturdier plant with more drought tolerance.

To check for soil moisture use your finger or a hand trowel to dig a small hole and examine the soil. If the first 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, it is time to water.

Monitor new plants through the first two years to make sure they are getting the moisture they need. After that they should be sturdy enough to survive on their own.

Fertilizing Instructions

Established trees should be fertilized every 2-3 years. Feed in early spring when plants start growing.

Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product designed for trees and shrubs, or go with a nutritionally balanced, general-purpose formula such as 10-10-10.

Always follow the fertilizer package directions for application rates and scheduling. Over-fertilizing plants or applying at the wrong time during the growing season can result in plant injury.

Pruning Instructions

Pruning may be needed to remove dead branches, encourage bushier growth, promote more flowers, or maintain a specific size or shape.

Dead branches should be removed close to the trunk, flush with the bark. When pruning to control a plant's size or shape, cuts should be made just above a leaf bud and at a slight angle. This bud will be where the new growth sprouts.

Many shrubs can be regularly sheared to keep them shaped as a hedge, edging or formal foundation planting.

Always use sharp, clean tools when pruning. There are many tools available depending on the job. Hand shears, pruners, and loppers are ideal for most shrubs. Pole pruners and tree saws are better for large, mature shrubs or trees. If a tree is so large that it can't be safely pruned with a pole pruner, it is best to call in a professional tree service.

Q. holes in Key Lime Pie Plant

I got a Key Lime Pie plant last week and replanted it this past weekend. Yesterday it did not have these holes in it, but today it has these odd holes on the older leaves. It is kept indoors near other plants. There are two cats in the house. I have watered it once since planting it. There are pebbles in the bottom of drainage. What could be causing these holes in my Key Lime Pie plant?

Can you describe the holes (size, shape, on outside of leaves or inside, etc.) or send a photograph? Is there any discoloration in the leaves?

It could be attributed to insects. I would examine the soil and the undersides of leaves for signs of insects.

It could also be fungal in nature. What soil did you use to pot your plant? Did you use sterile soil (potting soil)? You cannot use garden soil for indoor plants because it contains bugs and even diseases.

The difference in lime trees is as a result of the diverse composition of the hybrid’s plant species and genus. Below are the different types of lime trees, how to identify them, their uses and where they are dominantly grown:

1. Key limes (Citrus aurantifolia)

Key limes of the Rutaceae family are also known as the Mexican lime or the West Indian lime. Mexican lime is a tri-hybrid of three citron plant species of two different genera.

Uses of Key limes?

  • Making limeade.
  • Flavoring fish, chicken, and meat marinades.
  • Adding the zests alcoholic cold drinks enhances the drink’s taste.
  • Garnishing drinks and servings.
  • Making the famous key lime pie.
  • Drinking key lime water improves digestion and weight loss.

Where are Key limes grown?

Key limes thrive well in warm tropical and subtropical regions. Cold temperatures damage the limes leaves, stems thus limiting its production. Mexican limes grow in fertile sandy and rocky well-draining soils. The Mexican limes grows well in zone 9 to 11 of the United States Department of Agriculture.

The main regions producing key limes include Mexico, India, North America in Florida, Central America in California, West Indies countries and Egypt

2. Tahitian Lime (Citrus latifolia)

The Tahitian lime of the Rutaceae family is commonly referred to as the Persian lime. Tahitian lime tree is a hybrid of the Mexican lime and local lemon or any other citron species plant.

Uses of the Persian lime

  • To flavor fish, meat, and chicken.
  • Persian lime water boosts immunity and digestion and helps in weight loss.
  • To garnish alcoholic drinks.

Where are Tahitian lime trees grown

Persian lime grows well in warm tropical and subtropical regions. The Persian lime trees are more tolerant of cold weather than the Mexican limes. Tahiti limes thrive well in a variety of fertile, well-drained with high pH levels. The Persian grows well in zone 9 to 11 of the United States Department of Agriculture.

The major regions in which the Persian limes include North America in Florida, Mexico, Egypt, Cuba, Israel, and other areas with a warmer climate.

3. Thai Lime trees (Citrus hystrix)

The Thai lime of the Rutaceae family are also known as the Kaffir lime or makrut lime.

Uses of Thai limes

  • In preparation for Asian cuisine.
  • Indonesians use the juice and rinds for medicinal purposes.
  • Thai lime water is useful for weight loss, boost digestion, and immunity.
  • Thai lime has essential oils that are good in perfume production.

Where is Thai lime grown

Thai thrives well in slightly warm regions than other types of limes. The Thai lime flourishes well in zone 10 to 12 of the United States Department of Agriculture plant hardiness.

The Asian origin citric plant grows in Southeast Asia and other warmer regions such as North America in Florida, Southern China, Israel, Central America in California, and Egypt, among other temperate areas.

4. Rangpur Lime

Rangpur lime is also known as the mandarin lime, Kona lime, or local lemon. The Rangpur lime is a hybrid between a tangerine (mandarin orange) and lemon. The rangpur tree is medium-sized and can grow to a height of 20 feet. The rangpur trees grow from seeds, and as a result, there are few rangpur cultivars.

Uses of Rangpur Lime

  • Making simple syrups incorporated in iced tea and sparkling water.
  • In marinating pork, chicken, and fish.
  • Garnishing Indian cuisines.

Where are Rangpur lime trees grown?

The mandarin lime grows well in volcanic well-drained soils. It is tolerant to the lower temperatures. Mandarine lime also does well in higher elevations with enough rainfall and nutrients.

The Rangpur lime grows in various regions and has a different name for each region. That is Rangpur in India, Mandarin in USA, Canton lemon in South China, Cravo lemon in Brazil and hime lemon in Japan.


  1. University of Florida, Extension Services: Key limes/CH/CH09200.pdf
  2. University of Florida, Extension Services: Tahiti lime/CH/CH09300.pdf
  3. The University of California Riverside, College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences: Citrus Variety Collection: Rangpur

My name is Alex K. Worley. I am a web geek who loves gardening and connecting with nature. I maintain a small backyard organic garden from which I source most of my green food. I hope to help you learn something new about gardening.

Watch the video: How To Grow Limes In A Pot - Planting Citrus in Containers. The Container Orchard Part 1