There a lot of plants that are rather intimidating to consider growing inside. Plants can be incredibly high maintenance, and accidentally under or overwatering can make you feel like a bad plant parent. But never fear! Here are 5 fruit trees that are remarkably easy to grow indoors. They do require some specific conditions — but don’t worry, you’re a good plant parent — and the fruit that these healthy trees will produce is going to be an incredible reward for your attentive care.
Having trees in your house is just another way that you can naturally filter the air, and not to mention many trees have gorgeous smelling flowers. The following 5 types of fruit trees come available as dwarfed trees so that they don’t eventually blow through the ceiling. Pruning is a wise idea to keep its size manageable.
Some Starting Tips
Setting Up For Successful Fruit
The reason why fruit trees can succeed so well indoors (but don’t forget about backyard fruit trees too!) is because of your ability to control their conditions. Inside your living room, they don’t have to deal with deer nibbling off their buds, birds pecking away at their ripening fruit, or pests attacking their leaves.
Don’t commit yourself to find a fruit tree unless you have a south-facing window. All fruit trees need a bare minimum of 6 hours of full sun a day, but the more the merrier.
Since most citrus trees and stone fruit trees are large, it’s a good idea to have them on a rolling pedestal. This way once the weather turns hot and sunny, you have the option of rolling them outside to soak in all of those lovely summer rays.
Patience is Key
It is possible to start fruit trees from their seeds, however, the amount of time until the fruit will be rather lengthy. Most fruit trees won’t produce fruit until they reach about 2 years of maturity, but orange trees don’t reach maturity until they’re 15 years old! For this reason, try to find the most mature tree at the nursery if you’re really itching for impossibly fresh fruit on your morning granola.
One last thing! Don’t get too eager about transplanting your fruit tree to a larger pot right away. If a tree is given more room to grow, it will direct the majority of its energy to expand its root system instead of producing fruit. As long as the tree appears healthy, it can stay in its original pot until after the first time it fruits in your home.
Calamondin Orange Tree
Have you ever smelled an orange blossom? Once you have, you’ll swear that you’ll never awaken another morning without the scent of orange blossom to guide your rise. After all, citrus and clean sheets are the two first things you think of when hearing the word “fresh”.
The dwarf variety of orange tree is called a calamondin, and it’s a hybrid of mandarin orange and a kumquat. Calamondin fruit possesses the sweet rind of kumquat and the juicy flesh of a mandarin.
This variety of tree is self-pollinating, that way it doesn’t need a partner in order to grow fruit. Here’s something interesting: many citrus trees are self-pollinating, meaning that they possess both male and female plant parts. Sometimes all that is needed to help fertilization is a gentle shake of the leaves for the pollen to drop and intermingle.
Orange trees don’t actually need to be completely saturated, as higher watering reduces the amount of flesh and increases the juice content. Water your gorgeous citrus tree once a week.
When it comes to fertilizing, try to find a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. It’s a good idea to add fertilizer when you first pot your orange tree, and again a handful of times a year. Spray their leaves with fertilizer a couple of times a year.
Meyer Lemon Tree
I can’t count the number of times I’ve finished cooking a meal and wished that I had a fresh lemon to squeeze as a finishing touch. There are endless benefits to having lemons on hand. Even something as simple as a lemon wheel in a glass of water. Lemon trees sport evergreen foliage and delicate and pleasantly sporadic flowering. They would make a lovely addition to your plant family.
Meyer lemons are the prime option when looking for a slightly sweet, large, and juicy lemon. They take around 2 years to bear fruit. This may seem like a long time, but remember that trees are on a different timeline than we are. Just like the orange tree, they are self-pollinating and don’t need a partner to fruit.
Pruning your citrus tree will keep it at a manageable 3m in height. They prefer to have all day sun, so reserve your most south-facing window for this precious dwarf fruit tree.
In terms of soil health, don’t be afraid to let the soil dry out ever so slightly between watering cycles. This encourages a more consistent texture. Meyer lemon trees do well with high nitrogen fertilizer but avoid incorporating fertilizer during the autumn and winter months.
Key Lime Tree & Kaffir Lime Tree
Moving right along with our citrus trees and their sour fruits, we’ve come to the key lime and the kaffir lime. The flavors in these limes are rather different. Key limes are quite tiny with a thin rind and tend to be enormously juicy. Kaffir limes are larger and more tart, but kaffir lime leaves are often used in making curries. Two excellent choices for an indoor fruit tree.
