cold hardy lime tree for Austin?

pebble09(8)February 28, 2013

Hi all,

I posted this in a different thread but starting a new one with hopes more TX people will chime in with their experience. Thanks to everyone who already replied to me.

I need to get a lime tree, something that produces an abundance of juicy limes like mexican or similar in taste. But I would rather it be cold tolerant, so that I could just cover it occasionally instead of taking it in for the winter. I am thinking patio plant but I could put it in the ground as well. What variety would I want to look for?

On other citrus notes:
I have meyer lemon tree that did alright outside in a pot here in Austin, TX, with temp down to high 20s for a while. This is the first year its flowering, we'll see how its fruits and hopefully I'll like them.

I have a satsuma mandarin in the ground since the last 3 years. It's small yet, 5 feet but skinny. Didn't grow at all the first year and grew most this last year. Not into a bush, just straight up.
No flowers ever but stays glossy green no matter how cold it gets here. Will it ever flower/fruit? Should I prune it to encourage branching?
I fertilize all my citrus with 6-4-6 citrus food twice a year.


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Sorry to burst your bubble but cold hardy limes just aren't available. Mexican and Persian limes hate frosts and will suffer. My advice to you would be to get a thornless Mexican lime so that taking it in and out doesn't involve pain. Also you could prune up top and root prune to keep it small.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 9:07AM
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texasflip(Nacogdoches, TX z8)

That has been my experience too. Limes seem to be one of the most cold sensitive citrus and probably work better in a large patio pot.

Regarding the satsuma, be patient! : ) It sounds healthy if it shot up like that. Personally, I would just let it be for now; pruning can come later.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 9:50AM
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Is your satsuma grafted? It is isn't, that's probably why it hasn't bloomed. They take a lot longer if they aren't grafted.

If you get a lime and keep it small, you would only have to bring it in when there's a freeze. Just a few days at most. I'm in Houston and you don't have much more freezing weather than we do most of the time. I have a large collection of plants that I haul in and out, you get used to it.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 12:24PM
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Thanks all.

I am starting to readjust my expectation about hardy lime trees. I'll look for mexican lime varities this year, grafted. And just for fun started some from seeds, if I get a mexican lime in the grocery store.

The satsuma isn't grafted I think. The thing is the main trunk dried back the first year and these shoots are from around the main trunk, so suckers. Initially I cut them off, but that was the only thing that kept growing. Its like a green stick, in the garden, so doesn't look bad. I'll leave it be for now.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:15AM
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Do you know that what's growing is satsuma, and not the rootstock?

If you start limes or other citrus from seeds, expect 8-10 years before you get anything. Maybe longer if it can't be outside all the time. Grafted is the best way to go with citrus. They need to get very large before they will make fruit if they aren't grafted.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 7:27PM
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Satsuma...rootstock could be. I haven't had a chance to go look since I've been travelling the last few days. I'll post a picture if I can.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 2:17PM
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