Mexican Key Lime Tree (Citrus x aurantiifolia)

Mexican Key Lime Tree

Look in any bartender’s tray across the country and you’ll probably find neat triangles of squeezable cut limes. These are Mexican Key Limes (Citrus x aurantifolia) and they add a wonderful boost of flavor when spritzing a cocktail, a glass of sparkling water, or a taco. And don’t get us started on the sweet-tart taste of Key Lime pie.

The fragrant flower buds are purple-tinged and open to pure, waxy white. They’ll perfume the air with a wonderfully fresh citrus scent. Even the leaves release a marvelous lime scent when crushed. Try them in potpourri or homemade soaps and shampoo bars.

Mexican Key Lime is also known as Bartenders Lime, due to its great flavor and high juice content. It’s also called the West Indian Lime, to recognize where this lime was first propagated in the West Indies. Smaller, sweeter and thinner skinned than Persian lime varieties, Mexican Key Limes are true limes. Even though their thin skin can be green or yellow-green, they are packed with juice. The small, tart fruit has a wonderful flavor with outstanding floral hints.

Planting and Application:

Mexican Key Lime makes an ideal container plant and a wonderful patio shrubby tree. Imagine having the fruit for your drinks or cooking just an arm’s length away! Grow them in the ground in Zones 9 – 11. Or, use as a patio tree in a large container in colder climates, then bring them indoors as houseplants for the winter.

This is both an ornamental and edible tree with fragrant white flowers, shaggy, deep green leaves and yellow-green fruit. Try it as you would other trees. Make a bold statement by placing a single Mexican Key Lime tree as an anchor in your foundation planting.

  • Fragrant, Delicious Mexican Key Limes
  • Versatile, Aromatic Small Tree
  • Culinary Favorite
  • Fragrant White Blossoms
  • High Yield

Tips for Care:

Citrus trees need full sun and good air circulation and drainage. Plant in very well-drained slightly acidic soil with adequate fertility. Citrus trees like to dry out between waterings and enjoy moderate moisture, in pots or in the ground.

  • Full Sun
  • Moderate Fertility & Moisture
  • Prune After Fruiting
  • Slightly Acidic Well-Drained Soil
  • Citrus Make Great Indoor Houseplant

The fruit fetches a good market price, and these pricey limes can really add up at the supermarket.

Mexican Key Lime Tree (Citrus x aurantiifolia) Details

Common name Mexican Key Lime Tree
Botanical name Citrus x aurantiifolia
Plant type Broad-Leaved Evergreen
Hardiness zone 9-11 (Patio 4-11)
Growth rate Slow
Harvest time 3 - 5 Years
Height 8 - 10 ft.
Width 5 - 8 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun
Moisture Low
Soil condition Well-Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Pruning time After Fruiting
Flower color White
Leaf color Evergreen