If you have the space, growing a dwarf fruit tree in your home has some great benefits. In addition to the usual benefits of having a houseplant, like its beautiful foliage and clean air, you can get an added benefit: fruit.

Fruit trees are visually appealing and offer a nice alternative to the bad stem or average philodendron.

Some things to consider before having a tree indoors

When it comes to fruit trees, the ones to look for are the dwarf varieties. These are trees that are grafted onto specific rootstocks that will remain small and compact.

That said, even dwarf varieties can grow much larger than is reasonable for a houseplant, so occasional pruning is necessary to keep their size manageable.

These days, dwarf fruit trees are easy to find.

While it’s always good to support your local nursery, even large home and garden chains like Lowes and Home Depot can offer them.

Most of these trees thrive in a container. And you might be surprised how many different types of fruit trees you can grow indoors.

Tips for buying a fruit tree

If you buy a tree from a nursery, you may need to transplant it right away if the roots are too tight. If that’s the case, you’ll want to lightly prune the roots and loosen them before transplanting your tree. Choose a pot only slightly larger than the pot you got it in.

If you buy a tree online, it is most likely bare. That is, it will not be planted in a pot with soil. Inspect the roots and trim any that may have been damaged during shipping before planting your tree. Water your newly planted tree well.

One of the best reasons to grow fruit indoors is the ability it gives you to provide the perfect growing environment.

Growing indoors means you can control everything from light to humidity to the nutrients your tree gets.

In general, most fruit trees will not produce fruit until they are 1 to 2 years old. While you can grow most of these from seed, you won’t be harvesting fruit any time soon. If you are most interested in fruit, buy the most mature tree you can find.

Consider this before changing pot:

Your tree will probably start out in a smaller pot. If it’s completely healthy, resist the urge to transplant it into a large container right away. Plants invest their energy where they need it most.

If they are snug in a smaller pot, they will produce fruit. When transplanted into a larger container, they will spend their energy filling that new space with roots, and it will be a while before they produce fruit again.

Repotting a sizable indoor tree can be a chore. Instead, replace the top first 5 cm of soil with fresh potting soil each year.

However, moving your tree to a larger pot will eventually become a necessity. Make sure to give your tree room for its roots to grow. You will also need 2.5 to 5 cm of drainage material at the bottom. Go up one pot size at a time when transplanting.

Another thing to consider is how heavy your tree will be in its largest container. Depending on the tree, moving it to position it in a better light spot or to put it outside in the summer can be difficult. Assemble a planter stand with wheels on the bottom to make the job easier.

Of course, if you are really determined to get fruit, your trees will eventually need bright light to ripen your crop.

This can be accomplished in a number of ways: you can move the plant outdoors during the warmer months when it is fruiting. You can move the plant closer to a window that receives the most light and for longer. Or you can buy a couple of grow lights to help mother nature.

With the use of LED technology, grow lights are relatively cheap these days. They come in all shapes and sizes.

And when you’re not using them to produce fruit, they are excellent light sources to grow seedlings for your garden.

12 fruit trees you can grow indoors

Citrus is probably the first and most obvious choice for an indoor fruit tree. There are some rules that apply to all citrus fruits.

  • Don’t let their soil dry out. Citrus trees like moist soil (without water) and prefer a clay soil mix.
  • Keep them misty with a fine mist plant sprayer.
  • Fertilize your citrus regularly with a fertilizer mix made specifically for citrus.
  • Most citrus fruits take between six and nine months to ripen; Tangerines can take up to 18 months.

1. Lemon tree

The Meyer lemon is probably the best-known indoor fruit tree, and for good reason. Its compact size and delicious fruit make it a great natural choice for your sunny living room.

Meyer lemons are self-pollinated and take a couple of years to bear fruit.

Even dwarf trees can grow up to 2.5 meters tall, so your tree needs to be pruned to keep it small.

The Meyer lemon needs about 6 hours of sun a day. It does best in well-drained soils that are kept slightly damp.

2. Lime tree

Lime and kaffir lime are popular dwarf citrus.

The lime tree produces small, thin-skinned fruits. This tree will need to be pollinated by hand. This is quite easy to do, you just need to gently brush the inside of each flower with a small, clean brush.

Make sure you buy a dwarf variety, and you’ll be making key lime pie before you know it.

The less popular kaffir lime is prized for its leaves used in cooking to add a bitter touch to dishes. The juice and rind of the fruit also produce a wonderfully fragrant aroma.

Both lime and kaffir lime prefer full sun. If you can, put them outside during the warmer months.

3. Orange tree

Calamondine is a fruit tree that is especially easy to grow indoors.

The fruit is a cross between a kumquat and a tangerine. They are spicy and their thin skins are very sweet. This would be a great option for anyone looking for an interesting citrus to cook with. These prefer full sun.

