Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Jan 26, 2013 06:40 AM

Where can I buy lime leaves for Thai cooking in Northern Virginia?

My lime leaves source in Reston has disappeared. Does anyone know where to buy lime leaves in Northern Virginia? Reston, Herndon area is ideal but I will go just about anywhere to get them! thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Lime leaves can be found in most oriental groceries in the Richmond area, I would assume the same in most localities. In the DC area there should be plenty available.

    Kaffir lime is an attractive and easily grown house plant. Mine is at least 10 years old. It originally came from a grocery store operated by a Cambodian family.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Bigjim68

      Is your lime tree container grown? And does it bear fruit?

      1. re: georgiarai

        Mine is in a 14 inch terra cotta pot. Has been since I owned it. It likes to be damp most of the time, and I spray the leaves every so often. I little fertilizer twice a year. Other than that it requires little care. It is in a full sun location.

        It has never born fruit I would guess that it needs at least two to fruit, and the Cambodian lady who gave it to me said the fruit is not good.

        It gets too cold in the winter here for either lime or lemongrass, which I also grow in a pot.

        1. re: Bigjim68

          Mine always seems to look like it's dead by winter's end, but comes back strong fairly quickly. You think it's sun and dampness that's needed? Does yours lose leaves?

          Back to the OP I don't think I've ever seen an asian market that doesn't have them frozen in little baggies. Keep an eye out for the Thai festival North of Silver Spring in the March time frame. That's where we got ours. And you have to get there early to get one.

          1. re: Dennis S

            My overall impression is that they require more water than my other house plants, and I spray the leaves every week or so.
            The plant comes from Cambodia and Thailand, and they are moist climates. I have had leaves drop, but they will curl before dropping. When that happens, I water thoroughly.

            I would agree that lime leaves should be available at most oriental markets. Particularly those that cater to Thai and Cambodians.

            1. re: Bigjim68

              Thanks - I try to water the soil regularly but haven't tried spraying the leaves. Will begin to do so.

              1. re: Dennis S

                it would like humidity, so if you had a sunny bathroom window (where showers are taken, creating steam), the little tree would like that. i liken the care to be like that for orchids, which is tough here in northern virginia, in my opinion, unless you can create a little microclimate especially for the plant. see these helpful hints -->

                1. re: alkapal

                  I agree. The leaf spraying is not the best substitute for humidity, but it gets mine through the winter.

                  1. re: alkapal

                    I think I need to move it to my main floor then. We have a humidifier in a bright corner. It's not a little tree anymore - it's about 6 feet now. Thanks for the input.

                    1. re: Dennis S

                      six feet --- wow…

                      have you gotten limes yet? i know they take a few years before they fruit.

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Not even a hint of limes. Perhaps this year?

                        1. re: Dennis S

                          Can't get fruit without pollination. Get a few more trees and some bees.

                          1. re: flavrmeistr

                            Ah yeah - basic biology. I'll keep to the one tree I have...

                            1. re: flavrmeistr

                              haha, good point…i was just thinking of the one i saw growing outside (doh!) (in florida). if dennis gets more trees and some bees, i can envision him in the morning humidity mists amid a grove of lime trees, with bees buzzing in the background. mmmm, a great by-product…some kaffir lime honey!

                              go for it, dennis!!!! ;-).

        2. HMart and Wegmans have them sometimes. Whole Foods almost always has them, but the price is insane.

            1. Bangkok 54 has a grocery store attached to it at 2919 Columbia Pike (in Arlington) and they have lime leaves and a lot of Thai groceries, plus the grocery store also has prepared foods that are pretty good.

              1. Purchased them at Lottes in Ashburn before. I imagine they would be available in Grande Mart in Sterling, too.

                2 Replies
                1. re: luckyfatima

                  Thanks. Grand Mart in Sterling (Rt. 7 and Dranesville) doesn't have them.

                  1. re: georgiarai

                    Well then Lottes in Ashburn is just gonna be 10 mins further away than Grandemart and for sure has them. I bought them there just a few weeks ago. They were fresh. Lemongrass and galangal was also available there.