Did you know that it’s possible to grow indoor fruit trees in virtually any planting zone? Besides working to enhance the overall look of your home, growing indoor fruit trees can help create and circulate clean air in your home while giving you fresh fruit. This is a win-win all around.
However, it’s important that you know that not all fruit trees can work well indoors. You will need to find dwarf trees to work as indoor fruit trees, and they get specially grafted to stay very compact without decreasing how much fruit they give you. Also, just because it falls into the category of a dwarf tree, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll stay small enough to keep it inside. You’ll need to prune it regularly to keep it to the desired size and shape. This quick guide will outline 19 indoor fruit trees, why you want to grow them, and more below.
Why Grow Indoor Fruit Trees
Although it may seem bizarre to try and picture an indoor fruit tree somewhere in your home, it’s very possible. It’s also a very good idea as they can add vibrancy and color to your space, just like your favorite indoor plants. You will have to get the soil and lighting conditions correct though to have them thrive. Most fruit trees require full, bright sunlight for six to eight hours a day, all year long to produce fruit. If you don’t have an area in your home where you can recreate these conditions, you may need to buy grow lights or put your indoor fruit trees outside during the summer months in a spot that gets direct sun.
With this said, you also can’t have full-sized fruit trees growing inside of your home, so you’ll have to do some research and find dwarf varieties of your favorites. Also, you want to pick out the most mature trees they have available if you’re trying to get fruit growing indoors relatively quickly. They also work out on balconies in more mild climates, as long as you get plenty of sun.
1. Apricot Tree
When most people think of apricots, they imagine dried apricots that you can buy in bulk in the fruit and nut aisle or in the bulk food portion of the store. If you like dried apricots, you’ll also like fresh ones as they have a more intense flavor. You can turn your apricots into a jam or use them in desserts, and they make a wonderful indoor fruit tree.
However, there aren’t a huge range of options for dwarf apricot tree cultivars. Moonpark is the most popular one, and it gets roughly six feet tall at full maturity. You will need to prune it regularly to keep the tree compact and small. Also, it’ll have to be a snug container that has soil that drains very well. Try putting the tree by a south-facing window because this will give the most sunlight possible each day. Apricots also need regular watering and don’t allow the soil to completely dry out.
2. Avocado Tree
If you’ve ever started an avocado tree using a pit from an avocado, then you’ve most likely had big dreams of picking your own fruit from this seedling. However, this is one indoor fruit tree that is challenging to get to fruit inside. While it’s not impossible, your indoor avocado tree won’t usually produce fruit. However, they are still a pretty tree to have in your home. If you’re using a seedling that you started from an avocado pit, you’ll want to regularly prune it as it grows. Most non-dwarf plants will grow quite tall. You should also pick out a well-draining, loamy soil mix for your tree and choose a spot that gets bright sun for a minimum of six hours a day. Keep the soil moist but not enough to make it soggy.
3. Calamondin Dwarf Orange Tree
You’re most likely not familiar with Calamondins. This is a fun variety of smaller oranges that have a tart and juicy taste, and they’re great to grow as an indoor fruit tree. The trees usually top out between four and six feet tall at full maturity. For the best results and the most fruit production, you want to use a loamy soil mix of sand and clay that you keep moist. For this tree to live a happy and long life, you can’t allow the soil to dry out completely or it can stunt the growth.
4. Coffee Tree
One of the easier indoor fruit trees to grow is the coffee plant. It can be thriving and produce beans within a year of planting it. This tree tolerates very dry air, and produces in partial sun over full sun, and it will bloom on and off in all seasons. The fragrant white blooms of your indoor coffee plant produce a pleasant scent, and they precede the green berries that will slowly ripen to red. These beans will require you to skin, soak, and dry them before you can grind them up.
5. Dwarf Key Lime Tree
It’s hard to beat how summery key lime pie is. You can make your own in your home after you get this indoor fruit tree to give you limes. The key to getting this tree to produce is to make sure it gets enough sunlight each day. Also, make sure that you don’t overwater it because limes are very prone to root rot if the soil gets too wet for extended periods. You want a well-draining potting soil and let the soil dry out between watering sessions. Since key limes won’t self-pollinate, you’ll need to put it outside during the summer months so bees can pollinate it and encourage fruit production.
6. Dwarf Lady Finger Banana Tree
One dwarf banana indoor fruit tree is the lady finger, and this comes from the South Pacific region. This tree requires sunlight and heat to do well. Also, when it comes to watering it, it’s important to do so frequently but you don’t want to soak the soil. Indoor bananas need more water than outdoor plants would. However, you never want the tree to sit in water because this can quickly lead to root rot. Allow your plant to dry out a little bit between watering sessions, so at least the first inch or two of soil are dry to the touch.
7. Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree
Meyer lemons are very popular for use in the kitchen because they have a great balance of sweetness and tartness, and they are a very easy to grow indoor fruit tree. They’re a fabulous option for beginner gardeners because this tree is self-pollinating, and it also requires very little heat for the fruit to ripen and be ready to pick. They only thing this plant won’t compromise on is humidity, and they need higher humidity levels to thrive. You want to spritz them regularly to boost the humidity levels or put it right by a humidifier.
