Persian lime tree care

Persian ‘Bearss’ Lime Tree

The World’s Most Versatile Lime

Why Persian Lime Trees?

With the Persian Bearss, you get distinct flavor, delicious, seedless fruit and a great patio plant that will produce indoors. So, no matter your climate, you’ll have large limes the size of lemons and a hardy tree that’s drought tolerant and pest resistant, indoors or out.

Also known as the Tahiti Lime or Bearss Lime, the Persian Lime is the most popular lime around…and for good reason. Trademark lime-green fruit, dripping with citrus flavor, will populate your tree season after season. Persian Limes combine the savory blend of a Key Lime and a lemon, but without the seeds, bitterness or acidity. Its full size practically weighs down the branches, giving you a lime that’s simply unbeatable.

But the best part is you can harvest your limes right inside your home. Pot up your Persian Lime and place it by a sunny window in your favorite room, and you’ll be amazed at all the limes that arrive each winter!

Why is Better

The top benefit to our Bearss: We’ve grafted and greenhouse-grown our Lime Tree for absolute best results. That means you get consistent harvests and strong growth, year over year, as well as a healthy root system and well-developed branching. This process – and our extra work at the nursery – means more fruit for you. Whether you grow it outdoors or in, you’ll get all the benefits the Persian Lime Tree has to offer.

Order your own Persian today, while they’re still available!

Planting & Care

1. Planting: Choose a location where your tree is going to get plenty of sunlight…6 to 8 hours per day is best. They can tolerate some shade but thrive in full sun.

These trees also do better in areas with high humidity so you may also need to create humidity for your tree by misting the leaves daily with water. Potted plants do enjoy a daily misting for humidity but placing a tray with rocks filled with water under the plant will feed humidity to the tree as the water evaporates.

If your winter temperatures are consistently below 40 degrees, plant your tree in a container that can easily be brought outside in the summer months and inside in the winter. A planter with built-in casters is a good choice so it can easily be moved. Choose a pot slightly larger than what it was shipped in that has plenty of holes in the bottom to allow for drainage. Be sure to plant in well-draining potting soil preferably recommended for acid-loving citrus plants.

Place your tree in an area of your home, preferably a south-facing window, where it is going to get plenty of sunlight. Supplement with a grow light if it will not receive full sun.

2. Watering: Be sure to give your tree a deep watering so that it can penetrate into the root system. After watering, allow the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil to dry out completely before watering again.

When ready to water your potted Persian Lime, stop once you see it escaping the drainage holes at the base of the pot.

3. Fertilizing: Feed your Persian ‘Bearss’ tree during the warmer spring and summer seasons with a citrus specific fertilizer once every six weeks, such as the one included in our Citrus Care Kit. During the fall and winter season, ease back to fertilizing once every 2 to 3 months, and make sure to follow the application instructions written on the fertilizer bag.

4. Pollination: This tree is self-fertile and will produce fruit on its own, but if you want to increase your crop size, you can provide additional pollination by hand. Simply take a small, dry, fine-tipped paintbrush and stick it into the center of the bloom. Swirl it around and collect the pollen on the brush. Go to the next bloom and repeat the process until every bloom has been treated. Do this once daily and don’t wash the paintbrush until after the blooms have been pollinated.

5. Pruning: Pruning can be done at any time of the year for the potted Persian ‘Bearss’.

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Persian Lime

In the Tampa Bay area, Persian Lime trees are often simply referred to as a lime tree. These citrus limes are a little less acidic than Key Limes, they grow a little larger, and are more hardy. They are also seedless and do not have thorns on the bushes. No backyard citrus tree collection is truly complete without a lime tree. It is an attractive tree even while not bearing fruit because of its evergreen leaves and fragrant white flowers while blooming in the spring and winter.

Harvest this fruit while the skin is still green to enjoy the juicy and acidic pale yellow flesh.

