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Author Topic: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations  (Read 6164 times)

TNAndy

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Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« on: August 29, 2012, 01:16:22 PM »
I live in Tennessee, so all of my tropical plants must come indoors to survive the winter.  I think the largest, practical pot size is about 24 inches/60 cm diameter--and that's mounted on casters.  The plant, container, and casters underneath must fit under a 7 foot/2 meter ceiling.  I have seen the following plants make fruit--here--in pots that size or smaller:

Satsuma Orange (Citrus unshiu) the first fruit wasn't as sweet as I would want, but this year I've got 29 oranges growing on a 3 foot/1 meter tall tree.
Meyer Lemon (Citrus x meyeri) my lemons were quite sour but had a very full flavor.  I've seen more than a dozen lemons growing at the same time.
Mexican or Key Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) small, ping-pong ball sized fruits.  I haven't tasted them, though.  I'm hoping to harvest enough for a Key Lime pie.
T.R. Hovey Papaya (Carica papaya var. 'T.R. Hovey'), Delicious and not very stringy.  It reminded me of cantaloupe.
Dwarf Pomegranate (Punica granatum var. 'nana') this plant just made its first fruit.  It's not ripe, so I haven't picked it--much less tasted it.
Kona Coffee (Coffea arabica var. 'Kona typica') I had one set seeds a few years ago. The heater in my sunroom failed; plant froze. Ugh.  Trying again now.
Sweet Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) OK, it's not a fruit, but I can harvest a few leaves whenever I want to cook my own spaghetti sauce.
True Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) I could harvest some bark, but I won't.  It doesn't grow very fast here.
Small Leaf Tea (Camellia sinensis var. sinensis) Another slow grower, but I'll harvest leaves when I bring it inside this year.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Glacially slow grower, but it does produce some new rhizome each year.

I hope the rest of my tropical fruit plants are simply too young to produce--so far.

If you have raised tasty tropical fruit in a container, please post your experience here.  Thanks.

CoPlantNut

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2012, 01:31:12 PM »
There's a lot of plants that will bear fruit in pots...  I have to haul my plants in for the winter as well but have successfully fruited quite a few.  Off the top of my head:

  • Lemons, limes, grapefruit, kumquats
  • Starfruit
  • Chilean Guava (Ugni molinae)
  • Various "true guavas" ('nana', or dwarf guava, is my current favorite for quantity of fruit vs. size of plant)
  • Strawberry guava
  • Barbados cherry / Acerola (Malpighia emarginata)
  • Miracle Fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum)
  • Jamaica cherry (Muntingia calabura)
  • Naranjilla (Solanum quitoense) -- though I haven't ripened the fruit yet, but this year's crop is finally starting to set on
  • Tree tomato (Cyphomandra betacea)

I'm sure I'm forgetting some... A lot of the Eugenia species work well too- I've got E. reinwardtiana setting small fruits now in a 2 gallon pot, 18" high, and pitangatuba (E. neonitida) should be a compact bearer as well.

I'm surprised you find ginger to be a slow grower- I have to divide mine annually or it literally breaks the pot.

   Kevin

nullzero

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2012, 01:33:41 PM »
You looking for reliable producers of tasty fruit in containers right?

Dragon Fruit
Psidium cattleianum (Yellow strawberry guava)
Opuntia sp. (Pads and fruit, compact and does well in containers)
Cherimoya (they do well for me in 15-20 gal containers, produce fruit reliably as well)

I suggest you get a pomegranate besides the dwarf. The fruit quality will be a lot better, there are many less vigorous pomegranate varieties that would adapt to containers nicely.
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TNAndy

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2012, 01:05:12 PM »
...

I'm surprised you find ginger to be a slow grower- I have to divide mine annually or it literally breaks the pot.

   Kevin

I don't know what I'm doing wrong with my ginger.  I've also got white butterfly ginger, kahili ginger, and cardamom all of which crowd the pot.  I'm not doing anything different with any of them.  My true ginger dies back to the rhizome in late winter or early spring--right when I'd expect it to be breaking dormancy.  It doesn't sprout out again until mid summer.  It's almost like it has its seasons out of order.  All the rest stay green year round.

(I hope it's OK to hijack one's own thread....)

CoPlantNut

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2012, 01:34:07 PM »
I don't know what I'm doing wrong with my ginger.  I've also got white butterfly ginger, kahili ginger, and cardamom all of which crowd the pot.  I'm not doing anything different with any of them.  My true ginger dies back to the rhizome in late winter or early spring--right when I'd expect it to be breaking dormancy.  It doesn't sprout out again until mid summer.  It's almost like it has its seasons out of order.  All the rest stay green year round.

(I hope it's OK to hijack one's own thread....)

My ginger never gets below 60 degrees, so it never goes dormant.  Perhaps that's the difference.  I'm treating it as a houseplant in a spot ~3 feet from a south-facing skylight and despite the low light (it never gets any direct sun) it just keeps growing.  Rhizome size is a bit small- perhaps 1/2 inch across, but it still tastes good.

