Dwarf citrus trees make great container plants because they are adaptable to both indoor and outdoor conditions and produce fruit while taking up very little space. In warm climates (USDA zones 9-11) they can be grown year-round on decks and patios. In colder climates, they can be moved indoors for the winter to a sunny window or greenhouse.
One of the best container citrus is the Mexican lime tree, and a new thornless variety is now available. The Mexican thornless lime (Citrus aurantifolia) features upright branches with no thorns, fragrant blossoms, and 2-inch-diameter fruits for use in cooking and beverages. Mexican limes dehydrate quickly because of their thin rinds, so freshly picked limes are much more flavorful than store-bought fruits. The Mexican lime tree reaches 12 to 15 feet tall and 6 feet wide outdoors in frost-free areas, but it grows much smaller in a container. The green fruits set in summer and mature to a pale yellow in early winter. The fruits hold well on the tree and continue ripening even when moved indoors.
For more information on the Mexican thornless lime, go to: Monrovia Nursery.
Article published on October 18, 2007.