Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Lemon-Lime “Cocktail” Tree

Lemons and limes from the “Cocktail” tree

Lemons and limes from the “Cocktail” tree

Lemons and limes from the “Cocktail” tree

Lemons and limes from the “Cocktail” tree

Can’t decide between growing a lemon tree or a lime tree? Now you don’t have to! The lemon-lime “Cocktail” tree is a cross between the ever-popular Meyer lemon and the legendary Key lime. The scions of each species are grafted onto the same compatible rootstock. You’ll get lemons and limes from the same plant. Lemon-lime trees are self-fertile, so you’ll get fruit with just one plant. If you don’t leave them outside for part of the year, you can help pollination along yourself: just use a soft paintbrush to transfer pollen from one flower to another.

Sun Exposure

  • Full to partial sun (six to eight hours)

Soil pH

  • 5.5 to 6.5

Hardiness Zones

  • 4 to 11 – patio
  • 8 to 11 – outdoors

Spacing

  • 4 feet away from other trees

Moisture

  • Water deeply once top 3 inches of soil are dry to touch

Notes

  • Mature height: 8 feet
  • Mature width: 6 to 8 feet
  • Harvest primarily in October to November, but fruit may be available year round
  • Can fruit in the first year

Have you ever grown lemon-lime “Cocktail” trees? Please tell us your favorite thing about them and your experiences growing lemon-lime trees.

Comments
  • Norann O.

    Thank you for sharing your experience Patricia. There are a few reasons that your limes may be hard and your grapefruit non-existent. This can sometimes occur with improper watering – make sure to water deeply to encourage root growth. A lack or excess of certain nutrients (N,K,P) and micronutrients (magnesium, boron, copper, zinc) in the soil may also be the cause. While it’s important to fertilize once or twice per year, you should consider testing your soil to asses the composition and ph. Check with your local extension service to get a comprehensive test. Good luck and let us know if you have any success.

    Reply
  • Patricia D.

    I live in Florida and I have a cocktail tree growing in my yard. The fruit listed for my tree is Red Grapefruit, Meyer Lemon and Persian LImes. My tree is about 4 years old. The first year I had some grapefruit growing but I cut them off. The second year my tree produced 24 red grapefuit. They were yummy! The third year, my tree produced a few Meyer lemons and Persian limes.
    I did all the steps to insure that I would have a healthy tree, i.e., fertililizer, water. Now I’m not getting any grapefruit and and the limes are hards as rocks. Any thoughts as to what I can do for my tree? Also the tree hasn’t grown much in height.

    Reply

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