Names Citrus latifolia, Persian Lime, Tahiti Lime, Bearss Lime
Plant Type Citrus Tree
Hardiness Zones 9 – 11
Blooms Early Spring – Late Summer
Light Needs Full to Partial Sun
Water Needs Plentiful While Young
Soil Needs Well-Drained
Fruits Everbearing
Seeds None, 0-1
Size 1-3/4″-2-1/2″


The winter of 2009 was a particularly tough one for Persian Limes in the Tampa Bay area since they are a bit less cold hardy than other citrus trees. The extended below freezing temperatures destroyed a majority of trees, including many grower’s supply. The situation has brought about a shortage of trees but Keep it Green is working to attain all it can for our customers to replace lost trees. We can help you with Persian Lime Trees in many sizes. Give us a call or stop by to see our selection. We are minutes from:

  • Apollo Beach
  • Riverview
  • Tampa
  • Temple Terrace
  • Gibsonton
  • Brandon
  • Lithia
  • Bloomingdale

Persian Lime Care – How To Grow A Tahiti Persian Lime Tree

The Tahiti Persian lime tree (Citrus latifolia) is a bit of a mystery. Sure, it’s a producer of lime green citrus fruit, but what else do we know about this member of the family Rutaceae? Let’s find out more about growing Tahiti Persian limes.

What Is a Tahiti Lime Tree?

The genesis of the Tahiti lime tree is a bit nebulous. Recent genetic testing indicates that the Tahiti Persian lime hails from Southeast Asia in east and northeastern India, north Burma and southwest China and east through the Malay Archipelago. Akin to the Key lime, Tahiti Persian limes are undoubtedly a tri-hybrid composed of citron (Citrus medica), pummelo (Citrus grandis), and a micro-citrus specimen (Citrus micrantha), creating a triploid.

The Tahiti Persian lime tree was first discovered in the U.S. growing in a California garden and is thought to have been brought here between 1850 and 1880. The Tahiti Persian lime was growing in Florida by 1883 and commercially produced there by 1887, although today most lime growers plant Mexican limes for commercial uses.

Today, the Tahiti lime, or Persian lime tree, is primarily grown in Mexico for commercial export and other warm, subtropical countries such as Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Egypt, Israel and Brazil.

Persian Lime Care

Growing Tahiti Persian limes requires not only a semi to

tropical climate, but well drained soil to prevent root rot, and a healthy nursery specimen. Persian lime trees do not require pollination to set fruit and are more cold hardy than the Mexican lime and Key lime. However, damage to the Tahiti Persian lime tree leaves will occur when temperatures drop below 28 degrees F., (-3 C.) trunk damage at 26 degrees F. (-3 C.) and death below 24 degrees F (-4) C.

Additional lime care may include fertilization. Growing Tahiti Persian limes should be fertilized every two to three months with ¼ pound fertilizer increasing to 1 pound per tree. Once established, the fertilizing schedule may be adjusted to three to four applications per year following manufacturer instructions for the increasing size of the tree. A fertilizer mixture of 6-10 percent of each nitrogen, potash, phosphorus and 4-6 percent magnesium for the young growing Tahiti Persian limes and for bearing trees increasing the potash to 9-15 percent and reducing the phosphoric acid to 2-4 percent. Fertilize beginning late spring through the summer.

Planting Tahiti Persian Lime trees

Planting location for the Persian lime tree is dependent on the soil type, fertility and gardening expertise of the home gardener. Generally, growing Tahiti Persian limes should be situated in full sun, 15-20 feet away from buildings or other trees, and preferably planted in well drained soil.

First, choose a healthy tree from a reputable nursery to ensure that it is disease-free. Avoid large plants in small containers, as they may be root bound, and instead choose a smaller tree in a 3-gallon container.

Water prior to planting and plant the lime tree in early spring, or anytime if your climate is consistently warm. Avoid damp areas or those that flood or retain water as the Tahiti Persian lime tree is prone to root rot. Mound the soil up instead of leaving any depression, which would retain water.

By following the above instructions, you should have a lovely citrus tree eventually attaining a spread of about 20 feet with a dense low canopy of deep green leaves. Your Persian lime tree will flower from February to April (in very warm areas, sometimes all year) in clusters of five to 10 blooms and the following fruit production should occur within a 90-120 day period. The resulting 2 ¼- to 2 ¾-inch fruit will be seedless unless planted around other citrus trees, in which case it may have a few seeds.

Pruning of the Persian lime tree is limited and need only be utilized to remove disease and maintain a picking height of 6-8 feet.

Persian Lime Tree Care: Water, Fertilization and Maintenance Tips

Do you want to grow healthy Persian limes? If so, use this guide for helpful tips and insight into Persian lime tree fertilization, maintenance and care.

Margaritas, Mojitos, Mexican beer, Diet Coke, water.

No, we are not talking about happy hour. These are all drinks that are often served with a lime wedge. Let’s be honest, there’s nothing better than a squirt of fresh lime juice to make your beverage a little more refreshing.

