Let’s face it, we all love fresh fruit, and there’s hardly anything better than being able to pick some straight from your very own tree! Of course, there are a couple of barriers that often keep people from planting a fruit tree in their own backyard. The other common concern with growing your own fruit tree is how difficult it will take you to actually get to enjoy that fruit.
So, what are the easiest fruit trees to grow indoors? Meyer lemons are one of the fastest to grow fruit, although other easy to grow fruit trees include:
- Lime trees
- Fig trees
- Olive trees
- Apricot trees
- Avocado trees
If you’re not sure which one to grow, or how to grow fruit trees indoors, we’ll be covering the details of each tree on our list. Of course, you’ll also learn just how long (and difficult) it will be for you to harvest fruit.
What Makes A Fruit Tree Good For Growing Indoors?
It might seem obvious, but like any other indoor plant, you need to be able to keep it in a container. Naturally, you’ll need to provide a container that’s an appropriate size for your tree. You can either buy a container sized to fit your tree at mature size, or you can periodically replant them into larger containers, although that can be more work.
Next, the tree in question should be adaptable to variable light. The fact is, that even if you have a very well-situated window indoors, it still might not provide the same amount of light that the location otherwise would if it were located outside.
Another thing you should look at is whether or not you can provide the heat and humidity the tree requires. Some fruit trees are best adapted to tropical environments and therefore need consistently warm and humid environments. Unless you have a greenhouse or special growing area, these may be harder to provide optimal conditions for.
The last thing that makes certain trees better for growing indoors is size.
We’ve all seen orchards with towering trees, but it would be a hard sell to try and fit one of those into your living room. Because of this, many fruit trees that are suited to growing indoors are either rather short by nature, or they are ‘dwarf’ versions of their larger cousins.
Picking The Best Easy To Grow Fruit Tree For Your Home
Meyer lemons are common enough to see in someone’s home. However, there are plenty of other fruit trees you never imagined you’d be able to grow on your own indoors. Depending on your preferences, there’s probably at least one kind of fruit tree in each family that you can grow indoors.
You can grow everything you might expect, like lemons and limes, to more unexpected varieties, like olives, avocados, and beyond. Next up, we’re going to review the best, fast-growing fruit trees to grow indoors. Keep in mind that while there are other kinds of fruit trees you can grow indoors, we’ve created our list with the easiest, and fastest-growing ones in mind.
Another thing you should remember is that most indoor fruit trees are actually dwarf varieties – so be sure to take that into consideration when planning!
Easiest Fruit Trees To Grow Indoors
|TIME TO FRUIT
|Partial to Full Sun
|Up to 6’
|About 3 years
|Partial to Full Sun
|Up to 7’
|About 2 years
|Partial to Full Sun
|Up to 6’
|About 3 years
|Partial to Full Sun
Meyer Lemons Are One Of The Easiest To Grow Indoor Fruit Trees
Meyer lemons are similar to the lemons you’ll typically buy in the grocery store, but these are a bit sweeter than the others.
What Makes Meyer Lemon Trees Good For Growing Indoors?
To start with, these trees take up relatively little space, which means you don’t have to create an area specific to them. Not only that, they grow faster than most other indoor fruit trees, so you won’t have to wait as long to see the fruits of your labor.
Upon maturity of two to three years, Meyer lemon trees begin producing fruit. With that said, these fruits can also take between three to six months to mature once they appear on the tree. However, some people do like to pick fruits earlier for a more tart flavor rather than wait for them to sweeten up.
If you plan on growing a Meyer lemon tree from seed, you may have to wait between three to seven years to get fruit.
Another good thing about these lemon trees is that, at most, they grow to a mature height of only 6-10 feet tall if they’re the standard variety, and can be as small as 5-7 feet tall for mature dwarf varieties. You can check out this piece to learn more about the timeline of a lemon tree.
How To Care For Meyer Lemon Trees
These trees are pretty low maintenance as far as indoor fruit trees go. Keep them at temperatures around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, with moderate humidity, and in partial to full sun. Allow the soil to be moist, but don’t overwater it enough to soak it.
These trees require periodic fertilizing, with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer every couple of months. Trees that are outdoors for the warmer months (particularly, April through September, when the plant is putting more energy toward growth), often do best when fertilized at least once a month. These trees need full sunlight, and we’ve shared 7 Reasons Why Lemon Trees Grow Best in Full Sun.
