Persian Lime Tree
|Cold Hardiness||A little more than key limes, take precaution in freezing temperatues|
|Fruit||Acidic but Tasty|
|Fruit Season||All Year|
Persian limes add a tropical kick to recipes ranging from salsa to cocktails. Florida is the largest commercial producer of Persian limes. Add this versatile fruit to your Orlando garden today.
The Persian lime is a medium-sized tree, averaging 20 feet in height with a similar spread. The canopy is dense and rounded, and the slender branches often droop until they brush the ground. The leaves are darker green above, lighter below, three to five inches long and oval or slightly pointed. The white flowers have five petals and sometimes appear in rows along the stems. They are fragrant and attractive to bees. In Orlando, it’s typical for the Persian lime to bear some blossoms all year long, with the heaviest flowering occurring from February through April. Fruit ripens 90 to 120 days after blossoming. The limes are thick-skinned rounded ovals, two to three inches in diameter, nearly seedless and medium to dark green when ripe. Persian lime trees will set fruit all year long, but most abundantly during the summer months. The flesh and juice have a distinctive, crisp aroma and flavor.
Plant your Persian lime tree in full sun, 10 to 20 feet away from structures and other trees to allow growth and prevent excessive shading. Persian limes do well in both sandy and rocky soils but shouldn’t be planted in boggy areas or low spots where standing water tends to accumulate. Periodic fertilization during the first year after planting helps trees become established and increases early yields. Expect your young Persian lime to deliver about 10 to 20 pounds of fruit in the second year, increasing as the tree matures. Persian lime trees are drought tolerant, but grow more quickly and produce more fruit with careful watering. They require little pruning except as necessary to remove dead wood or to open the canopy to sunlight.
Persian limes may be substituted for lemons in many recipes and the juice can often replace vinegar or other acidic ingredients. Use fresh limes to garnish fish or chicken dishes, to add zip to guacamole or to mix up tasty marinades and mojitos.