Makrut (Kaffir) Lime Tree


Makrut Lime Tree (C. Hystrix

Kaffir lime leaf is an essential ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine. The word ‘Kaffir‘ is a popular culinary term but it’s also a derogatory one in other cultures, so I’ll use its Thai name, ‘Makrut’ or ‘Bakhut’ in Isaan from here on. It’s difficult finding anything but frozen makrut leaves in Miami so I ordered a tree from Florida’s Brite Leaf Nursery. What better climate to grow my own lime tree and gone are the days of making expensive online orders for fresh ones.

The makrut tree is an evergreen belonging to the Rutaceae (Citrus) family originating in Southeast Asia. The dwarf variety pictured above is typical of what you’ll get if you order one online from Florida.

It’ll probably grow to at least 5 ft. in the 18″ pot I planted it in but I’ve seen them grow to 7 ft in other pots. I mixed a 1/4 cup of Espoma Citrus-Tone fertilizer with sphagnum and organic potting soil, watered it thoroughly, then placed it by the sunniest window. I’ll bring it outside in the warmer months since South Florida can get pretty chilly, even in the winter.

Look out for future posts where I’ll be sharing Southeast Asian recipes using makrut lime leaves.


4 Responses

Please feel free to comment!

  • Prajna says:

    I stumbled upon your website while trying to find a nursery that ships kaffir lime trees to Florida addresses.
    Thanks for the name of the nursery. Just sent Brite leaf nursery an e-mail asking some questions. Will see what happens.
    Your มะกรูด looks lovely and healthy!
    (P.S. I love and cook ethnic food myself. Having moved back to Orlando recently, I take advantage of internet to locate local ethnic grocery stores.)

  • LD says:

    I hope you’ll find what you need at Brite Leaf. Their shipping was fast and the lime tree arrived safe and intact. My tree has grown much since I first planted it in this post. I’ve yet to produce a lime though since it’s a young tree. I’ll need to buy an accompanying tree to help it out. You might have better luck if you plant yours outside.
    I would love to cook more Thai food but local authentic/fresh produce is hard to find especially this past winter when Florida had its cold spell and the local purveyors lost their fresh Thai supply/crops.
    Happy cooking! Feel free to share some Thai recipes that you’ve had success with here!
    I’m definitely due to post a Thai recipe in the near future!

  • Prajna says:

    Brite Leaf did a fabulous job shipping my Kaffir tree. Wrote a review and gave the company five stars. Thanks to your website for the excellent lead!
    I cook Thai food almost everyday. These past two days though Kofta meatball curry, a Pakistani/Afghan curry dish, was my yummy lunch served with Basmati rice. The other day Lebanese kebab was on the grill.
    Just started a blog that focuses on what/where to eat, grow, find, etc., in Central Florida. Will add authentic Thai recipes later. Please find me at

  • LD says:

    Kofta curry and grilled kebab are our favorites too! We rarely go a week without Lebanese or Indian food whether I prepare it or buy take-out. Good luck with your new blog; I look forward to reading your future posts!

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