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Kaffir Lime: Citrus hystrix

Kaffir Lime: Citrus hystrix
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  • Kaffir Lime: Citrus hystrix

    Post #1 - April 25th, 2005, 5:12 pm
    Post #1 - April 25th, 2005, 5:12 pm Post #1 - April 25th, 2005, 5:12 pm
    Late last week, I received a 36" Kaffir Lime Tree (Citrus hystrix) thanks to our very own ExtraMSG.

    Image

    Image

    As you can see, I finally managed to plant the tree, and for the time being it resides indoors.

    While both of my thumbs are quite green, I have no experience with the care and maintenance of containerized citrus in Zone 5. I will be making a trip to the Garfield Park Conservatory this week, where I intend to gather as much information as possible, but if anyone has tips or pointers for me I would be very appreciative.

    And, thanks again, ExtraMSG. It is a beautiful specimen.

    Erik M.
  • Post #2 - April 25th, 2005, 5:36 pm
    Post #2 - April 25th, 2005, 5:36 pm Post #2 - April 25th, 2005, 5:36 pm
    Hi,

    Earlier, I was assisting extramsg in obtaining this tree for you. Unfortunately, these trees are not shipped into this area during cold weather months. Clearly, he found a way to deliver and please.

    I found an article on maintaining citrus plants in Alabama. There are a few comments about Keffir Lime Trees, where they comment they are suitable container plants. Container is a keyword because it allows you to carry it in and out due to weather conditions and this is Alabama; a much warmer climate than ours. This article covers quite a bit including when to fertilize and with what.

    When you contact the Garfield Conservatory, they will very likely put you in contact with Master Gardners. They may not have the answer at the tip of their tongues, but they are usually very good at research.

    May you and your plant enjoy a long life together.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - April 25th, 2005, 5:45 pm
    Post #3 - April 25th, 2005, 5:45 pm Post #3 - April 25th, 2005, 5:45 pm
    Erik,

    I'd be very interested in what you learn at the garfield conservatory.

    My mother obtained a then 12" plant from the SE asian gorcery store on kedzie (near wilson, name escapes me tight now) after quite a bit of wrangling. She also procured us a smaller version. Hers has flourished (I'd say its now about 48"), while ours has grown but not nearly to the same extent. Both have been kept indoors in containers, but hers receives quite a bit more light because of a very suitable room layout.

    any way that's lot of introduction to say they seem to be fairly hardy and do well given a lot of light.
  • Post #4 - April 25th, 2005, 7:27 pm
    Post #4 - April 25th, 2005, 7:27 pm Post #4 - April 25th, 2005, 7:27 pm
    Hi,

    Full sun, probably in your case grow lights, will be quite beneficial.

    As a point of reference, poinsettas are quite unhappy when exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees. When we buy one for Christmas, I try to buy them early and protect them as best I can by bringing the car to the door of the store. Since your tree is a tropical plant as well and if you plan to keep it outside during the summer, then consider sheltering it when temperatures drop into the 50's.

    I read a little more that article I linked to, I think it has most of the information you will need.

    All the best,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - April 25th, 2005, 7:53 pm
    Post #5 - April 25th, 2005, 7:53 pm Post #5 - April 25th, 2005, 7:53 pm
    These articles may be helpful:

    http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/growguide-266.html

    http://www.fourwindsgrowers.com/solver/io.html
  • Post #6 - April 25th, 2005, 7:58 pm
    Post #6 - April 25th, 2005, 7:58 pm Post #6 - April 25th, 2005, 7:58 pm
    As someone who grew up under citrus trees on the frost line, I can tell you pretty certainly that the new baby does not need the temperature control of a poinsetta. In places such as Riverside California and Lakeland, Florida, removed from the mitigating waters of the coast, it can get pretty chilly in the winter. But it's in these places that citrus really goes nuts. That's not to say a freeze won't trash fruit on the tree, but I would feel comfortable leaving a fruitless tree of that size on the stoop very soon, bringing it in if it dips under say 45 F. You're better off with a tree in full sun at 50 than in your house at 70, in my experience. (unless you have one of those old-school Chicag sun rooms in front). I'll be interested in what the conservators say. It should be smooth sailing for you until the fall, when our lack of sun and the need to keep your tree indoors will be a real challenge.
  • Post #7 - June 27th, 2005, 9:39 am
    Post #7 - June 27th, 2005, 9:39 am Post #7 - June 27th, 2005, 9:39 am
    Image
    two months later...

