Tropical Fruits: Growing them in Different Zones and Indoors

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tropical fruits

If you are looking for a guide to growing tropical fruits, then you have landed on the right page.

The taste of banana, guava, dragon fruit, or pineapple can quickly transport you to a warm, sunny location, lounging on a beach, and sipping margaritas.

Tropical flavors are not often available to people in the North, however, many subtropical plants tend to grow quite easily if you give them some winter protection.

However, if you want to expand the possibilities of where tropical plants can grow then dear reader, yes you can.

Overwintering properly and planting in containers can bring the tropical harvest right into your very home.

Whether you are located in a colder region of the Midwest and East Coast, or more temperate areas of the Pacific Northwest, tropical fruit is like an oasis within reach.

How?

Keep on reading.

Growing Tropica Fruits

Let’s go for this, shall we?

If you live in USDA hardiness zones 9, 10, or higher, you may be able to grow tropical fruits and trees outdoors.

However, for the rest of the zones, the best chance of success will come with container planting and either keeping the plants indoors or outdoors.

And then, moving them inside when the temperature drops.

There are actually a number of tropical fruits you can grow indoors in containers.

These are:

  • banana thieves in sunrooms
  • tangerines and other small oranges also grow great indoors in containers
  • kumquats and Meyer lemons thrive in containers
  • certain guava varieties and mangos do well in this setting
  • pineapples also go well in containers, and you can even regrow them by plating their stalks
  • even dwarf varieties can get big, for instance, Glen mango can grow up to 10 feet tall, though a smaller container will limit the size

Learn more about Container Gardening: Everything you need to Know here.

Types of Tropical Fruits

Some tropical fruits you can try to include are:

Jackfruit: These massive fruits are members of the mulberry family. It is the largest known fruit to a man that is produced on the tree.

Some jackfruit grows up to 75 pounds and this fruit is native to the Indo-Malaysian region, but it can also be in tropical regions throughout the world.

Mamey: This fruit is native to Mexico and Central America. However, it frequently grows in Florida.

Trees tend to reach a mature height of about 40 feet or 12 m, and you can use them as specimen trees in your home garden.

The fruit has a brown peel and pinks to reddish brown flesh with n interesting and sweet taste.

Moreover, the fruit is often enjoyed fresh or in ice cream, jellies, or preserves.

Passion Fruit: It is a beautiful vining plant native to South America.

Vines will need a sturdy trellis or fence and well-draining soil for growth.

The fruit can be purple, yellow, or red in color and has an orange sweet pulp with a number of seeds and mild flavor.

Juice from this fruit can be used to make a punch or can be consumed raw.

tropical fruits 1

Kumquat: These are the smallest of citrus fruits and are small evergreen shrubs with white smaller flowers that produce golden yellow fruits.

These can vary in size from 1 to 2 inches or 2.5 to 5 cm around. Having thick and rind and acidic flesh, you can eat them as whole or as preserves.

Soursop: This one is a small slender tree of the West Indies.

It bears large deep green and oval-shaped spiny fruit with can weigh as much as 8 to 10 pounds and a foot, about 31cm. in length.

Moreover, this white juicy flesh is aromatic and you can use it in sherbets and drinks.

Guava: Native to tropical America the small tree or shrub of this plant has white flowers and yellow berry-like fruit.

It is a rich source of vitamins A, B, and C that has a number of health benefits, with a sweet flavor and white flesh.

Some other tropical fruits are jujube, loquat, mango, papaya, pomegranate, and sapodilla.

Growing Requirments

Though each plant will have specific growing needs, however, there are certain basics to growing most tropical indoors.

Let’s discuss them as follows:

Keep it Sunny: Give your tropical fruit plants as much sunlight as possible.

It is ideal if you can place them near a south-facing window.

Keep it Warm: While some tropical fruit plants can tolerate brief drops in temperatures, they, however, do best if you keep the thermostat at 60 or higher.

Make sure to remember that these plants tend to thrive in areas with long, hot summers and short, warm winters.

Taking care of the Soil: There is no surprise here.

tropical fruits 2

Like almost every other plant, make sure that the place where the plant of your tropical fruits are, the soil is moist and well-draining.

Keep it Humid: It is important to note that a lot of these plants are native to humid regions.

