Watering Limes: How Much Water Do Lime Trees Need In Containers

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By Amy Grant

Lime trees and other citrus trees make beautiful aromatic container specimens. Planting limes in pots will also enable you to move the plant around more easily to protect it from weather conditions, but it may also make the tree susceptible to too much or too little lime tree watering. Watering limes can be a bit tricky since the amount of irrigation may affect the roots, in turn affecting the flowering and production of your citrus as well. So the question is, how much water do lime trees need?

When and How to a Water Lime Tree In a Pot

You may wonder when to water lime trees. The simple answer as to when watering limes should occur is when they are thirsty. Watering can be gauged to some extent by the size of the lime tree and its container. In other words, when the upper 1 inch of the soil is dry to the touch, the plant is in need of irrigation. Moisture meters are helpful tools which can be purchased at the garden store. They will measure the moisture at the root level, ensuring proper watering of limes.

When watering limes, irrigate until the water runs from the drainage hole in the bottom of the container. Don’t let the lime tree sit in water, which can lead to root rot, causing the leaves to yellow and die off. To prevent this, make sure you plant the tree in a well-draining soil medium and lift the pot slightly with a bed of stones. Lime trees thrive with infrequent deep watering vs. frequent although very light watering.


While citrus trees may sustain damage to under-watering, it is more often the result of over-watering that does the most damage. Some container materials such as plastic, metal and ceramic hold more moisture, while those consisting of wood or clay will dry out more quickly.

Another hint as to how much water your lime trees is to lift the pot once it has been thoroughly watered. The weight of the pot when wet (but drained) will give you a clue as to its dryness, hence when to water.

If the weather is hot and dry, the lime tree should be watered more frequently. Conversely, cooler temperatures slow growth, so watering limes should be reduced in frequency during the winter months. Use a slow release fertilizer, such as Osmocote, yearly in the early spring (March) combined with proper irrigation for a healthy lime tree.

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