Alphabetical Plant Listing

Citrus hystrix (Thai Lime)

Thai Lime, Kaffir Lime, Kieffer Lime, Mauritius Papeda, Leech Lime, Makrut Lime, Combavas, Wild Lime


Native to Southeast Asia, Citrus hystrix (Thai Lime or Kaffir Lime) is a thorny, multi-stemmed, evergreen shrub or small tree, prized for its citronella-scented foliage, profuse flowers and bumpy green fruits. Its glossy, evergreen two-segmented leaves densely cover the woody stems. Highly aromatic, they are an important ingredient in many Thai dishes including soups, curries, rice, stir-fry, fish cakes, salads and marinades. Blooming throughout most of the year, the small, fragrant flowers are beautiful with their 4-5 pinkish-white petals and free stamens. They shine against the evergreen foliage. They give way to bumpy fruits, 2 in. across (5 cm), that hang from a petiole almost as large and wide as the leaf blade. Vivid green and glossy when immature, the fruit turns yellow when ripe and falls from the tree. It is not very juicy and has a strong acidic flavor. While sour tasting, its rinds are often used for flavoring. In some places the fruit is also used to make a shampoo that is insect repelling. Widely naturalized in tropical areas,Thai Lime tolerates temperatures that occasionally drop to 32ºF (0ºC) and can be grown indoors where its delightful citrus fragrance can be enjoyed.

  • Grows up to 6-25 ft. tall (2-8 m) and 5-12 ft. wide (2-4 m).
  • A full sun to light shade lover, this plant is easily grown in fertilesandy, well-drained soils. Needs water regularly, but cannot stand flooding or saturated soils. Fertilize every 2 weeks in spring and summer with organic fruit tree fertilizer. Shelter from strong winds.
  • Indoor plants should be regularly watered and foliage should be regularly misted.
  • Generally pest and disease free. Keep an eye out for root rot in overly moist soils.
  • Prune when new growth starts in spring. This will encourage new branches to emerge from just below the cut. Sharp thorns along the stems, so watch for them when handling this plant.
  • Propagate by seed or grafting.
  • Native to Southeast Asia.

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Requirements

Hardiness 10 – 12
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Fruit, Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Citrus
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6' – 25' (180cm – 7.5m)
Spread 5' – 12' (150cm – 3.6m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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By Katja Schulz (Flickr), Young Swee Ming, Nattul, Sayan Puangkham (Shutterstock)

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 10 – 12
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Fruit, Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Citrus
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6' – 25' (180cm – 7.5m)
Spread 5' – 12' (150cm – 3.6m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Citrus

Guides with Citrus

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