Kaffir Lime

The Kaffir Lime Tree

Buy Kaffir Lime Tree

Forget about the fruit, I’m growing Kaffir for those double leaves. Kaffir limes have astringent juice in them. However, you can use the zest the rind for cooking purposes.  The leaves are one of the main ingredients in Thai cuisine.  This lime tree is one of my favorites and its heralded by many enthusiasts in the world of citrus for its uniqueness.

Basic Information

Common Name Kaffir Lime
Botanical Name Citrus hystrix
Location of Origin Southeast Asia and southern China
USDA Zones 9-11
Can be grown in containers? Yes

Fruit Characteristics

Fruit Size Medium-small
Fruit Shape Round
Fruit Flavor Unpleasant juice flavor, astringent
Rind Thickness Fairly Thick
Rind Texture Smooth
Rind Color Green
Flesh Color Greenish
Easy to Peel? Average
Seeds Yes

Tree Details

Has Thorns? Yes
Foliage Color Green
Foliage Size Large, Double leaves
Flower Color White
Flower Size Tiny
Mature Tree Height in Ground 8′ – 12′
Fruit Bearing Age 3 – 4 years old
Alternate Bearing? No
Heat to Sweeten Fruit? No

Growing Conditions

Temperature Hardy to 32 ºF
Self-fertile? Yes
Sunlight Required Full Sun
Bloom Season in Minnesota Year Round
Harvest Season in Minnesota Year Round
Average Spring/Summer Watering Once every 1-2 weeks, more often when hot
Average Fall/Winter Watering Once every 3 weeks

Guides for Growing in Containers


Maturing citrus leaves first emerge in pink form.
New growth emerges as pink and then fades into typical green color as foliage reaches maturity.
Juvenile kaffir foliage
Juvenile kaffir foliage