6 Fruits You Can Grow Indoors

By Angelica Frey

The love of locally sourced fruits and vegetables is a trend that we love. Choosing local is environmentally responsible and yields a higher quality of produce. Take it a step further and grow your own fresh food—no lawn or garden required. There are many fruit-bearing trees and plants that do quite well indoors, on a windowsill or on the ground. Here are six fruits you can grow indoors.

1. Lemons

Even though most varieties of lemon tree prefer outdoor areas, the Meyer lemon and the Variegated Pink lemon (whose skin looks like a watermelon and flesh is a lovely shade of pink) are particularly suitable for indoor growing. If patience is not your virtue, choose a three-year-old dwarf plant from a local nursery.

To create a suitable indoor environment for your lemon tree—

  • Locally increase humidity. A humidity tray is the most straightforward solution.
  • Even though citrus plants tolerate temperatures between 55°F and 85°F degrees, 65°F degrees is ideal. Lemon trees strongly dislike abrupt temperature shifts, such as drafts and heaters at full blast, so shield them from both.
  • Use a slightly acidic, loam-based potting mix.
  • Water abundantly.

All those tips will have no use, though, unless you place the lemon tree in a sun-drenched location that allows up to 12 hours of full sun exposure.

2. Ginger

Though not a fruit, ginger root is an ideal edible plant for indoor growth, as it thrives in full or partial shade and prefers a reasonably warm environment.

  • Look for a plump root (which can be purchased at your local grocery store) with tight skin and eye buds.
  • Soak the root overnight in warm water.
  • Fill a wide, shallow pot (ginger grows horizontally) with rich, well-draining soil.
  • Place the ginger root in the soil with the eye buds facing upward.
  • To water, simply use a spray bottle to keep the soil moist.

You will see some shoots popping out a few weeks after planting. Roots can be harvested a few months later, by cutting off rhizomes at the edge of the pot.

3. Watermelon

There are varieties of watermelon that can grow in very limited space. Those with names such as Sugar Baby, Early Moonbeam, and Golden Midget can be tended indoors.

  • Watermelons are rapid growers and need plenty of water to grow, so start with a 5-gallon container with drainage holes (don’t forget to place a tray underneath).
  • Plant the fresh, unsoaked seed of your choice about an inch deep, and once the seedling grows, provide it with a trellis-like support system.
  • Because your watermelon plant will not be able to benefit from insects, you will need to pollinate your plant by hand.
  • Once the fruit has sprouted, create extra support, such as a makeshift hammock made with soft fabrics, and fasten it to the trellis to support the weight of your flourishing melons.

4. Apricots

As with citrus trees, there are several apricot varieties, both native dwarfs and otherwise, that can be easily grown inside a container. Try Shipley’s Blenhein, Goldcot, St. Julien, and Stella varieties for your indoor garden.

Simply remove the pit from an apricot, place it in a bag with germinating mix, and refrigerate for three to four weeks. Remove and lightly crack the seed before planting about one inch into the soil.

  • Choose a pot that’s at least 18 inches in diameter.
  • Apricots need a sunny area and a well-draining soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5.
  • Water new plants abundantly, and as the plant grows, water when the soil feels dry.

5. Strawberries

Strawberries are quite easy to grow, and because they are especially susceptible to pests and fungi, this fruiting plant thrives indoors. If you’re limited on space, try the Alpine strawberry variety, which is clump forming.

What’s more, since their root system is quite shallow, strawberries can thrive almost anywhere provided you give them the right conditions.

  • Plant soaked roots in a long, shallow planter.
  • Use soil with a pH between 5.6 and 6.3.
  • Ensure at least six hours of sunlight and daily waterings until they produce fruit.
  • Water when the top inch of soil is dry.

6. Avocados

With great patience, avocados can be grown directly from the pit.

  1. Remove the pit from the avocado and pierce it halfway with four toothpicks and suspend it in a glass of water.
  2. Place the glass containing the pit in the sun and after a few weeks, you will notice both a small root and a small stem.
  3. Once the root system develops a more intricate pattern, you can plant the seed in a well-draining pot.
  4. The soil must be kept moist, but take care to not overwater lest you want the avocado leaves to curl and the stem to soften.

It takes patience to get the first fruits from a tree grown from a seed—up to 10 years. If you want faster results, pick a sapling from a nursery, which can fruit in two to three years.

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