Growing Fruit Trees Inside: Keeping A Fruit Tree As A Houseplant

Indoor Potted Citrus Tree
indoor fruit tree
(Image credit: coramueller)

Can a fruit tree be a happy houseplant? Growing fruit trees inside doesn’t work for all types of trees, so you’ll need to pick carefully. Recommended indoor fruit tree varieties are usually dwarf trees that top out under 8 feet (2 m.) tall. If you are looking for fruit trees you can grow indoors, read on for our suggestions.

Growing Fruit Trees Inside

Although it’s nice to have a lemon tree in the backyard when you need lemons, it doesn’t work in cold winter states. You’ll also have a hard time with that plan if you live in an apartment and don’t have access to a yard.

However, there are fruit trees you can grow indoors as long as you give them the right indoor fruit tree care. Growing fruit trees inside eliminates the issue of climate and, as long as you select the best indoor fruit tree varieties, you should be able to pick your own lemons – or other fruit.

Fruit Tree as a Houseplant

When you are trying to grow fruit indoors, you’ll need to think of your fruit tree as a houseplant, first and foremost. The quality and quantity of fruit you get might not be the equivalent of those from an outdoor orchard, but you will also have the pleasure of living with your indoor tree.

Indoor fruit tree care is similar to other houseplant care. You need to be sure that your fruit tree gets the right sun exposure, has appropriate soil, and a container that is large enough and offers excellent drainage. When you are growing fruit trees indoors, you will also want to consider fertilization.

Indoor Fruit Tree Varieties

So, just what are the best types of fruit trees to grow indoors? As mentioned above, a lemon tree is a good place to start, and the Meyer lemon tree is a top choice as a houseplant. Dwarf varieties grow well in large containers as long as they have good drainage and get lots of sunshine, at least six hours of direct sun.

Other citrus varieties work well too. Try dwarf lime trees, key lime and kaffir lime are popular choices. Small orange varieties can be easy to grow indoors too, like calamondin oranges, a cross between a kumquat and a mandarin orange. Adequate sunlight is an essential part of the fruit tree indoor care for all of these.

Dwarf varieties of fig, apricot, peach, or nectarine can grow as houseplants too. Be sure whatever variety you choose is self-pollinating or you may have to have two houseplants that are fruit trees.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.