Want an endless supply of lime wedges? Maybe you love limeade or lime-rickeys. No matter what your drink of choice is, there’s always a need for limes.

Do you want to grow limes? If so, use our guide for lime tree fertilization, maintenance, and care, here.


Let’s start at the beginning: choosing and planting your lime tree.

Of all the citrus varieties, lime trees are the most sensitive to cold weather. To grow outdoors, they must be in a warm, mild climate or zones 8 to 11 on the Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

But don’t lose hope if you live in cooler temps. Lime trees can be grown successfully indoors as long as they are by a southern facing window, no matter how frigid it gets outside.

It’s best to get your lime tree from a reputable nursery that can guarantee their trees. Lime trees are susceptible to different diseases that can be found at nurseries.

If planting outside, make sure to plant the tree in direct sunlight, at least 15-20 feet away from other structures. If planting inside, choose a ceramic or clay pot that is slightly larger than the root of the ball.

Make sure the area or pot has good drainage and use a potting soil specific for citrus trees.


Lime trees need regular fertilizing to be successful. Start fertilizing your tree as soon as new growth appears.

There are several citrus plant food available. We recommend using slow-release fertilizers and use them every three months starting in February and going through August.

Don’t worry about feeding them through the winter as the dormant season is essential for their development.


Lime trees need consistent watering in order to flourish. Water the soil once or twice a week when the soil is dry. Do not let the lime tree dry out as this will cause the leaves to wilt and fall off.

Soil that is too wet will cause root rot and fungal growth is it’s important to let the soil dry out a bit before watering again.

If you live in a dry climate or go have dry winter air, consider using a humidifier or a spray bottle to keep the leaves moist.

If you see yellowing or cupping leaves, those are signs that there is too much watering. Just let the soil dry out before watering again.


Unlike orchard fruit trees, lime trees don’t need to heavily pruned. Pruning them occasionally may be required to remove dead wood or branches that are unruly.

New shoots should also be cut off as they do not grow the desired variety of citrus. Also, getting rid the thorns makes if easier to pick the fruit and doesn’t harm the tree.

Citrus trees should be kept to a height of 8 feet to make fruit more accessible.


When we think of limes, we think green, but actually, limes turn yellow when they are completely ripe. Limes are often picked while they are still green, but are the most flavorful when they are developing some yellow spots.

Get Your Own Lime Tree

Growing your own citrus tree may seem overwhelming, especially if you live in the wrong climate. But with these helpful hints, you can be successful in growing your own personal lime tree.

Check out the US Citrus blog for more helpful citrus tips, insight, and resources, such as growing Persian limes in containers. Start growing a lime tree today or purchase a fresh box of Persian limes to have all the limes in your Diet Coke you have ever wanted!

Citrus hystrix

Citrus hystrix (Kaffir lime tree)

Commonly known as the Kaffir lime tree, this variety of lime tree is popular for its use in Asian cuisine. It can be grown outdoors in mild climates, but its dwarf size of just five feet tall makes it ideal for growing inside. The foliage of this plant is dark green and glossy, and the leaves are harvested for use in recipes, adding flavor to Asian dishes such as curries and soups.

In cooking, Kaffir leaves can be used fresh, dried, or frozen. The fruit of this tree is a similar size to the common lime, but the skin is a darker green and more heavily textured. The Kaffir lime is less juicy than its common counterpart and so is not typically grown for its fruit.

Citrus aurantifolia

Citrus aurantifolia (Mexican key lime tree)

This tree is commonly known as the Mexican key lime tree, West Indian lime tree, Omani lime tree, or bartenders’ lime tree. It grows easily and rapidly if ideal water and lighting requirements are met, to medium size of around eight to sixteen feet tall. The fruits of this tree are small and round and are especially juicy and flavorsome, making them popular for use in drinks and pies. This tree is especially sensitive to cold temperatures and should not be subjected to temperatures of less than 60º F. You should aim to provide this tree with around ten hours of full sun each day for it to thrive and feed it with a heavy nitrogen fertilizer.

Citrus × latifolia

Citrus × latifolia (Persian lime tree)

Known as the Persian lime tree or the Tahiti lime tree, this plant is a hybrid between the Key lime tree and the lemon tree. It produces fruit which is seedless and green in color, though they become yellow as they age. The fruits of this tree are the most widely cultivated type of lime for commercial purposes, and most limes sold across the world are from this type of tree. It is often preferred to key limes because the fruits are larger and have no seeds, and the trees do not have thorns (University of Florida Extension).

