Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers



Author Topic: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?  (Read 2136 times)

starch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 817
  • My brain is like oatmeal
    • Chandler, AZ. zone 9b
    • View Profile
Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« on: July 25, 2016, 01:46:51 AM »
I obviously have a bunch of fruit trees in my yard, but I had the thought today (I have no idea why it took me so long to come up with this thought) as I was looking at some of my houseplants: could some of these be fruit trees instead?

What fruit trees do well as houseplants and also fruit? And I don't mean a random tasteless fruit as a novelty, but would produce good fruit in this setting (otherwise, I will just stick with my beautiful, but non-fruiting houseplants).

Requirements:
- Beautiful tree (most fruit trees are), but it also has to be beautiful in a houseplant environment. If it looks scraggly/leggy when grown indoors the wife will nix it.
- Most of the windows I can put this in get bright but indirect light (mostly north facing windows). I do have one west facing window (that is currently occupied) that I might be able to persuade a swap for
- Has to produce quality fruit in this setting

Will a Jaboticaba work in this setting, or any other Myrciarias? How about any Eugenias? Maybe a Carambola?
I really have no idea, I am hoping people with a lot of direct experience will chime in.
- Mark

fyliu

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3188
    • Burbank/Covina, CA 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2016, 01:13:09 PM »
I think some Eugenia could work. They just have to tolerate low light and still fruit.
Jaboticaba will work as a bonsai and fruit, but those serious bonsai people don't keep them indoors and they get plenty of light. They just water them very often so they can survive with very little roots in those tiny pots. I don't think jaboticaba will work for us normal people.
That money tree is sold as an indoor plant but I'm not sure what size they need to fruit. Pachiria galabra?
I used to grow miracle fruit indoors. Not enough light coming from the north window and 5000lm fluorescent tube. It formed fruitlets but they aborted. It might work if you have windows in another direction.

pitbull-rus

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
    • View Profile
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2016, 02:31:37 PM »
Interesting topic.I live in Russia and are very interested in tropical fruit trees.Have the ability to grow only in pots.I can say for sure that Sakharnoe Apple,Soursop produce fruit in pots without special lighting.Jackfruit was the first flowering.Mini banana,pineapple,white sapote bore fruit.It's not my tree,but I'm allowed to say.

akanonui

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 194
    • zone 6b, Southeast Michigan. But I have a greenhouse.
    • View Profile
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2016, 03:06:46 PM »
All but a few of my plants are houseplants. The fruiting plants that I have found that make the best houseplants are coffee, sugar apple, any citrus, Eugenias in general, maybe longans... Any small plants in general.

Grapebush

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 308
    • Portugal, Madeira Island, Funchal, 11
    • View Profile
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2016, 06:04:16 PM »
Some Psidiums do well in the shade, so they might adapt to those conditions, and they're proven to fruit in pots, and can be kept quite small, so why not to give them a try?
Life is all about learning, but sometimes, the more you learn, the less you seem to know...

CGameProgrammer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 309
    • San Diego (10b)
    • View Profile
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2016, 02:45:41 AM »
I think Miracle Fruit would work really well as a houseplant. It fruits well in shade and is everbearing if conditions remain warm, which they would indoors. However I am not sure if insects are needed to pollinate it but I don't believe so; I think just shaking the tree once in a while pollinates it. It does prefer sunlight though so you might want it near a window... or experiment.

AndyNZ

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 35
  • Do you have seeds of Mango 'Gomera 1' ?
    • New Zealand, Far North, Zone 10b (frost free)
    • View Profile
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2016, 04:58:01 AM »
Hello,

I had  'Super Dwarf Cavendish' (Musa acuminata) bananas in a 70 litre pot. Good fruits.
3 sunny windows frames full of passiflora (very pretty). Some passiflora species need a "draught" period to flower / fruit.
Some citrus species and a vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) orchid as house plants. All successful with fruits.
I highly recommend the use of root control bags in the pot. They keep the plant small and make them fruiting very early.
Take a look at "Blumat" for on demand, full automatic watering of your house plants.


pitbull-rus

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
    • View Profile
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2016, 09:37:41 AM »
Tell us more about the bags to control roots.

