Lime trees grow in USDA hardiness zones 9 and 10. Grafted citrus trees generally bloom and develop fruit at an earlier age than trees that grow from seeds. Trees grown from seed may never bloom and fruit, and if they do, the fruits may possess different characteristics than the parent plant.
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During the first two to five years, a lime tree flowers but does not set fruit. The flowers develop, bloom and eventually fall from the tree. After several years, the tree matures enough to develop fruit. Most lime trees, including the Bearss seedless lime, grow white flowers in spring during March and April.
Most lime trees bloom and grow ripe fruit over a period of six to nine months. Mature lime trees drop many of their flowers and focus energy on producing only a small percentage of pollinated blooms. Lime trees grown from seeds may take up to eight years to produce fruit.
Key lime trees present the gardener with ripe fruit between October and December. Limes from the Bearss tree ripen in the fall. Spring-flowering ripe trees typically produce fruit in the fall and winter.