    Image
    one week's growth

    As you can see, my lime tree has been doing very, very well.

    And, as it concerns the care and maintenance of the tree, here is what I am able to share:

    1. A three-five gallon container was recommended for a tree of this size
    2. The 5.5 gallon container that I chose needed a few extra drainage holes
    3. I used a commercial potting mix specifically blended for cactus/succulents
    4. I was careful to cover the shoulders of the root ball with a scant inch of soil
    5. I allow the container soil to thoroughly dry out between waterings
    6. I water the tree with tap water that has been allowed to sit for 2 days
    7. I have placed the tree in an area where it gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day
    8. I have placed the tree in an area where it is protected from heavy winds

    Oh, and then there is this troublesome rumour ...

    Regards,
    Erik M.
  • Post #8 - August 17th, 2005, 11:49 am
    Post #8 - August 17th, 2005, 11:49 am Post #8 - August 17th, 2005, 11:49 am
    Image
    four months later...

    E.M.
  • Post #9 - August 19th, 2005, 12:01 pm
    Post #9 - August 19th, 2005, 12:01 pm Post #9 - August 19th, 2005, 12:01 pm
    HI,

    Have you been harvesting leaves for cooking?

    As the sunlight grows dimmer, you will need to supplement with grow lights to main this vigerous growth.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #10 - August 19th, 2005, 3:14 pm
    Post #10 - August 19th, 2005, 3:14 pm Post #10 - August 19th, 2005, 3:14 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Have you been harvesting leaves for cooking?


    Yes. Quite a bit, actually.

    Cathy2 wrote:As the sunlight grows dimmer, you will need to supplement with grow lights to main this vigerous growth.


    Is that what I want to do? I am making a trip to the Conservatory soon. I will see what my options are.

    E.M.
  • Post #11 - April 3rd, 2006, 6:47 pm
    Post #11 - April 3rd, 2006, 6:47 pm Post #11 - April 3rd, 2006, 6:47 pm
    So how'd it winter the winter? I'm thinking about getting one for myself this spring.
  • Post #12 - April 3rd, 2006, 8:46 pm
    Post #12 - April 3rd, 2006, 8:46 pm Post #12 - April 3rd, 2006, 8:46 pm
    extramsg wrote:So how'd it winter the winter? I'm thinking about getting one for myself this spring.


    It did extremely well, Nick.

    I overwintered it in the laundry room, which receives mainly indirect light.*

    Essentially, the tree looks the same as above. [O8.17.05]

    It has been a real joy for me.

    Thanks again.

    E.M.

    * The average ambient temperature was 55 degrees.
  • Post #13 - April 3rd, 2006, 8:57 pm
    Post #13 - April 3rd, 2006, 8:57 pm Post #13 - April 3rd, 2006, 8:57 pm
    Did you ever get any fruit off of it, or was it just leaves? When I bought it they said it should fruit, but people trying to sell you things say lots of stuff.
  • Post #14 - April 3rd, 2006, 9:39 pm
    Post #14 - April 3rd, 2006, 9:39 pm Post #14 - April 3rd, 2006, 9:39 pm
    extramsg wrote:Did you ever get any fruit off of it [...] ?


    I still await that day. :wink:

    E.M.
  • Post #15 - April 7th, 2006, 12:28 am
    Post #15 - April 7th, 2006, 12:28 am Post #15 - April 7th, 2006, 12:28 am
    Erik,

    I believe your beautiful tree will have to be 7 yo before fruiting. I am insanely jealous.

    I, as well as all members of my family, have thumbs the color of whatever color green is not. Nevertheless, I will soon be starting window boxes with various basils. I will not grow anything I can buy easily, so Thai basil will be key.

    If I could somehow also maintain some sort of dwarf keffir lime tree indoors 365 I could whip up many Thai dishes without a special Argyle run -- though many other ingredients would be ground and not fresh (galangal, lemon grass, etc). Any ideas? My research says I can buy a starter plant for around $50 on line with S&H or risk the seed route. Another possiblity is a graft from an existing plant. (No hints implied).

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to start my Keffir lime tree? I'm very determined to have one, its now only a matter of when, how, and how much.

    Also, what are other hard to get items that people grow in their kitchen gardens?

