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Where to buy kaffir lime TREES?

ptrichmondmike May 27, 2010 11:41 AM

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.


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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: ptrichmondmike May 27, 2010 12:00 PM

    Bay Flora in Berkeley, for one: http://www.bayflora.com/citrustrees.html

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      Thomas Nash RE: Robert Lauriston May 27, 2010 01:20 PM

      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. yimster RE: ptrichmondmike May 27, 2010 12:30 PM

      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. 2m8ohed RE: ptrichmondmike May 27, 2010 12:51 PM

        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. c
          cakebaker RE: ptrichmondmike May 27, 2010 01:16 PM

          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: cakebaker
            celeryroot RE: cakebaker May 27, 2010 01:24 PM

            got one from floor craft nursery

            1. re: celeryroot
              Hop RE: celeryroot May 27, 2010 02:41 PM

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

              1. re: Hop
                wally RE: Hop May 27, 2010 04:27 PM

                Got mine there also.

                1. re: wally
                  wally RE: wally May 28, 2010 11:01 PM

                  Berkeley Hort did not have one today.

          2. v
            vulber RE: ptrichmondmike May 27, 2010 03:13 PM

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

            1. l
              LarryW RE: ptrichmondmike May 27, 2010 03:18 PM

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

              1. c
                cakebaker RE: ptrichmondmike May 27, 2010 04:30 PM

                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. AntarcticWidow RE: ptrichmondmike May 27, 2010 07:24 PM

                  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
                    Robert Lauriston RE: AntarcticWidow May 28, 2010 09:06 AM

                    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
                      wolfe RE: Robert Lauriston May 28, 2010 09:38 AM

                      Even in the same neighborhood in Contra Costa County?

                      1. re: wolfe
                        Robert Lauriston RE: wolfe May 28, 2010 09:53 AM

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


                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          AntarcticWidow RE: Robert Lauriston May 28, 2010 11:41 AM

                          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
                            wolfe RE: AntarcticWidow May 28, 2010 12:39 PM

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

                            1. re: wolfe
                              AntarcticWidow RE: wolfe May 28, 2010 08:44 PM

                              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
                              Robert Lauriston RE: AntarcticWidow May 29, 2010 10:20 AM

                              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: Robert Lauriston
                                wally RE: Robert Lauriston May 29, 2010 10:22 AM

                                Albany is Alameda County.

                              2. re: AntarcticWidow
                                ptrichmondmike RE: AntarcticWidow May 29, 2010 10:28 PM

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

                        2. re: AntarcticWidow
                          ptrichmondmike RE: AntarcticWidow May 29, 2010 10:31 PM

                          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. o
                          oldunc RE: ptrichmondmike May 29, 2010 06:35 AM

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

                          1. p
                            ptrichmondmike RE: ptrichmondmike May 29, 2010 10:25 PM

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

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: ptrichmondmike
                              alag RE: ptrichmondmike May 30, 2010 08:57 AM

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

                              1. re: ptrichmondmike
                                cakebaker RE: ptrichmondmike May 30, 2010 02:40 PM

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

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