One of the best benefits of having a garden is a fresh supply of crops year round. One thing that many gardeners neglect, especially those in colder climates, is fruits. Fruits are often seen as difficult to grow and something only advanced gardeners should attempt. That’s simply not the case, there are many fruits that you can grow indoors, regardless of your skill level. Below, you’ll find some of our favorites to get started with.
Basic Care Tips For Fruits
Regardless of the fruit you decide to grow, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. The first, and most important, is light. Nearly every fruit is going to require lots of bright light, usually a minimum of 6+ hours per day. If you’re having trouble hitting this you’ll likely need to use grow lights to supplement.
Outside of that, you should also avoid placing your fruit plants in areas that experience temperature changes. Most fruits are native to tropical regions, so you should look to emulate that. Even something as simple as an air conditioning vent can change the temperature enough to cause issues if the plant is too close. It should also be noted that any fruit plant should be brought indoors before it frosts.
Dwarf Fruit Trees
A great place to start is with fruit trees; in particular the dwarf variety. Dwarf trees are specifically bred to grow slower, and this makes it much easier to grow them indoors. That doesn’t mean small though, as some can still reach several feet tall. That also doesn’t stop them from bearing edible fruit, they just will have less than a full grown tree.
For starters, try going with a juvenile lemon tree. While you can start from seeds, this will take years before it bears fruit. If you’re looking to get them sooner try going with a sapling that already has some of that initial growth behind it.
A classic for many gardeners, strawberries are fairly easy to grow and can continue to produce fruits for years. Make sure to choose an “everbloom” variety, certain kinds will only produce fruits once or twice before dying.
For care, strawberries need 6+ hours of light per day. You also may need to self pollinate them depending on the variety. This is as easy as moving pollen with a soft cloth from the edges to the center of the flowers. You can also leave them outdoors during the warmer months where wind and insects will handle the pollination.
Raspberries are another great option, and are quite manageable indoors. There are dozens of varieties, and certain ones do better indoors. Look for compact varieties as these are generally better at container growing.
Even with a compact variety you’ll still need at least a 5 gallon container. This takes a decent amount of space, but will yield a good deal of fruit. Also look to get at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day for optimal growth.
For those looking for a hardier fruit try boysenberries. These blackberries grow native to the pacific northwest, and like the moderate and humid temperatures in that region.
They grow well in pots, but like raspberries you should provide a fairly large pot to accommodate them. You may also need some trellis to help support them as they grow.
Boysenberries also require a good deal of pruning to maintain their growth. In the growing season you should regularly check them, and prune back areas that have already produced fruit. This is essential to the long term health of the boysenberry plant.
Schisandra Magnolia Vine
Lastly, we have the extremely hardy magnolia vine. These plants not only tolerate cold temperatures below freezing, but actually do best when dormant periods of cold. You can simulate this by moving them to a cold room of your house in the winter, or even leaving them outside.
For sunlight, keep them out of the brightest, direct light. They’ll do well in a variety of conditions from in-direct light to partial shade. This makes them very versatile, and great for growers that lack lots of sunlight.
Outside of that, they do like moist soil. Make sure to stay consistent with watering them and they’ll bear fruit for years to come.
Fruits You Can Grow Indoors
Hopefully the above list has inspired you with some easy to grow fruits. While we noted that many fruits are tropical and need conditions to match, there are many that aren’t and are perfectly suited to colder or more temperate climates. The best advice is to pick a plant that matches the care you can give. Doing that will ensure the best results and provide you with delicious, fresh fruit for years to come.