   Kevin

Pancrazio

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2012, 02:14:02 PM »
Satsuma Orange (Citrus unshiu) the first fruit wasn't as sweet as I would want, but this year I've got 29 oranges growing on a 3 foot/1 meter tall tree.
Meyer Lemon (Citrus x meyeri) my lemons were quite sour but had a very full flavor.  I've seen more than a dozen lemons growing at the same time.
Mexican or Key Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) small, ping-pong ball sized fruits.  I haven't tasted them, though.  I'm hoping to harvest enough for a Key Lime pie.

I'm thinking about buying a satsuma to grow it in my garden, since apparently it is one of the hardiest citrus, and it should do reasonably well in my climate. I love citrus, but i like them when they are very sweet, otherwise i prefer them in jams. How much sweetness do you think it has, compared to other citrus? Sweeter or less sweet than a blood orange? Or a kumquat? Or comparable to a lemon or a sour orange??

Actually i have 4 potted citrus: two lemons, one kumquat, and a "Citrus medica". I suggest also this one. The all do reasonably well, and are pretty effortless to grow. Fruits aren't as good as in ground plants, but are better than store bought ones. And you can do limoncello with them, while you can't with store bought ones.
Citrus medica is also very good. From a single fruit last year we made 7 jars of jam.

Cherimoya (they do well for me in 15-20 gal containers, produce fruit reliably as well)

I suggest you get a pomegranate besides the dwarf. The fruit quality will be a lot better, there are many less vigorous pomegranate varieties that would adapt to containers nicely.

How much do a potted cherimoya produces in a single harvest?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 02:17:28 PM by Pancrazio »
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tabbydan

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2012, 04:49:55 PM »
I'd add:

-"wampee"
-Bunchosia argentia
-"white sapote"

(all those have fruited for me in a pot)

I think Randia formsa should be a winner too

The tree tomato might be a heartbreaker... it seems to bitterly complain (wilt/die) if conditions change suddenly (like lighting, humidity, temp, watering) and bringing it inside/outside might do that (if you have a nice greenhouse it might be less of a shock).  I've had the same problem with "pepino" and "cape gooseberry"

E. reinwardtiana is a real winner for container growing.  It is a tough plant and if treated decently sets flower and fruit.  The fruits aren't mango quality but I find them tasty and enjoyable to eat. 
What's that got to do with Jose Andres $10 brussel sprouts?

nullzero

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2012, 05:21:52 PM »
This year looks like its going to hold at least 4-5 medium to large fruit. I did not even try to pollinate and it set fruit. Next year, I plan to go all out on pollination. Aiming for 10 full sized fruits at least in a 20 gal container.
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samuelforest

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2012, 06:34:11 PM »
I have two mangoes trees with one with fruits and the other one with flowers. Figs fruit well also in pots and are easy to care.

BMc

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2012, 06:34:49 PM »
Grafted sapodillas seem to do well in pots. Jaboticabas are great in pots as long as they get their water. Garcinias. Eugenias (Rio Grande Cherry, Pitomba, Black Brazilian Cherry). Wax Jambu.

nullzero

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2012, 06:53:18 PM »
Not a tropical plant, but persimmons and jujubes fruit extremely well in container environment.

'Shanxi Li' Jujube


'Elixir' Cherimoya




'Selma' Cherimoya


'Hana Fuyu' Persimmon
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tabbydan

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2012, 07:48:34 PM »
In your area you could grow some pomegranates, and the three commercial kiwis outside... plus pawpaw, ariona, serviceberries.
-----

Does anyone have a good seed source to recommend on the Ugni, Eugenias,...
What's that got to do with Jose Andres $10 brussel sprouts?

nullzero

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2012, 08:26:13 PM »
In your area you could grow some pomegranates, and the three commercial kiwis outside... plus pawpaw, ariona, serviceberries.
-----

Does anyone have a good seed source to recommend on the Ugni, Eugenias,...


Ugni seeds are sold here http://sacredsucculents.com/medicinals-edibles-other-plants-of-interest/
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CoPlantNut

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2012, 08:32:25 PM »
Annie's Annuals in California also has Ugni plants in 4" pots, and they do ship well:
http://www.anniesannuals.com/plt_lst/lists/general/lst.gen.asp?prodid=3620&prp_let=U

Edit: I noticed that Sacred Succulents (nullzero's recommendation) sells the U. myricoides seeds, while Annie's has U. molinae plants.  I've never tried U. myricoides; could be interesting to grow as well.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 08:36:03 PM by CoPlantNut »

nullzero

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2012, 08:40:25 PM »
Annie's Annuals in California also has Ugni plants in 4" pots, and they do ship well:
http://www.anniesannuals.com/plt_lst/lists/general/lst.gen.asp?prodid=3620&prp_let=U

Edit: I noticed that Sacred Succulents (nullzero's recommendation) sells the U. myricoides seeds, while Annie's has U. molinae plants.  I've never tried U. myricoides; could be interesting to grow as well.


