5 Easy To Grow Indoor Fruit Trees

Dwarf Orange Tree
Dwarf Orange Tree

Copyright 2012 - Kris Heeter, Ph.D.


Small container and dwarf fruit trees make ideal houseplants for any climate. They can be a great way to brighten the dreary winter months in colder climates.

While there are many options out there, the five below offer a wide variety to choose from. Some are more common and easy to find than others, but if you love indoor tropical plants, consider giving one a try!


Lemon Tree

While there are many options to choose from, the Meyer Lemon Tree seems to be a popular indoor variety. The Meyer Lemon tends to be sweeter than a standard lemons and ripens over several months. The trees give a steady supply once they start to bear fruit. In colder climates, this tree does well indoors and can be moved outside during the warmer months.

According to the Lemon Citrus Tree, the Meyer Lemon Tree can produce fruit for 30 years or more.


Orange Tree

Sweet Orange, Sour Orange and Blood Orange are three broad categories of orange trees to choose from. According to the Four Winds Growers, citrus trees require 8-12 hours of sunlight each day to be healthy and productive.

When grown as an indoor tropical plant, a South or Southwest facing window is ideal. When days are shorter, the use of full spectrum bulbs or fluorescent plant lights can help supplement their lighting needs.


Indoor Fruit Trees

Have you had success growing fruit trees indoors?

  • Yes - a lemon tree
  • Yes - an orange tree
  • Yes - a banana tree
  • Yes - a fruit tree not listed above
  • No - I've never tried!
See results without voting

Banana Tree

One of the more popular dwarf varieties to grow in containers is the Dwarf Cavendish Banana Tree. Park Seed Company advertises up to 90 bananas per mature 5- to 6- foot tree.

It is considered a fast growing plant that will produce bananas within three to five years.


Peach Tree

As with the citrus trees, there is a variety of peach trees to choose from. Peach tree starts are from rootstock and can be obtained from a number of online sources and some local nurseries, depending upon location.

Peach trees may need more pruning than other indoor fruit trees to keep them from getting too big.


Custard Apple Tree Seedling - Nov 2012
Custard Apple Tree Seedling - Nov 2012 | Source

Custard Apple Tree

This is a unique apple tree that has been traditionally less common in the United States. It is indigenous to the Amazon Rainforest and is also now common in India.

Unlike most apple trees, it can be easy be sowed from seed, and will bear fruits in two to three years. The fruits take around three to four months to ripen. (Regular apple trees are grafted because plants grown from seed will not produce the same variety of apple).

The Custard Apple Tree is gaining popularity in the United States as a houseplant. One advantage that it has over citrus trees is that it requires less light.

Stay tuned to watch how the custard apple tree seedling shown in the photo to the right grows over time. Updated growth photos will be posted every 3 months!


Other options to consider

The five outlined above are not the only fruit trees to consider. Others examples include:

  • Lime
  • Olive
  • Fig
  • Pomegranate
  • Pineapple

If you have had success growing fruit trees indoors, please feel free to share you tips and stories in the comments section!


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Comments 40 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Kris, this is something I have never done. I always wanted to try it, but I keep getting sidetracked and never do. Maybe this hub will be my incentive. Great information!


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana Author

@billybuc - me too. The custard apple tree that I have pictured will be my first attempt. But I really want to try a dwarf orange and lemon - especially after I found out how sweet the Meyer Lemon is. Someday...


m0rd0r profile image

m0rd0r 4 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

Very good hub Kris. I have Coffee arabica, common lemon and avocado growing indoors.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

It is exciting to have a little fruit tree sprouting up before your very eyes. My Momma got me started in this and I must continue her legacy to me. Thank you for sharing this. ps


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana Author

@pstraubie48 - thanks for stopping by. What a nice legacy to be given! Which trees have you been most successful with?


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

This is so fascinating. Never thought of giving this a try until now. I'm always interested in something new....I like a challenge. Thank you for this, Kris. You don't happen to know if we can grow chocolate covered cherry trees, do you?...LOL


Nicole Winter profile image

Nicole Winter 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

What an interesting idea! I was considering getting an indoor rose bush, but maybe a lemon tree would be the right way to go! Thank-you so much for publishing this, I'll have to show it to my SO and see what he thinks.


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana Author

@fpherj48 - if we could grow chocolate covered cherry trees, I'd be the first in line to buy one:) Perhaps someone needs to breed a cherry variety that tastes like chocolate covered cherries!


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana Author

@Nicole Winter - thanks for stopping by:) I'm strongly considering trying a lemon tree too. I think the scent would be refreshing!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I wasn't aware you could grow fruits indoors. I think if I had to choose one of these, it would be banana, because that's my favorite fruit. Voting this Up and Useful.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I didn't know that fruit trees could be grown indoors. This is an interesting piece of information. It would be nice to have oranges just within your reach for juice each morning. Thanks for sharing this information.


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana Author

@alocsin and @teaches12345 - thanks for stopping by. It would be very cool to have freshbananas and oranges within reach!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Very interesting Kris. My father loved to plant fruit trees and my husband and I had five apple trees in our yard for twenty years (sadly, they died one by one). I am used to thinking of miniature lemons, limes. and oranges trees, but I would never have thought of peach, apple, or banana! Fascinating Hub. Sharing.


point2make profile image

point2make 4 years ago

Thanks for the excellent info. I have been interested in growing fruit trees inside for awhile now and this hub gives me some great ideas. Thanks again. Voted up.


