The Kieffir Lime (also known as the Makrut Lime) originated in tropical Asia and is used widely in the cuisine of the region. The leaves are an essential ingredient for many Southeast Asian dishes, adding an aromatic citrus note. The rind and juice are also commonly used.
The following general guidelines will give you a point of reference for the care of your new lime tree, but remember that different temperatures and locations will greatly affect water requirements, etc.
Citrus grows best between 55° and 85° F. Indoor temperatures averaging 65° are conducive to growth if light is adequate.
Their environment should be as bright as possible, but avoid excess heat as this will dry out the soil too quickly. In the landscape, these plants enjoy full sun. A location that provides morning sun or filtered light throughout the day is ideal. When grown indoors, the tree should be kept a minimum of 24” from windows, as they will act as a magnifying glass and burn the leaves. Monitor soil moisture carefully in warm locations.
Water as needed to keep soil moist but not wet. Watering frequency varies with location and climate. A well-balanced liquid citrus fertilizer should be used once a month from spring through fall and is important to the health of your tree. Citrus in general are heavy feeders, especially in regard to iron, manganese and zinc. Your local nursery should have an adequate liquid feed product available. Yellowing leaves indicate lack of fertilizer or overwatering.
Prune to shape as you desire, keeping in mind the small size of the plant and its container. Flowers will appear from small shoots that originate where the leaves meet the stem. Flowers will appear sporadically throughout the year, heaviest in the spring. If too much new growth is produced at the branch tips, don’t be shy about cutting it back to a lower position to shorten the tree's height as it begins to regrow. Planting in a larger container is the easiest way to keep the plant healthy. For optimal health, we recommend that you re-pot your tree into a larger container as soon as possible.
Keep the tree away from extreme, cold temperatures and in a bright location throughout the winter. Depending on your location, you could leave it outside in a frost-free area, or in a bright, warm room if freezing temperatures occur. Heated rooms may require additional humidity to help the leaves stay lush.