The soil you pick out for your indoor lemon tree is also critical to the health of the plant. For the most fruit production, you want to use loam-based, slightly acidic soil that is a combination of silt, sand, and clay. This will mirror the soil composition in parts of the country where this plant grows best. You’ll also have to take time to regularly prune the tree as it grows to keep the size manageable, and most of the fruits will be ready to go around the same time, so have a plan to store them.
8. Dwarf Moorpark Apricot Tree
It can be a fun experiment to grow this stone-fruit tree using the pit, but you shouldn’t expect this indoor fruit tree to produce any apricots for two to five years. Instead, you can go for a younger tree to get fruit sooner as they’ll give you fruit within the first year. For the best growing conditions, set your tree up with a loamy, rich soil and mix in some compost that is very nutrient-rich. As a bonus, apricots are the only fruit that is high in digestive enzymes naturally.
9. Dwarf Pomegranate Tree
Nana means “small” in Latin instead of “grandma,” and this dwarf indoor fruit tree looks like a miniature of the full-sized fruit tree. It produces orangish-red bells during the summer months that are followed by fruits that don’t exceed two inches long. In warm conditions, this is an evergreen plant that doesn’t require chilling like the bigger pomegranates do to produce fruit. This tree will tolerate dry conditions and lower humidity levels, but you do want to bring it inside before the temperature drops below 50°F in the fall or your plant can stay leafless until the spring months.
10. Fig Tree
Fig trees need plenty of warm weather to do well as an indoor fruit tree, so they’re a nice choice for people who don’t live in a subtropical climate. Growing figs is also much easier than you may guess, and there are some varieties that thrive when you grow them indoors, such as the Brown Turkey Fig because it self-pollinates. No matter which fig tree variation you choose, they require a humid environment. So, you’ll have to plan to mist your trees several times a week to keep them happy.
Make sure that you fill your container with a loamy soil and keep it in a spot that gets full sunlight for six to eight hours a day. Fig trees also won’t tolerate the cold weather at all, so you want to keep them well away from drafty windows and doors that can be chilly during the fall and winter months. The size of the container you use will determine how productive and large your indoor fruit tree gets. So, if you want more fruit, you’ll need to go for a bigger pot. If you want the tree to stay small, get a smaller container. You should plan on watering your fig tree once a week, and water until it runs out of the drainage holes. It’s time to prune it when it’s as tall as you want it to get, and plan on pruning regularly.
11. Goji Berry Tree
This indoor fruit tree produces delicious berries that are packed full of vitamins. Goji berries need to go in a south-facing window or have a grow light that ensures they get six to eight hours of sunlight each day. This is a very drought-tolerant tree, but they don’t deal with soggy soil well. So, you should allow it to dry out between watering sessions. When you’re ready to harvest the berries, all you have to do is put a sheet under the tree and gently shake it. The berries will fall from the tree onto the sheet, and this makes collecting them very easy.
12. Ground Cherries
Better known as Cape Gooseberries, this indoor fruit tree isn’t technically a tree. It’s a bush that falls into the same family as pepper and tomatoes. Ground cherries are very beginner-friendly as they’re easy to grow, but not enough people know what they are to make them an extremely popular garden plant. So, what do they taste like?
Ground cherries have a taste that is very similar to tomatoes and pineapple with a citrus bite that is very unique. It’s hard to find anything else that tastes close to it, and you can use them for desserts or create a ground cherry jam. This is an annual plant, just like tomatoes, so you’ll have to grow a new plant each year. You want to start the seeds in an eight-inch pot filled with a high-quality potting soil. The soil should drain very well and have compost to inject extra nutrients and enrich it. The plant also need full sunlight to be happy.
The orange tart fruit this indoor fruit tree produces aren’t much larger than grapes, and they are one of the easier citrus plants you can grow indoors. They don’t require peeling either, and this fact makes them more popular. The tree will start to flower in the summer and produce the fruit during the following winter months. If you’re not a fan of the Nagami kumquat from the local market, you can try and grow the Fukushu or Meiwa cultivars. You’ll get some of the largest and sweetest fruits from these two cultivars, and they can get up to the size of small apples.
14. Miracle Berry
The miracle berry has an impressive trick to it by making anything you happen to eat after you eat it taste sweet, even very tart fruits like lemons. These effects won’t last long, but this indoor fruit tree can. It grows into a very attractive tree with red berries and veined foliage. You want to give it a slightly acidic potting soil and avoid watering it using hard water. Hard water can sweeten up the soil too much. You’ll have to pollinate the white and brown blooms by brushing your hand over them.
15. Mulberry Bush
Mulberry bushes make great plants to grow indoors, even if they’re not technically an indoor fruit tree. They are a very beginner-friendly choice too. It requires high-quality potting soil with a layer of material for drainage at the bottom of the pot to give it a strong start. They also need plenty of direct, bright sunlight to thrive. Two dwarf mulberry bushes that work well to grow in containers include Issai and Everbearing. You want to fertilize them every six months and prune them to control the growth and keep them compact. If you do, they’ll produce sweet green fruits.
