Cultivated for the preparation of infusions, lime is a majestic tree that can sometimes reach one thousand years old, depending on the species to which it belongs. Native to America, Asia or Europe, lime can also withstand harsh winters due to its hardiness. Suited to remote areas of gardens, this tree will hardly be difficult to maintain if some growing conditions are met.

Particularly imposing, lime is a gigantic tree of which the maximum size at maturity can sometimes reach up to 130 feet (forty metres). Characterized by an impressive longevity, this deciduous tree often lives for nearly a thousand years if well maintained over time. Usually grown for the properties of its fine and delicate inflorescences, lime is a majestic tree that needs plenty of space to grow well. Therefore, to prevent your tree from withering after a few years, always make sure that it is planted in an isolated area of ??your garden where it can have all the room it needs to expand and continue to grow. Beginning in May, lime is covered with small white flowers which are then harvested to be dried and used in the preparation of calming and relaxing herbal teas. Under the generic term of lime, it is nevertheless possible to distinguish two very special varieties that are differentiated by their size and colour of their foliage. If you want to decorate one of your garden’s slightly dull corners, and provided that you have a large enough available space, feel free to choose large-leaved lime, as it will surprise you with its great ornamental value and its large size. For gardens that have a much smaller surface area, it is preferable to favour species that have a slightly reduced size, such as small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata).

How to plant lime?

Like most trees, lime requires relatively deep ground to grow. However, one should also carefully choose the type of land used for growth to the extent that this beautiful ornamental tree has a strong preference for land that is rich, fresh and quite moist. Therefore, do not favour overly drained soils, as this would in effect reduce the moisture level that lime needs to thrive. Regarding the most favourable months for planting, it is useful to know that the best time of the year is undoubtedly during fall. In addition, for the development of your young tree not to be hindered, avoid direct exposure to the sun and instead favour areas that benefit from some shade.

How to maintain lime?

Once planting is complete, your lime will need to be watered from time to time, whenever you deem necessary. Thus, it will be important to monitor the earth throughout the growing season because it would be very unfortunate for the roots of your young trees to suffer from lack of water. In the spring, also make sure that the earth has a regular supply of fertilizer so that the lime is sufficiently nourished to complete its development properly. In winter, no special precaution needs to be taken knowing that regardless of the species to which it belongs, lime is a hardy tree. However, lopping can be performed at this time of year, even if it is not advisable to repeat this procedure too often. Indeed, cutting back too much and too regularly would in fact only encourage excessive growth of leaves, at the expense of inflorescences especially. Very hardy, lime rarely fears parasites and diseases that other trees are usually faced with. Nonetheless, it can sometimes suffer repeated aphid attacks which will need to be eradicated, privileging natural solutions whenever possible.

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Published in Tisane by Alexander on 06 Sep 2011