How Do Limes Reproduce Without Seeds?

Are you aware of seedless limes? I think you do. They are juicy tangy and fragrant. Those limes fulfill their usual functions very well. Although plants having seedless lime may have problems with reproducing. Seeds are the best way for any plant to reproduce. If there is no seed then How do Limes Reproduce Without Seeds? Of course, there must be another way to reproduce otherwise they may have extinct. So There is two simple way for seedless limes to reproduce and these are Grafting and Layering. If you are looking for something entirely technical then tissue culture is something to look for. Tissue culture can also help with creating clones of seedless lime trees.

How Do Limes Reproduce Without Seeds?
How Do Limes Reproduce Without Seeds?

So let’s answer a simple question.

Checkout How many seeds do a Strawberry Contain?

How do Limes Reproduce without Seeds?

Plants Can reproduce either sexually or asexually. Seeds are produced by sexual reproduction in plants. If a plant cannot produce seeds then it will take the help of asexual reproduction. In some cases, plants use both of these techniques to ensure their sustainability.

Limes without seeds usually reproduce by grafting and Layering. Cuttings can also grow in growing media using rooting hormones. Although Layering is a much easier way to propagate limes asexually. Layering is easier compared to other asexual reproduction techniques. It has a higher success rate than cutting and grafting.

More than 70% of total layering attempts are successful while only 30-45% of Lime cuttings mature to a healthy plant.  Grafting limes can also result in a maximum of 40% success. It is a relatively complex and difficult technique to grow plants. Overall you will need a seed-grown plant as a stalk to graft seedless lime plant tips. It is kind of a completely manual procedure. Only layering can happen naturally in big lime trees which is quite difficult these days.

You can also use tissue culture techniques to reproduce lime without seeds. It is a complete lab-based procedure and cannot happen naturally. The Process starts with the collection of the healthy apex of tip tissue. This tissue is treated with various growth hormones in a control phased manner. It will develop roots and shoot over a course of time. Latter a tiny seedling will develop that is grown into a new seedless lime plant. This is the only way to create 1000s of identical seedless lime copies with suitable health conditions.

What are the Different Ways for Limes to reproduce?

A Lime Tree can Propagate in two different ways. These are Asexual and Sexual Methods.

The Sexual method is the obvious technique that includes the interaction of both male and female gametes within a flower.  This is pollination and once everything goes right then comes the fertilization process. Pollination occurs when the pollen grain from the anther reaches the stigma or the female part of the flower. This transit of pollen from the male to female flower part is pollination. Sometimes this can happen among distinct flowers, The pollen reaches the stigma it releases two eggs or germs that fertilize the ova. The ovary that contains the ovum became the fruit and the ova became the seed. Latter these seeds can germinate to continue the life cycle.

It is a fascinating natural phenomenon though not possible with seedless limes. There is no way to complete sexual reproduction without any seed. So the lime without seeds takes a different approach to reproduction. They reproduce asexually to continue their generation and heredity.

Asexual reproduction is strictly a method of reproduction for plants that includes no male or female parts. All it requires is a vegetative plant part that can grow some roots. The new plant can grow after rooting in these vegetative plant parts. Layering and Grafting are two common techniques for asexual reproduction in seedless limes. Other ways like cutting or stem culture are not very common with limes without seed.

Asexual Reproduction in Lime Without Seeds

Lime cultivators use Layering and grafting for centuries to grow these plants. These techniques have become more important once we get those seedless limes. Those fruits don’t have seeds to grow so they need something else to multiply. Cultivators implement asexual methods like grafting or layering to fulfill the commercial needs of limes with seed.

Air layering lemon cutting with roots
Air layering lime cutting with roots

Also read: Are Lemons and Limes the same Fruit?-Kitchen facts

Grafting Seedless Limes

Grafting is a technique in which a healthy lime plant tip or apex portion is fixed into another plant. This attachment needs a couple of months to connect. The connection starts with joining the vascular bundle and then the connective tissue. At last, the cambium and skin will join to boost the tip growth in a healthy branch. This foreign branch will bloom and fruit those seedless limes. Meanwhile, you have to remove all other branches allowing only the graft to grow else the host plant will reject it.

How to do it?

  1. Grow a lime of any kind with seed. Take care of this plant until it grows enough for grafting. It should have a couple of hard branches by the time you decide to graft.
  2. Take a 2-inch apex cutting from a seedless lime tree. You can take the cutting from any new branch growth alongside the main trunk. Don’t take tip cutting as they are not good for grafting.
  3. Make a sharp cut on the seeded lime plant to the size a little smaller than the cutting.
  4. Fix the cutting in this position and wrap it with plastic transparent tape.
  5. Take care of this and you will see new growth within a month. Meanwhile, regulate water and nutrition and take care of the plant.

Layer Limes Without Seed

Layering involves covering the lime branch with any growing media. It will develop roots in the growing media and later you can detach and grow it into a new lime plant.

How to Do it?

There is two way of layering effectively for Seedless lime plants. These are air layering and ground layering. The concept is the same while the position differs in both these techniques.

The ground layering of Seedless Limes

  • Bend the lower branch of the seedless lime tree so that it touches the soil.
  • Scrape a small 1-inch portion of the branch skin at the point of contact. Clear the skin leaving the white cambium visible.  You can do this technique even without scraping the branch skin although it will take twice the time as it should.
  • Cover the branch with 50% compost and soil mix. Make sure you cover the entire cut portion from all sizes.
  • Sprinkle water to dampen the soil and with for 100-125 days for new roots to emerge in this branch.
  • Latter you can detach the beach and grow it into a new location.

Air Layering of limes Without Seeds

  • Select a healthy branch on the seedless lime tree.
  • Make 2 adjacent clean circular cuts on the branch just below any spine or thorn.
  • Remove at least a 1-inch skin section and uncover the central cambium between these cuts. Make sure there is no skin contact left between these two ends of the skin. Only the cambium should be visible.
  • Mix a 1:1 ratio of compost and soil. Make Moist dough from this mixture and wap the cut portion properly.
  • Use a clear plastic to keep the cough in place. Wrap it up and tie properly so nothing moves in and out of this package.
  • Leave this bandage for 2 to 4 months to develop roots. Don’t water the court portion of the branch it may cause rotting. Instead, water the plant properly to keep it well hydrated throughout this growth period.
  • Once you see visible roots through the clear wrap. Cut the branch and detach it carefully from the tree. Do not disturb the soil wrap.
  • Put the new plant in a container and slowly remove the plastic wrap keeping the root ball safe.
  • Keep the plant still and fill soil all around its base to make it stable.
  • Water the new plantlet and keep it healthy for 4 to 6 months. You can transfer this plant to the final growing area after 3 to 6 months of rooting.
  • For more details read  How to Propagate a Lime or Lemon Tree by Air Layering?

Final Words

Not having a seed to reproduce can be a real bummer for any plant. This could lead to the extinction of the species. To overcome this situation cultivators reproduce lime without seed asexually. They use Grafting and layering techniques to grow seedless life. This is the on;y way to keep up with the ever-growing commercial demand for seedless fruits such as limes.

What do you think- how do Limes Reproduce Without Seeds? Grafting and Layering are common though you can also use cuttings to reproduce limes without seeds.

Write down your queries and keep gardening!


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not just a hobby, it's a way of living life with nature. My Ancestors were Commercial farmers: So I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here only to share my gardening experiences. It's always Refreshing.

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