16. Olive Tree
Most people don’t necessarily consider olives an indoor fruit tree because they’re not sweet, but they do fall into this category. Olive trees aren’t nearly as needy as other trees, so they’re easier to care for as an indoor tree. At the same time, one seed can easily produce 20 pounds of olives, so keep this in mind. All olive trees like well-draining soil with direct, bright sunlight for six to eight hours a day. You’ll only need to water your indoor olive tree when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
When you start looking for olive trees, seek out the Arbequina cultivar as it does best in containers. It’s a very slow-growing option that will drip water through the leaves, and this process is called weeping. You also want to know that a lot of olive tree cultivars are ornamental, so they don’t produce any fruit. For this tree to produce olives, it needs two months of cooler temperatures as a dormant period. You can move it to a shed or garage that would be cooler during the winter or fall months to achieve this.
17. Passion Fruit Tree
Passion fruit technically likes to grow on a vine, but it’s something that is easy to grow inside, so it made the list. Like most of the other indoor fruit trees, it likes to have a minimum of six hours of sunlight a day with well-drained soil. It also requires a trellis to climb up as it grows. Passion fruit likes to be in a moist but not saturated soil, and you should plan on watering it frequently. Pick out a bonsai variety if you can find it like the Mapplegreen passion fruit. It gives you pretty flowers along with fruit.
18. Peach or Nectarine Tree
Did you know that you can grow peaches and nectarines as indoor fruit trees? You can if you pick out a dwarf variety that self-pollinates, and there are many. Golden Glory, Bonanza, Dwarf Sweet China, and Nectarcrest are a few popular options available in dwarf forms. You want to plant your indoor fruit tree in a bigger pot with loamy soil. The roots should be snug in the pot as this encourages the plant to fruit. Fertilize the tree regularly and make sure it gets six to eight hours of sunlight a day. Peaches and nectarines do best with more sun instead of less, and you want to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Also, don’t allow the soil to completely dry out.
19. Super Dwarf Cavendish Banana Tree
Generally speaking, banana trees are a low-maintenance indoor fruit tree. As long as they get ample sunlight with a steady temperature, they are easy to care for. Ideally, you’ll keep your indoor banana trees in temperatures around 80°F during the day and 65°F at night. Bananas are also tropical plants, so they require higher humidity levels. If you have a south-facing window in your bathroom, this could be a great area to put this indoor fruit tree. Or, another option is to put your banana tree in a spot that gets full sun and regularly mist it with a spray bottle. Misting the foliage is a great way to ensure the tree stays happy and hydrated.
Indoor Fruit Tree General Care Guidelines
Just like your houseplants all have different care requirements, different indoor fruit trees will also require varied care to keep them happy. One big thing to note is that these trees do require much more care and attention than most houseplants, but the following can help keep you on the right track.
Trees, even indoor fruit trees, can be on the bigger side. It takes a lot of nutrients for a plant to grow four or five feet tall, let alone topping out at eight feet or taller. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to fertilize your trees at least once a month during the spring and summer months when they’re actively growing. For many trees, like the ficus, you can stop fertilizing during the winter. Some citrus trees can benefit from feeding them occasionally in the winter and fall months, like every six to eight weeks.
For the most part, your indoor fruit trees will need bright light. A well-lit room is a great start, and remember that citrus trees do like bright, direct sunlight for six to eight hours every day. A room with a south-facing window is a great option for most fruit trees. If you don’t have this, you’ll want to invest in grow lights and putting your plants under them to supplement the sunlight they’re not getting from natural sources. Even though these trees can get by with six to eight hours, many prefer 12 hours of full sunlight to produce fruit.
Pruning and Repotting
Indoor fruit trees will grow at a slower rate than outdoor ones. However, this doesn’t mean they won’t grow at all. If everything goes well, your tree will reach the point where you have to prune it or move it to a bigger pot, and you may even have to do both.
Some trees also benefit from a good, hard pruning now and then. This will help you improve your plant’s shape, keep it to a compact height, and improve the appearance. As the root system starts to get larger, they will eventually outgrow the container you started them in. If you leave it in this pot, the tree will get rootbound, and this can cause it to die or wilt. Repotting it to a bigger container will give it more room to keep growing.
A lot of indoor trees have lower water needs, and it’s more of an issue to overwater your indoor fruit trees than it is to underwater them. Most trees can tell you if they’re getting too much water though. Some will start to turn yellow or droop, and some plants will drop their leaves. Eventually, having the soil too moist can lead to root rot, and this can kill your indoor fruit tree if you’re not careful.
Humidity can also impact your indoor fruit tree’s health. A lot of these trees, especially the citrus ones, like higher humidity levels and many homes are much drier than is ideal. Growing your trees in a more humid space, like the bathroom, or grouping them together can help boost the humidity levels. You can also regularly spritz the leaves with water to keep them from drying out.
These 19 indoor fruit trees are a great way to provide a pop of color, height, and more to your room. You can decide which ones are going to work best for you, grow them, and enjoy the fruits of your labor all year-round.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.