    -ramon
  • Post #16 - April 7th, 2006, 6:35 pm
    Post #16 - April 7th, 2006, 6:35 pm Post #16 - April 7th, 2006, 6:35 pm
    I'm also seriously considering a little keffir lime tree - or maybe fig...
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #17 - April 12th, 2006, 12:59 pm
    Post #17 - April 12th, 2006, 12:59 pm Post #17 - April 12th, 2006, 12:59 pm
    Ramon wrote: Any ideas? My research says I can buy a starter plant for around $50 on line with S&H or risk the seed route. Another possiblity is a graft from an existing plant. (No hints implied).

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to start my Keffir lime tree? I'm very determined to have one, its now only a matter of when, how, and how much.


    We (I say we, but in reality it was all my wife) grew ours from seed from a kaffir lime, which we purchased at the little asian store on kedzie and wilson last summer. Ours is now about the size of erik's. My mother bought her kaffir plant which is much larger as a smallish plant from the same store -IIRC for $60 after much wheedling and bargaining.

    Ramon wrote: Also, what are other hard to get items that people grow in their kitchen gardens?

    -ramon


    That list is really too long for me to go into and as all the garden knowledge resides with my wife, I won't begin to try. IF there are ons you have specific questions about I can get her to go into soe detail.
  • Post #18 - July 26th, 2006, 3:34 pm
    Post #18 - July 26th, 2006, 3:34 pm Post #18 - July 26th, 2006, 3:34 pm
    Image
    07.26.06

    Woot!!

    E.M.
  • Post #19 - July 26th, 2006, 4:53 pm
    Post #19 - July 26th, 2006, 4:53 pm Post #19 - July 26th, 2006, 4:53 pm
    Go suck a lime! Really...
  • Post #20 - July 26th, 2006, 5:02 pm
    Post #20 - July 26th, 2006, 5:02 pm Post #20 - July 26th, 2006, 5:02 pm
    extramsg wrote:Go suck a lime! Really...


    Oh, it will be awhile before I indulge myself, Nick.

    Until then, I sit perched in my guard tower, ready to rain terror on anyone or anything that might harm my precious bounty!!*

    E.M.

    * The fruits pictured are all that I've got at the present time. I lost the only other clump of blossoms in a recent wind storm. :evil:
  • Post #21 - July 26th, 2006, 6:39 pm
    Post #21 - July 26th, 2006, 6:39 pm Post #21 - July 26th, 2006, 6:39 pm
    Erik's having a baby!
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #22 - July 26th, 2006, 6:56 pm
    Post #22 - July 26th, 2006, 6:56 pm Post #22 - July 26th, 2006, 6:56 pm
    leek wrote:Erik's having a baby!


    Oh, no, not another one!

    I can hardly handle the one I've got.

    Image
    Iqbal (a.k.a. "Ike")

    --------------



    Ramon wrote:I believe your beautiful tree will have to be 7 yo before fruiting.


    As my boy, Lil Jon likes to say, "What?"

    :twisted:


    E.M.
  • Post #23 - July 26th, 2006, 10:06 pm
    Post #23 - July 26th, 2006, 10:06 pm Post #23 - July 26th, 2006, 10:06 pm
    Erik M. wrote:
    I can hardly handle the one I've got.


    E, you've got to stop feeding him Thai food... :twisted:
  • Post #24 - February 3rd, 2008, 3:47 am
    Post #24 - February 3rd, 2008, 3:47 am Post #24 - February 3rd, 2008, 3:47 am
    zim wrote:We (I say we, but in reality it was all my wife) grew ours from seed from a kaffir lime, which we purchased at the little asian store on kedzie and wilson last summer.


    Doh! I'll do the same once I get my hands on another fruit soon.

    In a fit of nostalgia for my uncle's citrus-filled L.A. patio, I bought a Four Winds dwarf at a nursery in California. It lasted about three years before dying last winter -- leaves just kept dropping, probably from lack of light and humidity. I now have plenty of leaves, though.

    I suppose that you could restrict the tree's size via the container, bonsai-style, but the citrus trees (Meyer lemon and kumquat) that my uncle gave to my parents are also dwarfing -- trees grafted onto some generic mini-citrus tree rootstock. They're doing well under the sun in N.C.
    --
  • Post #25 - April 3rd, 2008, 4:00 pm
    Post #25 - April 3rd, 2008, 4:00 pm Post #25 - April 3rd, 2008, 4:00 pm
    I purchased a small Kaffir lime tree last spring from the grower below:

    http://www.fourwindsgrowers.com/

    Although healthy and good sized, the stem was unfortunately broken in transit. They shipped a replacement immediately with only my phone call.

    It seems to have overwintered well on a table under a skylight. Thinking about Meyer lemon this year.

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