A spiny evergreen shrub or small tree with aromatic, glossy green leaves and fragrant white flowers in late spring or summer, followed by rounded green or greenish-yellow fruit (limes) 4-6cm across.
Other common names:
Under glass, grow in loam-based potting compost such as John Innes No 2 with added grit for drainage in full light, shaded from hot sun. Water freely in growth, mist daily and apply a balanced liquid fertiliser every 2-3 weeks. Once frosts have passed, container grown citrus can be stood outside for the summer until autumn.
Water plants freely in summer, but never allow the pot to stand in water. Water more moderately from autumn to spring, allowing the compost surface to partially dry out between watering. Mist the leaves in early morning in summer.
Overwatering in winter is one of the commonest problems.
Citrus don’t like very alkaline conditions, so use rainwater or de-ionised water if your tap water is very limey (hard). And, as they don’t like cold conditions and cold shocks to the roots, always use tepid water.