You also need to prune Meyer lemon trees occasionally. Look for long leads. These are basically branches that grow out from the tree but don’t have the potential to produce fruit. Taking these branches away allows your tree to put resources into the branches that are producing fruit.
Pruning away branches that begin growing downwards is important, especially those that have a habit of growing close to the trunk. This does a couple of things.First, it takes stress off the other branches and the tree in general. It also helps increase airflow throughout the tree. This helps reduce the possibility of fungi and other health issues that can occur due to excess humidity.
Lime Trees Grow Fast And Easy
Lime trees are another popular indoor fruit tree, and they’re easy to graft to get a kickstart on your own! A lot of potted lime trees are also called ‘porch limes,’ because you can take them outside (or set them on the porch) when it’s warm out to increase fruit yields.
Indoor lime trees typically take a few years to grow fruit, although you can speed this up if you take them outside during the summer.
Keep in mind that, like with any other fruit tree, the time until you can harvest fruit depends on not only the variety, but also the age you buy it at, or the method of propagation.
Sometimes you can even buy a tree at a nursery that’s already fruiting, or close to the age to produce fruit. Most porch limes grow to about 6 feet tall. Regular lime trees can reach 12 feet or taller, so it’s important to make sure you select a dwarf lime tree.
How To Care For Lime Trees Indoors
As a disclaimer, the specific details of limes trees’ care can vary slightly depending on the variety. This follows for pretty much any other fruit tree: while certain types of fruit trees have general guidelines for care, the specifics can and will vary depending on the exact variety you get.
Lime trees, as another member of the citrus family, need very similar care to that of lemon trees. 65 degrees is a good average temperature for them indoors, and it’s best to lower the temperature by around 10 degrees at night. Lime trees need plenty of sunlight, and ideally six hours of sun every day. You can read about 7 Reasons Why Lime Trees Grow Best in Full Sun.
Make sure your planter drains well, as lime trees do best with well-draining soil. These aren’t indoor fruit trees that need to be watered every day. As long as you give them a deep watering, you can limit it to once or twice a week.
Olive Trees Are Quick & Easy To Grow
You might be surprised to learn that not only can you grow your own olive trees, but you can also grow them indoors! Olive trees seem like an exotic option, which makes them even more fun to grow in your home. In fact, if you live in an area with a variable climate, it’s better to grow them indoors than outside.
Olive trees can produce fruit even faster when grown indoors- sometimes they take as little as a year!
While you won’t want to grow a full-size olive tree indoors (they can reach 30 feet tall!), a dwarf variety will only grow to around 5 or 6 feet and is a perfect indoor fixture.
How To Care For Olive Trees
Like most indoor fruit trees, olive trees need plenty of sunlight. Olive trees by nature are very ‘light hungry,’ so the more direct light you can give them, the better. Learn more about the main reasons why olives grow best in full sun to make sure you place your olive tree in the right spot in your home!
You should also take care to provide them with plenty of water, but make sure the container you plant them in drains efficiently. Keep the soil slightly moist, and water your olive trees early if you notice the soil is dry.
Prune olive trees as needed to maintain their shape and keep extra branches from weighing down the tree. You can also prune some branches to allow the tree to produce a better harvest for the next season. Take a look at some of the reasons to prune olive trees in pots, if you are interested in learning more!
Calamondin Orange Trees Grow Easier And Faster Than Other Orange Trees
Why not simply say ‘orange trees’? Well, calamondin orange trees are a special type of citrus. Calamondin oranges resemble the fruit you’re familiar with, but with a special twist.
They’re kind of like a mix between tangerines, kumquats, and mandarin oranges. Plus, they’re easier to peel since they have thinner skin than many other citrus fruits.At their full height, they’ll reach about 7 feet at most, and can produce fruit as early as two years. Calamondin orange trees also produce fruit nearly all year, especially when kept inside.
With all this said, there’s an extensive study on mandarin trees (closely related to calamondin orange trees), from The Journal of Horticultural Study, and the effects of various factors affecting growth and fruit production when grown indoors.
How To Care For Calamondin Orange Trees
These are a very cold hardy type of fruit tree, so they’ll easily adapt to any conditions within your home. They can even handle an environment of mostly shade. However, if you want to harvest more fruit, it’s better to give them full sun when possible.
These trees need intermittent watering, although it’s very important not to over-water calamondin orange trees.
