HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


Where to buy kaffir lime TREES?

I've recently started learning to cook Thai recipes, most of which call for kaffir lime leaves. I love Thai food and plan to explore it in depth, so I think it would be a good idea to pick up one or two plants to keep in planters for easy access to leaves.

But where do I buy the plants? I'm in the East Bay, and if anyone knows of a nursery that stocks kaffir limes, please tell me.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      We got ours in Berkeley, probably at Bay Flora. It has been doing fine in chilly San Francisco for 4 or 5 years, even occasionally putting out a couple of fruits.

      The kaffir lime fruits are very special and can be used for dressing shrimp and other Thai salads. They have a very distinctive taste.

      Always nice to be able to go an pluck a leaf and drop it into a sauce.

    2. I ordered mine from Home Depot. Not normally in stock but they will order for you and if I remember correctly it was less then 20 dollors for a 5 gal tree. It is still in back yard even at least two really bad winters.

      1. I've bought them at Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH). And they are very useful if you're doing a lot of Thai cooking! Lemongrass is easy to grow, also. Thai chilies and Thai basil, too (once the weather warms up).

        1. The nursery at CVS at Rockridge (Oakland) has one if not the best citrus collections in the bay area. They usually have Kaffir lime trees from Four Winds. You can also order online from Four Winds.

          4 Replies
            1. re: celeryroot

              I got mine at Berkeley Horticulture, near the Monterey Market.
              They had a selection of maturity and sizes.

                1. re: wally

                  Berkeley Hort did not have one today.

          1. if you're in the city, Duc Loi sells the leaves for pretty cheap

            1. Half Moon Bay Nursery on 92 a couple of miles west of 35.

              1. just checked and Home Depot emeryville has 2...El Cerrito HD sold out...Rockridge CVS has 2. all about $ 27.00 per 5 gal. It might be worth knowing that Rockridge CVS has an amazing selection of various organic fertilizers including citrus since they are heavy feeders. (only use organic..it's easy to burn citrus with conventional fertilizer)

                1. Mike, if you get the urge to start cooking before you find a tree, give me a holler and I'm happy to share until you have your own. I'm on Nicholl Nob and have one growing in my backyard. In fact, I just picked a few leaves a little while ago and added it to an oxtail soup for tonight's dinner.

                  P.S. My garden is pesticide free and I use only organic fertilizer.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: AntarcticWidow

                    Unfortunately there's a quarantine in effect in most of the Bay Area, including all of Alameda County. If you want to transport leaves off your property you need approval from a county or state agricultural agent.


                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Even in the same neighborhood in Contra Costa County?

                      1. re: wolfe

                        Ah, Richmond, right. Yeah, all of west CoCoCo is in the quarantine zone. Some parts east of Clayton aren't.


                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          I am in POINT Richmond, a community in the City of Richmond. I'm presuming that ptrichmondmike lives in the Point, in which case we would be within a mile of each other at the most.

                          1. re: AntarcticWidow

                            That's why I asked what with the clues of ptrichmondmike and Nichol Nob.

                            1. re: wolfe

                              Yes, I figured you knew, but not everyone knows the geographical landmarks here. The typical landmarks used to be The Spot, The Point Bar, Mariners Tavern, Central Pool Hall and Jumbo's (serious oldies!)

                            2. re: AntarcticWidow

                              Yeah, I know Point Richmond pretty well. I just forget that Albany and points north are West CoCoCo. Still: LBMA quarantine zone, illegal to remove green leaves and other "host materials" from your property.

                              1. re: AntarcticWidow

                                Go figure, my dear. We are stigmatized because we live in..."Richmond".... Lol...

                        2. re: AntarcticWidow

                          Thank you, AW!

                          Nicholl Nob is cool -- I'm on the western side, but your neck of the woods is also perfect Pt. Richmond!

                        3. A tiny caveat- this is probabably the tenderest citrus I've grown- be prepared to pamper it.

                          1. Wow! Thanks to all of you for replying --- my kaffir limes will be planted within the week!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: ptrichmondmike

                              Got mine at Sloat Garden Center. There may be a location in the east bay as well.

                              1. re: ptrichmondmike

                                just out of curiosity...where did you finally get them?