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Kaffir lime trees (Citrus hystrix) are much loved for their aromatic leaves, which are fantastic for imparting that authentic Asian flavour to curries, soups and stir fries. The fruit are interesting too, with their strange-looking bumpy skin, which don’t hold much juice, but boy, the zest packs a punch! Don’t hold your breath though, the fruit can take much longer to appear than most traditional citrus plants.


How to grow kaffir limes in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is clay based, improve soil structure by adding gypsum and forking in well. In poorly drained areas, citrus can also be planted in a raised mound of free-draining soil.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. 
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down.  Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed.  Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes.  
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions. 
  6. Feed your citrus with Yates Dynamic Lifter Liquid Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser three times a year, in early spring, summer and again in autumn. 
  7. When the tree starts to produce fruit, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food. 

     
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How to grow kaffir limes in a pot

  1. Choose a pot at least 500mm wide. Position in full sun and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter.
    TIP: Consider placing the pot on wheels if you live in a cold area, so it can be easily moved inside or to a more protected spot in winter. 
  2. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. 
  3. Position in hole and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well. 
  4. Water deeply, 2-3 times during the week, depending on weather conditions. 
  5. Feed your citrus with Yates Dynamic Lifter Liquid Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser three times a year, in early spring, summer and again in autumn. 
  6. When the tree starts to produce fruit, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Natural's Citrus Liquid Plant Food

Growing tips

  • If you’re short of sunny spots in the garden, grow citrus in pots that can be moved to take advantage of changing patterns of sunlight.

  • In heavy clay soils, it’s best to put extra effort into soil preparation. To check if your soil needs work, dig a hole and pour a bucket of water into the hole – if it takes more than 30 minutes to disappear, then you will need to improve your drainage. Consider raising the level of the bed as much as possible with free draining garden soil, dig in gypsum to help break up the clay and add plenty of Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. Potted lemons should be grown in a good quality mix (such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter) and moved into larger containers as they grow.

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