These trees also don’t need heavy fertilization; a weakened solution a couple of times per year is good maintenance for growing them indoors. You can also check out the 4 Most Common Places Orange Trees Grow, as a reference of where you might want to plant.
Geez, Do Nectarine Trees Grow Quickly!
Nectarines are a favorite among stone fruits. With a sweet and tangy flavor, they’re a refreshing treat in any season. However, you might not always be able to find them in the produce section. The good news is that you can grow dwarf nectarine trees indoors, and still get the fruit of the same size.
Dwarf nectarine trees only reach about 5 or 6 feet at maturity, making them exceptionally manageable.
If you choose to grow them from the seed, or pit, it can take around 3 to 4 years before they bear fruit. However, if you want a more established tree (which will produce fruit faster), you can buy a juvenile tree from your local nursery.
How To Care For Nectarine Trees
Nectarine trees love plenty of water, and they’ll certainly use a lot of it. Just make sure that you’re not letting them sit in over-watered soil. That’s why you need to make sure the soil (and planter) drains well.
Nectarine trees, whether they’re a dwarf variety or not, need a lot of sun. At the very least, you need to make sure they get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day.
The good news is, that like some other stone fruit trees, you only need to fertilize nectarine trees once a year or so. It’s also a good idea to get a variety that is self-pollinating. Otherwise, you can pollinate flowers by hand using a small, soft paintbrush.
Apricot Trees Are Simple And Fast To Grow
Most stone fruit trees, including apricots, nectarines, and peaches, have many of the same requirements and needs. While there are subtle differences when it comes to fruit and care, there are more similarities than not.
If you grow apricot trees from seed, it can take 3 to 4 years to bear fruit, although grafted trees can produce much sooner. At the very tallest, these trees reach 6’ tall, as long as you select a dwarf variety. Much like with nectarine trees, it’s better to select a self-fertile variety to ensure you get fruit without having to hand pollinate.
Once your tree is established, it’s fairly easy to harvest fruit for long stretches of time without many breaks in between (since you’ll grow it in a consistent climate, there’s little to tell the tree to take a break from producing fruit).
How To Care For Apricot Trees
When you read the requirements for taking care of nectarine trees, it’s nearly the same instructions you should follow for apricot trees.
It’s best to plant them near a south-facing window where they’re more likely to receive at least 6, or ideally 8, hours of direct sunlight daily.
Keep the soil moist, but be careful of overwatering, which can cause root rot in the long term. Much like nectarine trees, they only need thorough fertilizing about once a year.
Fig Trees Grow Fast Inside Your House
Fig trees are a type of ficus tree, which means that there are tons of varieties. Fortunately, there are plenty of different fig trees that are especially well suited to growing indoors. A lot of people like to grow Audrey, Weeping, and Fiddle leaf varieties. But, like the other indoor fruit trees on our list, it’s important to make sure you select a dwarf variety.
After planting from seed, most varieties of fig trees take around 3 to 5 years to bear fruit, although some varieties can develop fruit much more quickly or slowly. Just make sure you check the details on the variety you plant to grow. Like many other types of indoor fruit trees, you can hasten the time before you harvest your figs by purchasing a growing fig tree from a nursery or grafting a tree
Fig trees, unlike many other fruit trees, can be controlled in size mainly by pruning. With that said, certain varieties do grow more vigorously than others and can reach up to 10 feet indoors without regular pruning. However, if you do keep up with pruning, you can keep them around 6 feet tall.
How To Care For Fig Trees
As we just mentioned, pruning is a huge part of caring for fig trees, and for keeping them manageable within your home. If you do need to re-pot your fig tree because of size, you’re going to need to do something you may find unusual, which is cutting roots.
Typically, you don’t want to cut the roots on trees, but when repotting fig trees you may need to cut a quarter of the root mass to maintain size.
Fig trees like somewhat moist soil, but too much water (that won’t drain away) can be extremely bad for their health. They do like more humid environments, and unlike many other indoor fruit trees, they aren’t too picky about how much direct sunlight they get.
Fig trees do need some direct sunlight throughout the day, although, as long as they get plenty of indirect sunlight they can still thrive. We’ve shared 13 Tips For Planting a Fig Tree, that can help you along this journey!