4. Fig tree

Growing figs in your home is better than waiting for them to show up at the grocery store when they are finally in season.

The Brown Turkey fig tree is ideal for indoor growing and is self-pollinated.

Fig trees prefer a humid environment, so spray them regularly.

Grow your fig tree in clay soil and place it in a place that receives full sun for 6-8 hours a day.

5. Olive

While it may not be what most people consider a fruit, an olive tree is a beautiful fruit tree to grow indoors.

Consider the Arbequina, which is very suitable for containers. Olive trees prefer well-drained soil and plenty of light, at least 6 hours a day.

If you want them to bear fruit, they will need to experience a period of about two months of cooler temperatures. For this, take them to a garage or shed that is cold in the fall or winter.

Don’t forget the leaves!

Olive leaves are a wonderfully flavored tea ingredient and have many health benefits as well.

6. Passion fruit tree

Passion fruit technically grows on a vine, but it was included because it is fairly easy to grow indoors.

Like most other trees, it prefers well-drained soil and at least six hours of sun a day.

You will need to give your passion fruit tree a trellis to climb up. This tree likes to stay moist, but not soggy, so water it frequently. Choose a variety of bonsai, such as Mapplegreen.

In addition to delicious fruit, this “tree” will also provide you with beautiful flowers.

7. Peach and nectarine tree

Wait, can you also grow peach and nectarine trees indoors?

Yes you can.

Just be sure to pick a dwarf variety that is self-pollinated, and there are several.

Bonanza, Golden Glory, Nectarcrest, and Dwarf Sweet China are just a couple of popular dwarf varieties.

Make sure to plant your tree in a large pot with clay soil. Remember, you want the roots to be snug in the pot, as this will encourage fruiting. Fertilize your tree regularly and make sure it gets at least six hours of bright sunshine a day.

Peaches and nectarines thrive in places with a lot of sun. Keep them moist, but not soggy, and don’t let the soil dry out completely between waterings.

8. Cheesy

Most of us know apricot for its dry variety that we commonly find in the bulk food section.

Fresh apricots are much better. Which makes the apricot tree an ideal option for your indoor fruit trees.

The Moorpark is an excellent dwarf apricot, reaching only 6 feet in height. As with most indoor trees, you can prune it to keep it smaller and more compact.

Provide well-drained soil for your apricot in a comfortable pot. Make sure there is plenty of sun, 6 to 8 hours a day. If you have a south-facing window, that would be the best location for your apricot.

Water the apricot regularly and make sure the soil doesn’t dry out between waterings.

9. Avocado tree

If you’ve ever grown an avocado tree from an avocado pit, then you’ve probably dreamed of picking your own fruit from that little seedling.

Unfortunately, this is a fruit tree from which it is very difficult to obtain fruit if grown indoors.

Although it is not impossible, indoor avocados generally do not produce fruit.

However, even so, they are beautiful fruit trees and are worth having inside your home. If you are using a seedling that you grew from a spindle, you will need to prune it regularly as it begins to grow.

Most non-dwarf varieties grow tall. As always, choose a well-drained, loamy soil for your avocado tree and position it in a spot that receives plenty of sun for at least six hours a day. Keep the soil on your avocado moist, but not soggy.

10. Banana

Banana trees, like avocado trees, are another fruit tree that you can believe very tall.

However, to enjoy the tropics from home, choose a dwarf variety of banana. Some of the dwarf varieties can also get quite tall, so try the Lady Finger banana tree. It grows about 1.2 meters tall and produces small, thin bananas.

Like most tropical plants, banana trees need a lot of sunlight and moisture. Make sure your banana tree has full sun for 6-8 hours a day.

Spray your tree frequently to increase humidity.

11. Mulberry

Mulberry trees or blackberry bushes make excellent houseplants and are one of the easiest to grow.

For a good start, get a good potting soil with a layer of drainage material on the bottom. And like most fruit trees, this one will need a lot of sunlight.

Two dwarf mulberry trees that are perfectly suited to container cultivation are the ‘Everbearing’ and ‘Issai’ varieties.

Fertilize them every six months and prune them to keep them compact, and eventually you can enjoy the sweet fruits of your labor.

12. Uchuva fruit tree

Although cape gooseberry is not technically a tree, it is included here as it is a very simple fruit to grow indoors. Not many people know about them.

Its flavor is often described as a mix between a pineapple and a tomato. Cape gooseberry has a mild, almost apple flavor, and they are somewhat buttery. But they are finally delicious!

Grow your gooseberry by planting a seed in a pot at least 20 cm deep. Using well-drained soil with a little compost mixed in will keep your plant very happy. Cape gooseberry thrives best in full sun.

Now that you know which fruit trees you can successfully grow indoors, you can end up with a real fruit salad in your living room.

These elegant and stately plants will make every space in your living room stand out beautifully. Which one are you going to start growing?

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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