Fruit is nutritious and delicious, though your favorite options may not be available throughout the year. Rather than waiting for them to be in season again, you can try growing a few in the comfort of your home. It isn’t as tricky as you may think, as long as you give the plants the love and care they require. For your first attempt, start with the easiest fruits to grow indoors before moving on to the more advanced plants.
Basics Of Growing Fruits Indoors
Fruit trees and bushes are sun lovers and therefore tend to grow in the warmest, brightest locations. That’s bad news if, like me, I live in an area that gets harsh winters. Our only option is to grow them indoors to protect them from the brunt of the cold weather.
You’ll want to start by growing fruit plants in sunny locations. Look for areas that get at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, but more is always better.
South-facing windows offer the most light, regardless of the season, plus they also let in heat to keep your plants warm. East-facing windows offer morning light, while west-facing windows are great for evening light. Plants may need grow lights to supplement their needs if these are the only windows you have available.
You’ll also need to consider container size to give the plant the support it requires, though you can keep them in smaller pots to reduce growth. The correct soil and moisture amounts can vary from plant to plant, so check each one carefully to be sure it’s getting what it needs to thrive.
Lastly, be prepared to be patient. Many fruit-bearing plants can take several years before doing so. Depending on your plant’s age, it may be multiple years before your first harvest; but that will make it that much sweeter.
5 Easiest Fruits
Though there are several fruit options that you can grow indoors, some are easier to care for than others. The following are the top choices for beginners or those looking for some low-maintenance plants.
Strawberry plants are relatively compact compared to fruit trees, so they don’t take up a lot of space in your home. There are about 20 robust and adaptable species that can be found all over the world. The plants procreate using runners that create new root buds for plant clones, so though most strawberry plants only live 5 to 6 years, they breed new ones to ensure you always have a consistent supply of fruit.
Strawberry plants are best grown in 1-quart ceramic pots using a standard potting mix. A balanced blend fertilizer will give the plant the nutrients it needs to produce those tasty fruits. These plants also require at least six hours of sunlight each day and 12 hours of darkness at night for the healthiest growth. When grown indoors, manual pollination is also a must, so give the plant a small shake after the blossoms open. For best results indoors, go with a smaller variety that will take up less space.
Banana trees feature large, medium-green leaves and can grow quite tall, though indoor plants tend to stay somewhat compact. There are also dwarf varieties, like the Dwarf Lady Finger with small, sweet fruit or the Dwarf Red with skin that changes from burgundy to orange as they ripen. Banana trees are also self-fruiting, so they need no pollination to sprout those scrumptious fruits.
When it comes to their care, bananas are slightly picky, though not impossible to deal with. They like 12 hours of light, though not more than a few hours of direct sunlight. A sheer curtain between them and a south-facing window is a good way to provide ideal light conditions. You can also add some grow lights for short winter days with limited sunlight. A 5-gallon pot of standard potting mix gives the plant the room and nutrients it needs. You can also use a balanced fertilizer when extra food is required.
Avocados have a creamy texture, fantastic flavor, and are extremely healthy, which is why they’re such a popular fruit. The trees can grow up to 80 feet tall, though regular pruning and stakes to keep them upright can help maintain a manageable indoor size. The long, thin leaves and slender stems are attractive, so even during their non-fruiting season, the plant is a decorative addition to your home.
Avocado trees need a container about 10 inches wide, with a well-draining potting mix containing sand for drainage and compost for nutrients. They require about six hours of direct sunlight each day and 12 hours of darkness at night for the best growth. It also prefers warm temperatures of about 65 degrees F or higher during the day and cooler temperatures at night. Keep the soil damp, avoiding the tree during watering.
As avocados are so popular, there are a number of pre-made growing kits available. These are a great way for beginners to get started quickly.
Lemons are a fantastic addition to a variety of recipes, plus they make a tasty drink on a hot summer day. Though you can try any variety, dwarf lemon trees are more compact and often self-pollinate for consistent and easy fruit growth. Lemon trees also don’t have a dormant stage in their growth cycle, producing fruit year-round with the right conditions.
Lemon trees can be grown in plastic, ceramic, or clay pots as long as the soil is loamy and slightly acidic. Keep the soil slightly moist, and don’t let it dry completely. Lemon trees need about 12 hours of sunlight each day, so if you live in cooler climates, grow lights may be required. High humidity is also a must, so a humidifier, leaf misting, or pebble tray will keep the air moist enough for this plant to thrive.
Olive trees come in fruiting and fruitless varieties, so be careful when choosing your plant to be sure you have olives to harvest. There are also a few smaller varieties, like the Arbequina or Picholine, for indoor planting. Regardless of the species, the lovely green leaves and long, slender branches add a delicate appeal to any home.
Olive trees require at least 6 hours of sunlight each day, though they prefer indirect sunlight, so a sheer curtain can prevent scorched leaves. They don’t need a ton of moisture, so well-draining soil that is allowed to dry out between watering is best. With the right care, a single olive tree can produce about 20 pounds of fruit each year, so you’ll never run out of these tasty fruits.
Easiest Fruits To Grow Indoors
Indoor fruit gardens ensure a steady supply of your favorite treats, even when they aren’t in season. The easiest fruits to grow indoors also don’t need excessive amounts of special care to thrive, so you’ll always have a few tasty delights on hand to add to your recipes or nibble on whenever the mood strikes you.