There are many reasons to consider growing fruit trees indoors. For me, it all boils down to control. With container fruit trees, like container vegetable gardens, you have total control over watering, pruning, sunlight and location, can make all the difference in a fruit tree’s yield. While it’s certainly possible to grow a fruit tree from seed, you’ll have better luck and a faster yield of fruit by purchasing a seedling.
A couple of things to think about with container fruit trees are the size and weight of the tree and container. Bigger isn’t always better, and it’s important to keep up with pruning and only re-pot as necessary to avoid growing the tree too large to care for. Other considerations include whether you plan on bringing the tree outside during the warmer months, in which case you’ll definitely want to keep the size of the tree manageable and maybe consider a caster-style pot you can wheel easily from one location to the next. So what kind of fruit tree should you grow? While there are many to choose from, here are five of the best container fruit trees to grow inside the home.
1. Meyer Lemon Tree
The Meyer lemon tree is one of the most popular types of container fruit trees because they can remain compact and still yield a decent amount of fruit. Young trees will take a couple of years to fruit, but it’s worth the wait! These trees are relatively easy as they are self-pollinating. The Meyer Lemon tree needs at least six hours of sunlight a day and does best with well-drained, slightly damp soil.
2. Key Lime Tree
Key Lime pie, anyone? This is a great plant to transition outdoors during the warmer months since it prefers full sun locations. Unlike the Meyer lemon, you’ll need to help this tree pollinate by brushing the insides of each flower with a paintbrush in order to disperse the pollen.
3. Olive Tree
Yes, olives are fruits! Yes, you can grow them indoors! The Arbequina is a great variety for container growth and does well with at least six hours of sunlight. In order to bear fruit, the olive tree needs at least a couple of months of cooler temperatures so consider moving the container into a shed or garage during the fall or winter.
4. Apricot Tree
I’m so used to seeing dried apricots in the super market with other dried fruit and nuts, that I almost forget it exists in any other form. Believe it or not the fresh apricot is even more delicious! This tree will want plenty of sun; at least six hours, but eight is even better. Like the lime, these trees are great to bring outdoors during the warmer months. And water water water! Drench your container apricot tree so that it flows out of the bottom of the pot.
5. Avocado Tree
Can you grow these from the pit? Yes. Will they yield a lovely indoor container tree? Not always. My recommendation for growing an avocado container tree is to purchase a grafted tree (a method involving connecting a branch from an avocado with the rootstock of another tree). These grafted trees tend to grow stronger and yield faster (two to three years) than if planted from seed (up to 13 years!).
Have you had success with container fruit trees? What is your favorite type to grow? I’d love to hear about container fruit trees and all of the yummy treats you’ve made with the fruit!