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana Author

@point2make - thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you picked up some ideas from it!


Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 4 years ago from North Carolina

Great hub - I didn't realize you could grow fruit trees indoors - I'm very excited about this and think it's time for a trip to the nursery to look for fruit trees!


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana Author

@Better Yourself - thanks for stopping by and happy shopping!


VeronicaFarkas profile image

VeronicaFarkas 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

What a great idea for a hub! Thank you for sharing this information. As one that grows a variety of produce in a garden, I am ashamed to say that I've never thought of growing fruit trees indoors! I will most certainly look into it some more. :)


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Kris we had an indoor orange tree for some years, unfortunately, the oranges were very sour something I didn't like. You have provided a great list of fruits that can be grown indoors. Thanks.

Voted up, useful and shared.


precy anza profile image

precy anza 4 years ago from San Diego

This is interesting :) I always has a thought of having a fruit tree indoor, now I know these trees can really be indoor as well. Now seeing the banana on the list reminds me about this banana seeds I had gotten on Ebay last year as it bears pink bananas. Voted up and shared!


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana Author

@rajan jolly - sorry to hear the oranges were sour! I hope they at least smelled good:)

@precy anza - pink banana!?! Those sound really neat! I can't say that I've ever seen pictures of pink bananas - what a novelty that would be around here.


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

An engaging hub packed with helpful suggestions. This detailed hub of yours come in handy for many who would like to use small indoor trees bearing fruits. I would like to adopt some of your mentioned ideas. Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up, pinned & shared


thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 4 years ago from India

I have a fascination for indoor plants.

Even tried few of them.

The plants you have described may not be available in India. Otherwise I would love to try them.....


MazioCreate profile image

MazioCreate 4 years ago from Brisbane Queensland Australia

I had no idea you could grow bananas inside. Thanks for the information about the dwarf lemon trees. I've been thinking of getting a couple for some time and you've spurred me to do so, now. Liked and shared!


duffsmom profile image

duffsmom 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

Fantastic hub. I had no idea you could do this indoors. We live in an area that has a cold climate much of the year so outdoor fruit trees are a little speculative. Thanks for the great ideas.


SkeetyD profile image

SkeetyD 4 years ago from Barbados

What a wonderful and unique hub! Loved the content. I have to try this. A fruit tree would be great to have indoors. Awesome, voted up and shared.


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana Author

@ishwaryaa22 - thanks for stopping by and sharing!


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana Author

@thumbi7 - sorry that some may not be available in India. I'm curious, what kind of fruit trees are common there?


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana Author

@MazioCreate - I've been thinking about considering a lemon tree myself. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana Author

@duffsmom - we have cold weather here too that makes year long outdoor citrus and banana trees impossible. It could be neat to have them though indoors for the cold winter months and then let them benefit from the warmer summer months outside.

@Skeety D - thanks for stopping by and sharing:)


Missy Mac profile image

Missy Mac 4 years ago from Illinois

I love this article. It's difficult to find fresh and economically priced fruit. Growing my own fruit sounds like a great project. What suggestions do you offer to purchase the seeds for fruit? I have seen the watermelon, but citrus fruits I need to do more research. Thanks.


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana Author

@Missy Mac - I'm not sure how well citrus would grow from seed. I know apples and peaches are not good from seed - they may grow but the resulting fruit will not be like the original fruit so apples and peaches are started from grafting.

Here's a link that advises how to grow lemon trees from seed: http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/yard/2000/040800.html

Sounds like you need to plant the seed as soon as it's removed from lemon.


Turtlewoman profile image

Turtlewoman 4 years ago from California

Interesting idea! I'm still learning to grow all these trees outdoors. I do like the idea of having them around the house. They're just nice to look at! Thanks for the inspiration.


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana Author

@Turtlewoman - I agree, they are really nice to look at! I'm glad you are inspired after reading about growing them indoors! Thanks for stopping by:)


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

I've always been fascinated with miniature fruit trees but have never lived in a place sunny enough. We're moving next month, so maybe I'll have a sunny spot in our new place. The custard apple tree is intriguing. Living in Peru, we should have access to plants from the Amazon rainforest. I'm going to look into the Latin name and see if I can't find one. Thank you for sharing the photo and I hope your little tree continue to thrive!


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 3 years ago from Indiana Author

@vespawoolf - so far my little custard apple tree is hanging in there, it's grown about and inch and has two new leaves. The local nursery said that as a fruit tree it was one of the fast growing ones out there. I think I try to keep a photo log of it about every six months:) Best wishes on your move!

kris


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 3 years ago from Iowa

My husband and I have been talking about getting a potted citrus tree of some sort. So glad to have found this article as a resource. I haven't heard of a couple of these tress. We're thinking we'd get a lemon or key lime tree.


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 3 years ago from Indiana Author

@DeborahNeyens - thanks for contributing! Keep us posted on what you decide to get and how to goes. My little custard apple tree is growing well indoors this winter and I've been enjoying watching it grow!


erinshelby profile image

erinshelby 3 years ago from United States

How does the dryness of the air impact these trees, Kris? In the winter, running a heating system can make the air so dry... are these species hardy enough to withstand that?


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 3 years ago from Indiana Author

Hi Erin,

I'm not sure how they'll do. I think if you keep them watered enough and perhaps run a small humidifier in the same room for a few hours each day, they'd probably be ok. Ironically, my little apple tree made it through the winter just fine indoors but croaked this summer because I didn't keep it watered as much as I did during the winter.

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