Pancrazio

  • Off Tropic
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 909
  • Florence, Italy, USDA 8
    • Growing fruits in Florence, and Pratovecchio, Italy
    • View Profile
    • FruttAma.it
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2016, 01:02:10 PM »
I think citrus can be a decent choice. A foot tall potted citrus can give plenty of fruit given its size but if you want an aesthetically pleasing tree rather than just an healthy one, they are (in my humble opinion) very maintenance intensive, especially indoor.
Italian fruit forum

I want to buy/trade the following scions: Mango Florigon/Rosa/Francis Hargrave. US Seedless Surprise. Contact me in PM if interested.

starch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 817
  • My brain is like oatmeal
    • Chandler, AZ. zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2016, 01:26:29 PM »
Thanks for all the responses! I also asked this question on California Plants Exchange FB Group and Tropical Fruit Forum. Special thanks to Mike Hz who found some great articles for me! I wanted to summarize the responses from both groups:

Great results as indoor plant (direct experience, observed fruiting)
--------------------------------------------
- Psidiums (Guavas). Cattley and Feioja guavas were mentioned in particular
- Bananas, Super Dwarf Cavendish (Musa acuminata ssp.) in particular
- Citrus
- Vanilla Panifolia
- Passifloras
- Coffee
- A. Squamosa (sugar apple) and A. Muricata (soursop)
- Pineapple
- White Sapote
- Monstera Deliciousa
- E. Uniflora (surinam cherry)
- M. Emarginata (barbados cherry)

Good results as indoor plant (direct experience, but no fruiting observed yet)
--------------------------------------------
- Theobroma Cacao
- Jackfruit
- Jaboticaba (most people train as bonsai though, not for fruit)
- Pomegranate (was on a balcony though, not strictly indoors)

Thought to be a viable option, but no direct experience
--------------------------------------------
- Miracle Fruit
- other small Eugenias
- Loquat
- Mark

CGameProgrammer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 309
    • San Diego (10b)
    • View Profile
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2016, 03:19:10 PM »
Cacao requires humidity and indoors tend to be very dry, particularly if air conditioning is used. It's not the same as a greenhouse.

starch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 817
  • My brain is like oatmeal
    • Chandler, AZ. zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2016, 04:32:14 PM »
Cacao requires humidity and indoors tend to be very dry, particularly if air conditioning is used. It's not the same as a greenhouse.

I thought the same thing, but a SoCal grower had this experience:



- Mark

fyliu

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3188
    • Burbank/Covina, CA 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2016, 08:39:35 PM »
Is there a limit to what you would consider a hose plant? Like 25 gallon pot or 10 ft tall. You could have decent mango trees with these requirements provided there's a lot of sunlight.

Konjac grew well for me and they look pretty nice. Growing enough to eat was a separate issue.

AndyNZ

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 35
  • Do you have seeds of Mango 'Gomera 1' ?
    • New Zealand, Far North, Zone 10b (frost free)
    • View Profile
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2016, 08:46:53 PM »
@starch
You mixed up the common name and botanical name a little.
Its:
- Vanilla Orchid (Vanilla planifolia) - the one that make the vanilla spice.
- Passion-fruit climber (Passiflora species)
- Bananna 'Super Dwarf Cavendish' (Musa acuminata)

@pitbull-rus
I can confirm all claims that http://treebag.com/root-control-bag/ make.
The bags dwarf your plants. You can grow usually 40m high growing trees at 2m. No pruning required, they just stop growing and start fruiting. A 3 gallon root restriction bag in a 42 litre pot make the highest productive 1.5-2m trees in my setup.

Stan

  • Guest
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2016, 08:51:28 PM »
Somebody who used nothing more then fluorescent lights had Soursop and Mangoes flower. Lots of mirrors and all the rest of growing indoors. Fluorescent aren't a big drag on the electric bill.
Now,with metal halide,you could grow anything in a pot. But,they can really be expensive and burn hot. Home wiring also needs to be up to the task.

fyliu

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3188
    • Burbank/Covina, CA 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2016, 09:19:28 PM »
Uh, guys, the special growing techniques are nice for us, but one of the requirements is that the trees look nice. So adding a grow light to the environment probably won't work.

Things that require high humidity I'm not sure about. My miracle fruit once got gnats in the soil and I had to put it outside for good. Gnat nematodes were too expensive for me.

Root control bags are cool though in general. They're just really expensive but I will try them one day. The material is supposed to have very high strength to not allow roots to widen at all, so it's not the average fabric bag.

What about Michelia alba? Not a fruit but has fragrant flowers and leaves. Leaves are nice and shiny. Can be pruned as you please and tolerates partial shade. I have an airlayered one in a gallon pot for several months already. Larger pots would last longer and yield more flowers.

CGameProgrammer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 309
    • San Diego (10b)
    • View Profile
Re: Fruit Trees as Houseplants?
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2016, 01:22:35 AM »
Cacao requires humidity and indoors tend to be very dry, particularly if air conditioning is used. It's not the same as a greenhouse.

I thought the same thing, but a SoCal grower had this experience:



That quote says his survived but did not yet flower. I don't think they will fruit without humidity. Even in Miami all of the botanical gardens grew them in greenhouses because Florida winters are dry.

 

Copyright © Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers