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 Organic Plant Food. 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 plant 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 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 woodchip or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  6. During the growing and flowering/fruiting season, feed with Yates Thrive Citrus & Fruit Granular Plant Food. Throughout the year, apply Yates Thrive Natural Fish & Seaweed+ Plant Food Concentrate
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How to grow Kaffir Limes in a pot

When planting in a pot, choose a Kaffir Lime which has been grafted on to a dwarf rootstock.

    1. Choose a pot at least 500mm wide. Position in full sun and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Nature's Way Organic Citrus & Fruit Mix. TIP: Consider placing the pot on wheels if you live in a cold area, so it can be easily moved inside or to a sunnier and more protected spot in winter. 
    2. Remove the plant 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. During the growing and flowering/fruiting season, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food. Throughout the year apply Yates Thrive Natural Fish Seaweed+ Plant Food Concentrate.

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 (at least 40cm above the clayey soil) with free draining garden soil, dig in gypsum to help break up the clay and add Yates Nature's Way Organic Compost & Soil Improver. Potted grapefruit should be grown in a good quality mix (such as Yates Nature's Way Organic Citrus & Fruit Mix) and moved into larger containers as they grow.
  • Remove any small fruit that develop within the first two years - this allows the tree to devote its energy to growing strong healthy stems and roots.

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