ryIf you love fresh produce, then you probably already know that it is possible to grow your own year-round with proper lighting and specialized care. Many vegetables and herbs are easy to grow in a sunny window or on a countertop with a grow light, but what many people overlook are the varieties of various fruits that also can be grown to production indoors.
To be successful in this endeavor, you first need to choose those fruits that are somewhat forgiving and easy to grow. You also have to have the proper size pots and lighting to make up for what nutrients the plants need to flourish and produce. Although this may seem like a challenge, it isn’t as difficult as it sounds- as the following will explain.
Growth and Maintenance Needs
Fruits love the sun and bright, west and south facing windows and sunrooms are the best. Ify ou are low on natural lighting, invest in a good grow light. These are good to have for any type of indoor plant growth, especially those that you want to harvest from eventually.
Potting your plants should be carefully considered. You can start with a smaller pot depending on the size of your plant, but be aware you will have to transplant to a larger pot every few years until your tree or shrub reaches a size that is mature enough for production. After that you won’t have to repot as often.
Using a fertilizer specific to fruiting plants is one way to provide good nutrients. Another is to remove the top few inches of soil each spring and replacing it with fresh, organic composts to work into the deeper layers of soil through the growing season.
Many plant choices also require regular pruning and a quality hand pruner should be kept nearby for regular trimming and shaping. Most large fruit bearing options can be trained to a more miniaturized version of its full potential with careful training.
Best Fruits to Grow Indoors
For larger tree and shrub fruits, you’ll want to look for compact growers and semi-dwarf and dwarf varieties. These plants have already been genetically produced to stay smaller in their growth habitats and grow better in containers. Other options provide a bit more flexibility and variety of choice.
There are decent variety of dwarf choices available, such as Stella and Golden Glo, but most apricot varieties can be dwarfed with careful pruning. Also choose low chill choices that don’t require a long cold season.
Lemons and Limes
Dwarf lemons and limes are particularly popular for desserts and drinks. They also produce quite a few small, tart fruits to use year round.
Nectarines and Peaches
Compact nectarines and peaches, such as Southern Sweet, El Dorado, and Garden Gold are some of the many options that have a smaller growth habit and make a great choice for indoor growing varieties.
Mulberries are very slow growing, making them ideal for container gardens. They also come in many dwarf varieties, and produce an abundance of juicy, sweet red berries that are wonderful for baking, juicing, drinks, jams, and jellies.
Gooseberries grow well in pots and will produce heavily as their roots take up the space provided to stimulate production. As it grows you can repot, but your plant shouldn’t get much taller than 3 feet and doesn’t require too much space.
Figs love sunlight and are naturally compact, making them an ideal choice for indoor containers. The more light it gets, the more it will produce, providing nutrient rich, savory sweet fruits that dry well for year round use.
Any variety of strawberries can be grown in a container. Their roots stay fairly shallow and require very little care other than proper watering and sunshine to heavily produce. Mix and match plants that provide fruits at different times so you can have choices year round.
If you have a place to let it vine and grow, a grape can be a wonderful addition to a sunroom or other similar space. A good sized pot to support a main trunk allows it to get the water and nutrients it needs to provide clusters of rich grapes. Look for hybrid varieties created for heavy production so you can keep it trimmed without sacrificing a harvest.
With only a 5 foot tall growth habit, kumquats make a great addition to indoor garden spaces. Their fragrant blooms and exotic citrus flavor makes them a popular, unique choice to add to your diet.
Plant your pineapple crowns in cactus potting mixtures and place in a sunny spot to start your very own pineapple plant. When started this way it will take 2 to 3 years to fruit, but the fun spikey look is an excellent addition to your indoor garden.