There are a couple of ways to grow a lime tree from seed and knowing how to plant a lime seed is important for success. You can plant the seed directly in a pot of soil or place it in a plastic bag. Before planting lime seeds, however, be sure to wash them and you may even want to allow them to dry for a couple days, then plant them as soon as possible. Plant seeds about ¼ to ½ inch (0.5-1.25 cm.) deep in containers with well-draining soil.
Likewise, you can put seeds in a plastic baggie along with some moist soil. Regardless of the method you choose, keep the seeds moist (not soggy) and place them in a warm, sunny location. Germination usually occurs within a couple of weeks. Once seedlings have reached about 6 inches (15 cm.) tall, they can be gently lifted and placed in individual pots. Be sure to provide winter protection, as lime trees are very cold sensitive.
Keep in mind that other contributing factors, like climate and soil, also affect the overall production and taste of lime tree fruit.
In addition to nursery-grown plants, grafting is probably your best bet when growing lime trees. However, most citrus seeds are relatively easy to grow, including those from limes. While it’s possible to grow a lime tree from seed, don’t expect to see any fruit right away. The downside to growing lime trees from seed is that it can take anywhere from four to ten years before they produce fruit, if at all.
Since many lime seeds are obtained from purchased fruit, they’re most likely hybrids. Therefore, planting lime seeds from these fruits often will not produce identical limes. Polyembryonic seeds, or true seeds, will generally produce identical plants, however. These can normally be purchased from reputable nurseries specializing in citrus trees.
Growing Lime Trees from Seed.
If you don’t want to wait so long for lime fruit production, you may want to consider other means of growing lime trees, which will usually bear fruit within three years. However, growing lime trees from seed is an easy and fun alternative to experiment with, keeping in mind that as Forrest Gump would say, “like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”
How to Plant a Lime Seed.
Seedless or “large-fruited” limes have three sets of chromosomes rather than two. While some parthenocarpic fruits occur naturally, this genetic abnormality makes wild reproduction extremely rare for Persian limes. To overcome this, farmers use a technique called grafting, where part of a seedless lime tree is removed and inserted into a new tree. This essentially clones the original tree, ensuring that more seedless limes will be produced. (Farmers can also use grafting to fix fruit trees that have been injured.) Grafting allows farmers to produce seedless fruits on a commercial scale.
Speaking to Scientific American , two biologists at Brookhaven National Laboratory explain that normal fruit starts to develop when a flower’s egg cell is fertilized by pollen. Parthenocarpic fruit, in contrast, develops without fertilization. Fruit can be parthenocarpic for a variety of reasons, such as problems with the eggs or sperm, problems with pollination, or chromosomal imbalances.
The majority of limes sold in the U.S. are Persian limes ( Citrus latifolia ). While often thought to be its own species, the Los Angeles Times says this fruit is “a natural hybrid of true lime and citron.” Also called Tahiti or Bearss limes, these limes are parthenocarpic, meaning they’re produced without fertilization and are thus seedless. On the other hand, true limes ( Citrus aurantifolia , but known commonly as Mexican, Key, or West Indian limes) do have seeds. Because Persian limes are bigger, have a thicker skin, and are more resistant to diseases than true limes, Persian limes have a longer shelf life. But where do they come from if they don’t have seeds?
Lemons and limes are both citrus fruits, and their juice and zest are often used interchangeably in recipes. So why do lemons (and most fruits) have seeds while limes don’t?
While most limes you see in the supermarket are probably seedless, some varieties of lime do indeed have seeds. And although most lemons have seeds, some lemons are actually seedless. You may find an occasional seed even in “seedless” lemons due to cross-pollination if the lemons were grown near other fruits. Lemons without seeds are more difficult to find in grocery stores than regular ones, just as limes with seeds are harder to find in stores than their seedless counterparts.
Posted by restaurant avison on 1st Aug 2017.
Key Lime trees are vigorous fruit producers and a single seed has the potential of yielding thousands of Limes. While these trees produce can fruit throughout the year, the majority of the crop is harvest-ready in the fall and winter.
I've been looking for a place that sold lemon tree seeds and I'm glad Tyler Farms offers what I have been looking for quite a while now. The seeds germinated and I'm looking forward to a good harvest in a couple of years. Thanks Tyler Farms!
Last year bought 10 lime seeds. Did so well now adding lemon to my citrus garden. Enjoy growing my own stuff and not having to buy it at stores.
Posted by Unknown on 23rd Feb 2018.
Good seeds and service.
Our complete tropical fruit seed collection includes Key Lime, Mexican Lime, Meyer Lemon, Blood Orange, Mango, Kiwano Horned Melon, Dragon Fruit (Pitaya), Hass Avocado , and Papaya seeds. Our tropical fruit seeds combined with our pepper seeds provide growers with a unique experience: paradise and a little spice!
Following the directions on the website, my seeds sprouted. Took longer than I thought, but they're great now.
Posted by AZ Gardner on 11th May 2018.
Posted by oscar on 10th Aug 2019.
Kirk (one of the customer service guys) was very helpful in providing me with a few grow tips to help kickstart my tropical fruit tree garden. The key lime seeds I received were fresh and healthy and I planted them immediately. I reached out to Tyler Farms to see best practices with fruit seed starting and they were very helpful. I'm really happy with my purchase and glad I ordered from these guys. Thumbs up.
Posted by Daniel on 16th Jun 2019.
Key Lime trees can be grown on balconies, patios, and limited-space gardens. Enjoy the attractive trees and the scent of indoor winter blossoms if you choose to plant your citrus trees in an indoor container. Due to USDA guidelines and regulations, citrus seeds cannot be shipped to the following states and territories: AS, AZ, CA, FL, GU, HI, LA, MP, PR, TX and USVI.
I am about to get my (Key) Lime.
Posted by Debbie Mitchell, Durham on 26th Mar 2018.
Our farm fresh, naturally grown Key Lime seeds allow you to grow your own fruit trees, indoor or outdoor. Often referred to as Mexican Limes and Bartender Limes, these are the original lime types cut into wedges and served in Mexico with Corona beer bottles.
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After shopping around and evaluating different seed companies, I decided to order several different seeds from Tyler Farms and I am so glad that I did. My small package of seeds arrived within a week of when I ordered them and I am on my way towards creating an edible garden.
Posted by Kristeen Laird on 18th Sep 2019.
Posted by A Corona on 10th Nov 2017.
I planted multiple seeds in plastics cups in moist soil wrapped in plastic and left in a sunny warm location. What I witnessed was that all of the seeds germinated.
Fresh seeds and a low price! I still don't undesrtand why people buy expensive trees when they can grow their own from seeds, I have 4 seeds that i have sprouted so far and two more than should sprout any day now.