Persian Lime Tree
Lime, Persian (aka Tahiti/Bearss)
Scientific Name: Citrus × latifolia Tanaka
History/general species info: Limes are complex hybrids arising from mandarin, pomelo, citron and hystrix ancestors, refined by thousands of years of cultivation, introduced in California between 1850 and 1880. While it is believed to have come from Tahiti, it is also thought to have come from Persian. Hence the different common names. Today, the Tahiti/Persian lime tree, is primarily grown in Mexico for commercial export and other warm, subtropical countries such as Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Egypt, Israel and Brazil.
Characteristics: Handsome, compact, medium size tree with dark green leaves. The tree has very few small thorns and the fruit has dark green rind gradually turning light green then yellow at full maturity, measuring 2-3” long x ½ to 2 ½” wide; juicy and acidic with few to no seeds. Fruit ripens mid-September to early October. The fruit doesn’t hold well on the tree after reaching full maturity.
Flower: yes, white, fragrant
Planting / Care: More cold hardy than the Mexican lime and Key lime. Plant in full sun, 15-20 feet from buildings or other trees, and preferably planted in well-drained soil. Water prior to planting. Can be planted any time of the year when the climate is consistently warm, however the best time is October, February, March. Prone to root rot, so avoid damp areas or those that flood or retain water. Mound the soil up instead of leaving any depression, which would retain water. Fertilize every two to three months with ¼ pound fertilizer increasing to 1 pound per tree. Once established, the fertilizing schedule may be adjusted to 3 - 4 applications per year following manufacturer instructions for the increasing size of the tree. The Persian lime tree pruning schedule is limited and need only be utilized to remove disease and maintain a picking height of 6-8 feet. For more information click here.
Size and Spacing: 15 to 20 feet tall x 20 foot spread but should be pruned to 6-8 feet
Pollinator needed to bear fruit: No; self pollinating
“Limes are challenging to grow but worth the effort” - Victoria Advocate
Citrus and Fruit/Nut Resources
Diagnosis of common citrus problems
Growing Healthy Citrus in the Backyard