There are many fruit-bearing trees and plants that do quite well in a greenhouse or on a windowsill. These are six fruits than can be grown in a greenhouse or even a home.
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 well-suited 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 a lemon tree increase the humidity around it by adding a humidity tray. 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 and water it frequently. Lemon trees require up to 12 hours of full sun so place them in a sun-drenched location.
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 then soak the root overnight in warm water. Fill a wide, shallow pot (ginger grows horizontally) with rich, well-draining soil then 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. Some shoots will appear a few weeks after planting and the roots can be harvested a few months later, by cutting off rhizomes at the edge of the pot.
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 grown indoors. Watermelons are rapid growers and need plenty of water. Start them in a 5-gallon container with drainage holes with a tray underneath the container. Plant a fresh, un-soaked seed about an inch deep, and once the seedling grows, provide it with a trellis-like support system. Because the watermelon plant will not be able to benefit from insects, it will need to be hand pollinated. Once the fruit has sprouted, create extra support, such as a makeshift hammock made with soft fabrics, and fasten it to the trellis.
As with citrus trees, there are several apricot varieties, both native dwarfs and otherwise, that can be easily grown in 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 it for three to four weeks. Remove and lightly crack the seed before planting about one inch into the soil in a pot that is 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 the new plants abundantly, and as the plant grows, water when the soil feels dry.
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. 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 and use soil with a pH between 5.6 and 6.3. Make sure they receive at least six hours of sunlight and daily waterings until they produce fruit. Water when the top inch of soil is dry.
With great patience, avocados can be grown directly from the pit. Remove the pit from the avocado and pierce it halfway with four toothpicks then suspend it in a glass of water. 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. Once the root system develops a more intricate pattern, you can plant the seed in a well-draining pot. The soil must be kept moist, but take care to not over-water or the avocado leaves will curl and the stem will 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.
Some background information for this article was supplied by HouseMethod.com.