These two types of trees can be cared for similarly. They both enjoy full sun, a minimum of 6 hours a day, and they prefer to be very warm. Make sure to keep them next to a well-insulated, south-facing window!
Here is another weird tidbit about fertilizing plants: you can do something called hand pollination. Lime trees are not self-pollinating like the Meyer lemon or orange tree. They’ll need to be pollinated. This is done by borrowing a bit of pollen from a male lime tree, and gently brushing it on each flower of the female plant. Believe me, the folks at the fruit tree nursery won’t be surprised if you come asking to visit a male lime tree.
Lime trees need to have impeccable drainage as they are very susceptible to root rot. If you ever transplant your lime tree to a new pot, ensure that the soil is very firmly packed and moist with no air holes. This can cause the tree to die.
Lime trees require a lot of nutrients, and to keep them thriving don’t be afraid to fertilize your tree every 3-4 months with a very nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
Brown Turkey Fig Tree
Fig trees are not something that I would consider growing indoors. The trees that I have seen are absolutely enormous! But the variety of the brown turkey fig tree is a dwarfed fig tree. They possess lovely robust evergreen leaves, with unusually shaped trunks. A very unique and exotic fruit tree, this addition could contribute greatly to your fruit desserts menu.
Luckily there is a self-pollinating fruit tree, and they really prefer to be damp. We’re talking tropical climate damp. They also require heat to thrive, with 6-8 hours of blasting sun per day. The brown turkey fig tree can handle draught, but it will prosper when watered a couple of times a week.
When you first obtain your fig tree, it would be wise to plant it in soil that has been mixed with compost and fertilizer. This type of tree is a heavy feeder, and it craves the nutrients found in compost.
Passion Fruit Tree
Okay, you got me, passion fruit doesn’t grow on trees. I’d never even had passion fruit until the first time I went to Panama, so the thought of having one in your home seemed impossible until just recently. There are endless possibilities with the gift of fresh passion fruit. Add it to yogurt, cocktails, or eat it as is. This tropical fruit would be the crown jewel of any indoor garden.
Passion fruit plants need a trellis to climb up. The more room you give them to grow, the further they will stretch. This should preferably be done in a south-facing room with large, insulated windows. Passion fruit plants do require tropical humidity, so they’ll need to be misted every day, and watered once a week.
Unfortunately, passion fruit plants are also susceptible to root rot, so ensure that the pot has an excellent drainage system. These evergreen climbers sport gorgeous flowers and even lovelier fruit.
There you have it!
As you can see, growing fruit trees indoors is pretty much the same maintenance you would give to any other house plant you really cared about. And you do, since you’re such a good plant parent.
Once you start growing your own fruit, the possibilities are endless. Get creative with using making fresh fruit popsicles, using a fruit dehydrator, or other methods of fruit preservation. All that’s required from you, is a little tender loving care.
How should I be pruning my indoor fruit tree?
The best way to ensure a plant’s energy is being properly distributed is by ensuring that energy is not wasted on leaves and branches that are not doing too well. Snipping these sad-looking branches will benefit the overall health of the plant. Don’t be afraid to trim branches that are growing very low on the trunk, or branches that are growing in awkward directions.
Where can I buy indoor fruit trees?
Check out your local plant nursery. Chances are that you’ve walked by a fruit tree at a time of year when it wasn’t fruiting. Fruit trees that are fruiting probably get snatched up rather quickly.
If you’re interested in ordering a fruit tree online, there are options!
What is the best indoor fruit tree?
That’s tough to say! Many of them can perform well if they’re placed in front of a well-insulated, south-facing window. That being said, Meyer lemon trees are rather easy to care for and tend to successfully fruit. So if reliability and low maintenance are the best attributes then the Meyer lemon tree is the best indoor fruit tree.
How do you pollinate an indoor fruit tree?
If you have a variety of fruit tree that is self-pollinating, then giving it a shake will do the trick. The pollen will fall from the flower and intermingle, resulting in successful fertilization.
If you have a variety of fruit tree that is not self-pollinating, you’ll need to agitate the flowers with male pollen — this is usually done best with a small, clean paintbrush.