Kaffir Lime Tree

Availability: Out of stock

Culinary Kaffir Lime

  • Prized Culinary Plant
  • Grows Well in Containers
  • Great Aromatic Patio Plant
  • Delicious Leaves Season Asian Dishes
  • Dwarf Citrus Tree
  • Full Sun Lover
  • Powerful Juice
  • Exotic Appearance
  • Acid-Loving, Low Moisture
  • Beautiful Accent Tree

Grow your own Thai spice and save money. Grown for year-round culinary interest, Kaffir Lime (Citrus hystrix 'Kaffir'), is a dwarf fruit tree that is highly prized for its leaf which is used in different types of Southeast Asian cuisines, primarily recipes from Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Laos.

Much like Bay Leaves or Lemongrass, the Kaffir leaf and the fresh lime zest of the fruit add an enormous amount of flavor. You'll love creating your own Thai curries and stir-fries with the freshest possible ingredients.

Defined by the doubled-lobed leaf that appears to be 2 different segments, the essential oil from the Kaffir Lime's leaves is in high demand throughout the world.

The fruit is used mostly for the rind. Scrape the outside to harvest zest and add to prepared foods and drinks. The powerful juice is used for specialty household uses and is very effective when prepared correctly.

How to Use Kaffir Lime in the Landscape

Because the Kaffir Limes pungent leaves are the primary interest, this is one the few plants that has a year-round culinary purpose. If you're a cook and love great Thai food, having a year-round source of one of the pricier main ingredients is a must.

Originating from Sri Lanka, a small island nation off the east coast of South Africa, the demand for the Kaffir Lime spread east into Southeast Asia and the Indonesian Islands. Today, the Kaffir Lime is known by over 20 different names worldwide.

The small tree makes a beautiful accent tree in the landscape. It can be utilized as a screen or hedge plant.

The tree's famous foliage remains a rich dark green year-round. Kaffir Lime is a lovely little tree, with double-lobed, dark green leaves that catch the sun with their glossy sheen.

Funky fruit adds a ton of texture to the overall appearance. Use a zester and scrape lightly along a washed piece of fruit. You'll love the extra "oomph" it adds to your meals. The small, green limes produced by your Kaffir have a bumpy exterior, which is an attractive addition to an already exotic appearance.

Kaffir is well adapted to container growing and will do well as an indoor-outdoor plant. As a patio plant or indoor houseplant, your Kaffir Lime is sure to bring a taste of the tropics to your home.

Because it thrives in potted environments, you can use it to decorate your front porch or patio. Its delightful citrus scent will brighten your home and landscape.

Imagine growing your very own delicious ingredients for some of the world's most popular dishes - right at your fingertips! It doesn't get much better than that.

#ProPlantTips for Care

Give the Kaffir Lime well-drained soil, and keep it on the dry side while indoors. Don't overwater this tree.

The growth rate is moderate, so maintaining its size is very easy. It takes pruning very well and can be maintained to any size and almost any shape with pruning.

When bringing the Kaffir indoors for the winter, make sure and provide it with as much direct sunlight as possible, at least 6 hours a day and up to 10. Select a south-to-southwest-facing window, if possible.

This is one of the few Citrus that is a bit more tolerant of less light. Because the fruit is not as critical, the plant will adapt to lower light situations, but it will perform best with morning sun and afternoon shade.

Protecting Container Citrus From Cold

Although it's famous for growing in warmer regions, it can also thrive in colder areas as long as the tree is brought indoors prior to the first frost of winter.

If you're growing these tropical trees in the ground in the lowest of their favored growing zones, they need to be planted in a sheltered spot to avoid the worst of the chill. If a spot like that is unavailable, then you are better off planting in a large, deep container.

In borderline growing zones, begin slowly acclimating your tree indoors or into a protected location, eventually moving your tree inside in bright indirect sun for the winter if the temperatures in your area ever dip below that 40F range. In spring, reverse this process and begin acclimating your tree to again be back out in the full sun all summer. This reduces stress and leaf drop.

Kaffir Lime can also be grown outdoors year-round in zones 9-11. If in-ground, feed quarterly with Dr. Earth Life Organic and Natural All-Purpose Fertilizer.

For container feeding, use fertilizer applied quarterly. Citrus in containers prefers a pH below 6.5 and benefits from an acid-based fertilizer.

Kaffir Lime trees are a popular item. Order now before they sell out and enjoy the benefits of growing your own fresh Asian seasonings.

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

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Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with NatureHills.com and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates

Delicious Kaffir Lime Sparks Controversy

The Kaffir Lime has a long history of varied usages, from perfume to shampoo, to insecticides, and as a key ingredient in many countries' culinary preparations. Still, with its long-appreciated history, its name remains controversial to this day.

The Kaffir Lime is known by many other names and spellings. Kafir lime, Caffre lime, Kieffer lime, Makrut, Magodo, or simply Thai lime. Noteworthy is the fact that the name Kaffir is a terribly offensive word in many parts of the Middle East and Africa.

Citrus hystrix was first named Kaffir in 1824 by Augustin Pyramus Candolle, a renowned Swiss botanist, who at the time headed the University of Montpellier in the southeast of France.

Candolle received seed from the famous Garden of Mauritius, an island off the coast of Madagascar. The plants from which the seeds originated from were thought to be from Thailand or Sri Lanka, where an ethnic group known as the Kaffirs lived.

The name, it is said, originates from an Indian Arabic term that conveys otherness and exotic provenance. The origins of the name continue to rage in horticultural circles.

The Kieffer (its alternative spelling) Lime, as some have chosen to call it, now represents an important part of Thai, Indonesian, Chinese, Philippine, and Vietnamese cooking. The leaves are the primary part used in many dishes. They can be fresh, dried, or frozen. The powerful essence from the rind is also used for many applications as well. In Creole cooking, the zest is infused into rum to add flavor.

For the chef, growing the Kieffer lime tree may be the best alternative to trying to buy the leaves and or fruit. Both can be quite difficult to find and can be quite expensive. The trees are easy to grow and are widely adapted.


Kaffir Lime Tree Is Suited to Grow in Zones 8-10 (Patio 4-11)
Growing Zones 8-10 (Patio 4-11)
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Citrus hystrix 'Kaffir'
Type Broad-Leaved Evergreen
Mature Height 10 - 12 feet
Mature Spread 5 - 6 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Well-Drained
Moisture Low Once Established
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color White
Foliage Green
Foliage Color Green
Fall Color Evergreen
Harvest Time Late Season
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Fruiting Time 3 - 5 Years
Pruning Time After Fruiting
Fragrant Yes

Notice On Shipping Citrus: Agricultural Laws Prevent Us From Shipping Citrus Trees Into AZ, LA, TX, and Maybe Prevented in FL or CA