How to Care for Indoor Orchard Plants

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Growing an indoor orchard can be quite a task, but a highly fulfilling one, as your fruit-bearing plants can help alleviate the high cost of groceries. Indoor orchard plants need special care to make sure they thrive well enough to produce fruit in an indoor climate. With a delectable variety of fruiting plants and trees, it should be an exciting prospect to decide which ones to include in your urban orchard. Some of the choices are: citrus, avocado, fig, cherry, plum, tamarind, rumberry, gooseberry, pomegranate and mango.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant seeds
  • Potting soil
  • Terracotta pots
  • Water
  • Fertilizer or plant food

Look at the space you have in your home and decide which plants or trees you would like to grow, and which ones will fit best. If you have tall ceilings, for instance, then you might think about a citrus or fig tree. If you do not have high ceilings, think about the smaller Barbados cherry tree or dwarf pomegranate, which only grows to be about 3 feet tall indoors.

Buy or otherwise obtain the seeds for your chosen plants. If you choose something more exotic such as a tamarind or dwarf pomegranate, you can buy the seeds online at an exotic fruit nursery or botanical center. Alternatively, you can use stem cuttings, which work best when planting Barbados cherry and gooseberry.

Plant the seeds or stem cuttings in the terracotta pots with your potting soil. The terracotta pots help retain the right amount of moisture for your orchard plants, keeping the correct balance between soggy and dry.

Place the potted plants around your home according to sun exposure and drafts. For instance, the rumberry (Myrcia floribunda) needs sunny exposure and protection from any type of wayward drafts in your house, such as those from doors, windows or air-conditioning units.

Fertilize and water your plants. A good rule of thumb is to fertilize your plant or tree when it is flowering or during active growth periods, which is generally during the spring and summer. Use fertilizer or plant food that is good quality and water-soluble.

Enjoy your harvest from your indoor orchard, which may be sporadic, but will certainly liven up your table during mealtimes and whet your appetite for more homegrown fare.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try making jams, jellies, compote, ice cream or pies with your fruit.
  • Freeze the yield of your harvest for later use.
  • When watering, make sure that your plants do not sit in the runoff for long. Drain the residual water to let the soil dry a bit.
  • Keep your plants away from heaters, radiators and fires.

References

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