Therefore, they do best when you can maintain a humidity level of at least 50%.

However, that is not true for every fruit. Some fruits like figs are native to more arid climates.

Watch your Watering: Watering can get a little tricky.

Some plants will need the soil to dry out between waterings, while others will need continual moisture and regular watering.

Fertilizing: Like water, fertilization can vary a lot.

It is important to note that every plant has different fertilization needs, so it is important to keep in mind the specific needs.

Basic to Understand

Some basics to understand are:

If you are starting from seeds, it is important to make sure to start your plant outside during summer when your plant will receive optimal sunshine to effectively put down roots.

However, if you bring your plant home from a garden center, make sure to cover it completely in transport, especially if the weather is cold.

Use a pot that is slightly larger than the root ball to avoid root rot.

As the tree grows, move it to a slightly larger pot.

Moreover, use well-drained potting soil. Fruits trees, by and large, do not need a lot of fertilization.

Though some species may need a more acidic soil mix.

basics

Do not over-water. Too much water can stress tropical fruit plants.

Make sure to water the top inch of the soil when it feels dry, but do not add too much water that pools in the tray beneath the pot.

Move the tree indoors before the threat of frost, tolerance to cold varies.

Therefore, read the instructions that come along with the trees.

Other things to Consider

There is no need to acclimate when moving them indoors, but when you are doing so, acclimate your tree to bring it out for a few hours at a time.

This will help your plant get used to temperature changes.

Make sure to give your plants as much light as possible.

A south-facing window with direct sunlight is the best. However, a number of species can get better with indirect light.

For better blooming and fruit production in winter, make sure to augment sunlight with special grow lights or fluorescent lights for a few hours a day.

Tropical Fruits you can grow Indoors

Some tropical fruits you can grow in your living room are:

Mango

Originally from South Asia and India, the mango tree is the oldest cultivated tree in the world and is available in more than 400 varieties.

The fruits tend to vary widely in both color and flavor.

Moreover, the tree exhibits leafy green foliage and will begin producing fruit in the first year after grafting.

It also grows well in poor soils and does not require a lot of watering.

Sugar Apple

This tropical American tree tends to grow in containers and will still yield multiple fruits.

The 3 to 5-inch diameter fruits bear a lumpy green skin, with varieties that turn red or white, even bluish, and have a sweet flesh that you can eat fresh or use in ice cream or milkshakes.

Guanabana, aka Soursop

Though this tropical fruit is cold-sensitive, it does well in a pot and grows quickly.

Moreover, the outside of the guanabana fruit is green and spiny, yet the inside of this fruit is sweet and tart flesh.

You can eat it either fresh or use it in smoothies or milkshakes.

grwoing indoors

Miracle Fruit

Originating in Ghana the “miracle” of this small, sweet, red football-shaped fruit is that it masks the sour taste buds.

This makes sour fruits eaten afterward taste sweet, turning lemons into lemonades, for instance.

his effect tends to last everywhere from 20 minutes to two hours, and the trial has made it a popular appetite stimulant for cancer patients who are taking chemotherapy.

Moreover, the impact miracle fruit bush should be planted in a mix of coconut coir, as an alternative to peat moss, and perlite to create an acidic environment and good drainage.

June Plum

From the South Pacific, it comes in a dwarf variety that is popular for growing indoors and prodcues flowers and fruit at a young age.

It resembles mango in appearance, however, when green, you can eat it with or without the skin.

Or you can use it in smoothies, chutneys, or salsas. When ripe, the golden fruit of the June plum can be eaten along with an apple or made into applesauce.

Guava

This fast-growing tropical fruit tree begins to bloom and produce quickly and responds well to pruning.

So you can keep it compact, making it one of the most popular container fruit trees.

Moreover, it features beautiful white flowers and fruits 2 to 4 inches in size with colors varying from greenish white to yellow and pink.

Flavor, on the hand, ranges from sweet to tart, and you can eat the guava fruit fresh, in juice form, or as preserves.

Final Thoughts

You may be familiar with a certain number of tropical fruits like bananas, pomegranates, lemons, limes, pineapples, grapefruits, dates, and figs.

However, there are a wide variety of lesser-known tropical fruits that are not only fun to grow but also delicious. Exotic fruits are not difficult to grow if you pay attention to the specific growing requirements.

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