Using a tailored fertilizer, like this Fiddle Leaf Tree Fertilizer from Aquatic Arts is a good way to ensure your fig tree can produce as much fruit as possible. You can use this every six months to promote optimal production.
Ground Cherries Won’t Leave You Waiting Long For Fruit
If you’re not familiar with the term ground cherries, you might know this fruit by the term Cape gooseberries. Whatever name you know them by, these fruits are the same thing, and just as easy to grow on your own- at home.
Still not sure what we’re talking about? Ground cherries go by many names: Cape gooseberries, poha berries, husk tomatoes, and sweet tomatillos. In any case, the best way to describe their flavor is by combining the zing of citrus, the tang of pineapple, and the upper sweet notes of strawberry.
These plants typically grow to a rather manageable four feet tall, which is a bonus if you don’t have the room to grow some of the other fruit trees on our list that top out at six or seven feet. There are plenty of different varieties to choose from, and most carry similar flavors and have equally similar requirements.
How To Care For Ground Cherries Inside
At a minimum, these small fruit plants need a planter that’s at least 10 inches in diameter, although you may need to replant them as they grow larger. In many ways, ground cherries (cape gooseberries) are much easier than other fruit trees.
You seldom, if ever, need to fertilize them and simply need to provide them with plenty of sunshine. These plants need full sun and then some- meaning that 6-10 hours of direct sunlight is ideal. There are 6 Reasons Why Cherry Trees Grow Best in Full Sun.
Cape gooseberries aren’t even picky about their soil, so you don’t need to purchase expensive planting soil from your local plant store. In fact, they absolutely thrive in soil that’s difficult for other fruit-bearing trees to survive. That means that sand, gravel, and even some clay are tolerable, so long as it drains well.
While they like plenty of water, be careful not to overdo it. If the soil gets too dry, it’ll go dormant. If they are left standing in water, they risk developing root rot. This means you may need to water them daily, although in smaller amounts. You just want to give your plants as much as they can use. This also depends on the season: when your plants are getting more light, they will also need more water. When sunlight diminishes, you can step back on your watering routine a little bit.
Mulberry Bushes Grow Easily And Fast
While technically not a tree, mulberry bushes are a dwarf variant of the ever-popular mulberry tree. They’re fairly easy to grow indoors, and once they start producing fruit, the harvests can be prolific.
It takes only a couple of years to start seeing fruit, although this can be much less if you purchase your plant as a juvenile from a nursery.
Note: once your mulberry bush does begin producing fruit, you may want to put a tarp underneath the plant if you can’t harvest ripe fruits daily. Another benefit of growing mulberries indoors is that you don’t have to worry about birds and wildlife taking a large part of your harvest.
How To Care For Indoor Mulberry Bushes
Much like outdoor, regular varieties of mulberry bushes, these plants do best with full sun. Sure, they’ll still bear fruit with partial sun, but they won’t produce as much fruit, and the quality will be diminished.
Mulberry bushes also need plenty of fertilizer, so it’s a good idea to add compost to the soil before you plant them. You should also fertilize them a couple of times a year with a fertilizer like the TreeHelp Premium Fertilizer for Mulberry.
Since many of the dwarf varieties only grow to about 6 feet tall, you don’t need much space, although you do need a large enough planter. You can also prune the tree to maintain shape and size, and enhance productivity for the coming season.
Other Important Notes
Indoor fruit trees have a long and storied past, as you can explore further in the publication from Kocaeli University, by Gundogdu and Demirarslan.
These are often seen as a luxury when in reality, they simply need proper care. In fact, many times, they need the proper temperatures and proper amounts of sunlight. Of course, pollination is an important part of the fruiting process, so you will need to select self-pollinating varieties, or be prepared to hand-pollinate them yourself.
Another important note is to consider something which nearly every indoor fruit tree needs, the provision of well-draining soil. After that, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest, right from within your home!
Atkinson, R. E. (1972). Dwarf fruit trees indoors and outdoors.
DEMIRARSLAN, S. G. D. (2021). INDOOR PLANTS: THEIR USE AND IMPORTANCE. Housing Architecture and Design From the Past to the Future, 405.
Yahata, D., Oba, Y., Kuwahara, M., & Matsumoto, K. (1995). Effects of crop load on water stress, fruit quality, yield and flower bud formation on root-restricted wase satsuma mandarin trees grown indoors. Journal of the Japanese Society for Horticultural Science, 63(4), 745-752.
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