I have ordered a lot from sacred succulents, I highly recommend them. Though you have to send check or cash in the mail to them. The U. molinae is sold by them as well under here http://sacredsucculents.com/rare-beneficial-plants-from-chile/
Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Xeno

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2012, 12:19:17 AM »
Not a tropical plant, but persimmons and jujubes fruit extremely well in container environment.

'Shanxi Li' Jujube

I thought Jujube does terrible in containers? Are there specific varieties that are better suited for containers?

Xeno

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2012, 12:20:06 AM »
I live in Tennessee, so all of my tropical plants must come indoors to survive the winter.  I think the largest, practical pot size is about 24 inches/60 cm diameter--and that's mounted on casters.  The plant, container, and casters underneath must fit under a 7 foot/2 meter ceiling.  I have seen the following plants make fruit--here--in pots that size or smaller:

Satsuma Orange (Citrus unshiu) the first fruit wasn't as sweet as I would want, but this year I've got 29 oranges growing on a 3 foot/1 meter tall tree.
Meyer Lemon (Citrus x meyeri) my lemons were quite sour but had a very full flavor.  I've seen more than a dozen lemons growing at the same time.
Mexican or Key Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) small, ping-pong ball sized fruits.  I haven't tasted them, though.  I'm hoping to harvest enough for a Key Lime pie.
T.R. Hovey Papaya (Carica papaya var. 'T.R. Hovey'), Delicious and not very stringy.  It reminded me of cantaloupe.
Dwarf Pomegranate (Punica granatum var. 'nana') this plant just made its first fruit.  It's not ripe, so I haven't picked it--much less tasted it.
Kona Coffee (Coffea arabica var. 'Kona typica') I had one set seeds a few years ago. The heater in my sunroom failed; plant froze. Ugh.  Trying again now.
Sweet Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) OK, it's not a fruit, but I can harvest a few leaves whenever I want to cook my own spaghetti sauce.
True Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) I could harvest some bark, but I won't.  It doesn't grow very fast here.
Small Leaf Tea (Camellia sinensis var. sinensis) Another slow grower, but I'll harvest leaves when I bring it inside this year.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Glacially slow grower, but it does produce some new rhizome each year.

I hope the rest of my tropical fruit plants are simply too young to produce--so far.

If you have raised tasty tropical fruit in a container, please post your experience here.  Thanks.
I'm requesting photos of your plants.

TNAndy

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2012, 09:15:46 AM »
I'm requesting photos of your plants.

OK, here you go.

Satsuma Orange--showing some of the 29 green oranges


Meyer Lemon--showing one of two lemons


Mexican or Key Lime--showing this year's only lime


T.R. Hovey Papaya--showing two of the three fruits (the other got picked and eaten)


Dwarf Pomegranate--showing the very first fruit to grow on this plant along with some new flower buds


Kona Coffee--the far plant is from Kona, the nearer one is a Caturra cultivar

This Kona Coffee tree is one of the rare three-leaf mutations.

Sweet Bay Laurel


True Cinnamon


Small Leaf Tea--showing two of six seed pods to grow this year


Ginger--what could I be doing wrong?  It grows slowly even without the oregano sharing the container


Super Dwarf Cavendish Banana--no fruit yet....


Allspice/Pimento--I don't really expect to get berries.


Actually, I've got LOTS more plants, but the batteries died in my camera.  I'll try to post more pic's once they're recharged.

stressbaby

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2012, 11:06:25 PM »
TNAndy,

I'm not far from you and zone-wise we are pretty close.  I overwinter plants in the greenhouse.

The better plants in my opinion are:
Citrus (all work well; I have Persian lime, Satsuma, Valencia, Calamondin, Wash Navel)
Carambola (I have 'Kari')
Acerola
June Plum
TR Hovey
Various figs (I have IT Honey, Chicago Hardy, Panachee, couple others)
Sugar apple
Various Psidium (I have strawberry guava, also have grown lemon, 'Nana')
Various Hylocereus
Dwarf pom (mine currently holds ~20 ripening fruit; supposedly doesn't taste as good as regular kind)

Interesting, but will not as productive:
Pitanga
Jaboticaba
Pitomba
Grumichama
Cherimoya
Feijoa



TNAndy

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Re: Fruiting Potted Plant Recommendations
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2014, 05:12:35 PM »
Agreed.  Citrus does well.  My Satsuma Oranges tasted as good as store-bought.  Not bad for Tennessee.  On the other hand, they get scale bugs.

None of the Starfruit (Carambola) I've tried tasted all that great.

I finally found some 'Manoa Sweet' Acerola plants (and bought two).

I would like to try June Plum.  I'm a big Jamaica fan, and it's a fruit they use a lot down there.  While I'm on the subject, I'd like to try some Jamaican Cherries, too.

My TR Hovey Papaya got too tall to bring inside.  I cut the trunk at about 4 feet.  We'll see if it survives.

I'm not that big a fig fan, either.  It's the seeds.

I would like to eat a Sugar Apple before I commit to growing one.  Ditto guava.  Ditto Hylocereus.

I'm getting over the whole pomegranate thing.  Way too much work for way too little juice.

I love Mangoes.  After all this discussion, I may end up choosing a dwarf Mango.

Thanks for all the responses.

 

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