Lime Tree Care Tips

Lime trees are very thirsty and so need their soil to be kept continually moist. However, the quickest way to kill a lime tree is to leave it standing in water, so you need to strike a good balance by consistently generously watering it without watering it excessively.

If a lime tree does not get enough water, it will lose its leaves quite suddenly. Because of the lime trees aversion to sitting in water, the single most important thing you can do in terms of caring for your tree is to ensure it is planted in a well-draining soil. If you are planting it in the ground, then consider building up the spot where it will be planted so that the base of the tree is slightly higher than the ground around it. This will ensure that the tree does not sit in a puddle during times of heavy rain, as the sloped gradient of the ground will carry water away from the base of the lime trees trunk.

Make every effort before planting your lime tree that the soil quality is good, adding sand or other coarse materials if necessary to improve the drainage of the soil. When planting your tree and backfilling the hole with soil. you should pay careful attention to ensure no pockets of air are created. An air pocket in the soil can quickly lead to the demise of the tree. Backfilling gradually while watering the soil will help to prevent this from happening. Lime trees planted in containers should also be in well-draining soils, and it is vital that any plant pot you select has a drainage hole at the base for excess water to run out of.


Lime trees are sun lovers

Lime trees are sun lovers, and they should ideally be grown in a position of full sun. Lime trees grown in even partial shade may become straggly as they search out a light source. Take care when planting in the ground that you choose a location where the tree will get full sun, as lime trees can become stressed and suffer if you attempt to dig them up and move them in the future.

Many types of lime trees, especially dwarf varieties, are ideal for growing in containers. The benefits of container-grown lime trees are that you can move them to a sunnier spot if you find they are struggling, and you can also move them inside if the weather gets cooler.


Lime trees like warm temperatures and can only grow year-round in temperate climates. The minimum temperature it can tolerate is around 50º F, so if temperatures are likely to dip below this, you will need to bring your lime tree inside in order for it to survive.

If you live in a region when temperatures typically drop to lower than 50º F, it is essential to growing your lime tree in a container pot so that you have the benefit of it being portable. As the weather gets colder, you can move your lime tree indoors to get through the winter, moving it back outside as spring returns.


Lime trees can be grown from seed, air layering, or stem cuttings. While growing a lime tree from seed takes the longest, it is a very easy and reliable method of propagation. If you sow the seeds indoors, you can begin the propagation process at any time of year. Propagating from air layering or stem cuttings will need to be done in the summer. Both methods require roots to form from a healthy lime tree stem, with the difference being that air layering is done with the stem still attached to the mother tree. It can take anywhere from weeks to months for roots to develop from a lime tree stem, but once it begins to grow independently, it can bear fruit as soon as the following season.

Pruning a lime tree is not an involved process. Simply remove any dead or damaged branches, looking out for fruit or blossoms which look diseased or disfigured. Remove any branches that are growing outside of the natural shape of the tree, and any small branches growing within a foot of the soil line. This will help to allow more light to reach the remaining branches, keeping the tree neat and healthy (University of Arizona Cooperative Extension).

Common Pests and Diseases

Lime trees are susceptible to fungal diseases, as well as pests that commonly affect all citrus trees. These pests are leaf miners, citrus mites, scale insects, and aphids. They can be discouraged with the use of neem oil, but heavy infestations may need to be treated with insecticide.

Persian ‘Bearss’ Lime

Our Citrus & Fruit Trees are nurtured by extremely experienced growers at our sixth-generation family farm. Each plant or tree that leaves our farm is approved by the USDA and ships directly from our farm to your door. We started our first online store back in 2004. Back then, we were the only farm selling citrus trees online. We have seen many mail order companies come and go in our time but we are still here! It is our mission to provide the best producing and healthiest trees in the country. This is why all of our trees and plants come with a free warranty. This warranty guarantees a free replacement if your tree dies under normal circumstances – you just cover the shipping costs. We genuinely care about our customers and want them to enjoy growing their own tropical plants and trees. Please contact us at 866-216-TREE (8733) if you have any questions, concerns or prefer to order over the phone. Email us anytime at [email protected]

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• Experienced Citrus/Fruit Care Help by Phone or Email

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• If you aren’t happy, neither are we; contact us immediately!

Refer to the sizes for availability.

Tree Description:

The Persian Lime is a heavy bearer of juicy, lemon sized fruit in winter to early spring. This lime variety needs very little heat to ripen, making it an excellent choice for backyard plantings or as a container-grown plant. The Limes turn to a pale yellow at full maturity and have thin, smooth rind. The Persian Lime is cold hardy in USDA Growing Zones 9-11. The tree can be kept as a patio plant in all other growing zones. If you live in a cold climate, simply bring your tree inside during the winter. It produces abundantly indoors or out. Place the tree near a sunny window and pick fresh fruit throughout the winter. The Persian lime is also known as the Tahiti lime or Bearss lime. This citrus fruit is grown commercially in the U.S. and sold simply as a “lime”.

Also learn about our Lime Trees

Bearss lime

Citrus latifolia (Yu. Tanaka) Tanaka

CRC 3772

PI 539272

VI 358

Photos by David Karp and Toni Siebert, CVC, 11/03/2009. Photo rights.

Source: Received as budwood from Willits & Newcomb, Thermal, Ca, 1977.

Parentage/origins: Original source tree came from Hayos Ranch, Indio, Ca. Bearss lime is reported to have originated as a seedling of a tree grown from seed from a fruit of Tahitian origin.

Rootstocks of accession: Citrus macrophylla, Yuma Ponderosa lemon

Season of ripeness at Riverside: October to December

Notes and observations:

C. latifolia, is known by many names such as Tahitian lime, Bearss lime, and Persian lime. The nearly-thornless trees grow vigorously to a medium-large size with a spreading form and have white blossoms. Persian lime trees are more cold-hardy than Mexican lime trees and should do well in areas where lemons are successfully grown. To date, all Persian lime trees are known to carry wood pocket, which can cause serious deterioration of the trees. The fruits of Persian lime are larger than Mexican limes, approximately 2-2 ½ inches in diameter, and have a thin, smooth, light yellow rind at full maturity. The seedless flesh is pale greenish-yellow, acidic, juicy and finely-textured. Once Persian limes reach full maturity, usually late autumn to early winter, they drop from the tree.

1986, EMN: Original source was VI 229 (exoc. positive) which was shoot tip grafted to produce VI 358. VI 229 was: Old budline Bearss, W/N Blk E, R 10W, T13E. W/N source came from Hayos Ranch, Indio. This accession still contains Wood Pocket; neither STG not thermotherapy were effective in removing wood pocket.

11/9/1987, EMN: Fruit compared with CRC 450 (Wilder), 2315 (Page), 391 (Tahiti) and seems to be identical with all these, and probably identical to Ponds (CRC 449) but Ponds was somewhat rougher at this picking.

Description from The Citrus Industry Vol. 1 (1967):

” Both tree and fruit of the Bearss variety correspond closely with the Tahiti description. The flowers are devoid of viable pollen also, contain exceedingly few functional ovules, and the fruits are regularly seedless. The Bearss variety is triploid in its genetic constitution (Bacchi, 1940). Moreover, the comparatively rare seeds which occur are highly monoembryonic also.
According to Webber (1943), this variety originated about 1895 on the place of J.T. Bearss, a nurseryman at Porterville, California. While the facts are unknown, it presumably occurred as a seedling of a tree grown from seed from a fruit of Tahitian origin. It seems first to have been described and illustrated by Lelong (1902) and was introduced and promoted by the Fancher Creek Nursery Company of Fresno in 1905. Although the Tahiti lime was reported to be growing in Florida as early as 1883 (Ziegler and Wolfe, 1961), it is not known when Bearss was introduced there. Moreover, the present lime industry in Florida is based on a variety known as Persian. For many years, therefore, it appeared that the two varieties were different though obviously similar. Comparisons conducted in California, however, although not wholly satisfactory because of complicating disease factors, strongly support the conclusion that the two clones are identical. If this is indeed the case, it seems highly probable that this variety originated considerably earlier than Webber reports.
Found about 1934 by G. L. Polk in Homestead, Florida, and introduced in 1941 (U.S. Plant Patent No. 444) is the derivative, smaller, round-fruited variety, named Idemor, which occurred as a limb sport. More recently, what appears to be a similar mutation has been reported in a Bearss tree in Morocco. Idemor has not achieved commercial importance. “

Availability: Commercially available in California through the Citrus Clonal Protection Program. rder budwood.

USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network page for Bearss lime

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