Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

Fruits & Nuts



Special Topics



Cornell University

Citrus aurantifolia
(sit-rus ar-ant-i-fo-lee-ah)

lime  lime  lime 
Click on thumbnails for larger image.
lime flower

What about it?

The lime originated in South East Asia. Today, all lime varieties are small, dense, rounded trees that at maturity are only 15-20 feet in height. Like the grapefruit, this citrus tree is only grown in the southern and western parts of the United States. Some varieties of lime bear thorns.
What is it used for?

The lime is enjoyed for its refreshing flavor, and is used for juices and food preparations, it is also used for essential oils, citric acid, and pectins. Supermarkets do not sell great quantities of fresh limes.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

The requirements for lime are similar to those of grapefruit. Limes prefer light, well-drained soils. They have poor tolerance of wet soils and are very sensitive to waterlogging. Limes grow best where there are slopes for air drainage. A sheltered location from prevailing winds is best.

What are its primary problems?

Insects commonly found on lime trees include the black aphid, scales, leaf rollers, and mealy bugs. Bacterial and viral diseases also occur, such as citrus tristeza.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.