The 13 Best Indoor Fruit Trees to Grow at Home

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You’ve filled your garden with flowers and even grown a few veggies, and you love, love, love your houseplants. But what about something a little more fun, like fruit trees? Many types of fruit trees—though not all—grow well indoors. Sure, they’re a little more effort than, say, succulents. (They’re especially picky about light and water.) But indoor fruit trees are a thing, and yes, they can be your thing.

“Many types of fruit trees, such as citrus trees, will grow well indoors if you give them at least four hours of direct sunlight,” says Danny Trejo, founder of Via Citrus, a citrus tree grower in Florida. “But the more direct sunlight you give them, the better they do.” Six to eight hours is ideal. In most cases, that means you’ll need to supplement natural light by using a grow light.

How to Choose the Best Indoor Fruit Trees for Your Home:

You should also look for dwarf trees, which do better in pots, and make sure your pots have drainage holes because no plant likes to sit in water. The biggest challenge after ensuring your tree has enough light? Watering correctly. “For example, with citrus trees, if you overwater, the tips of leaves will brown and you’ll develop root rot,” says Trejo. “If you underwater, the leaves will curl up and the blooms and fruit will start to drop off.”

To ensure you get it right, stick your index finger into the pot up to the first knuckle; if soil sticks to your finger, wait another day or so to water. If dry, water until it runs out the bottom of the pot, then dump out the excess in the saucer. Trees with fruit on them will require watered more frequently.

If you live in a cold climate, many indoor fruit trees do well as patio plants but must be taken indoors during the winter. They can go back outdoors in the summertime, when all danger of frost is past and temperatures are in the 60s. Bring them indoors in the fall before the temperatures drop into the 40s at night. Also, treat them for insects with neem oil or insecticidal soap before bringing indoors to prevent any hitchhiking pests, suggests Trejo.

One final reality check: Don’t expect to yield bushels of fresh fruit from indoor fruit trees unless you have a full-fledged greenhouse! But with the right growing conditions, many dwarf fruit trees will reward you with small returns on a regular basis so you can enjoy your harvest, no matter how modest.

Side note: Some fruit trees cannot be shipped everywhere, depending on your state’s agricultural laws.

12 Messy Trees You Should Avoid Planting in Your Yard (Trust Us on This!)

best indoor fruit trees calamondin orange citrus mitus
Courtesy of Via Citrus

1. Calamondin Orange (citrus Mitus)

  • Why We Love It: Attractive foliage, fragrant flowers, self-pollinating
  • Easy to Grow Indoors? Yes
  • How to Water: Water when index finger pushed into soil feels dry

This small citrus hybrid has shiny dark green leaves and white, fragrant flowers that appear year-round and become tiny oranges about 1-inch in diameter with extra-sweet skin, says Trejo. They’re a cross between a kumquat and a mandarin orange. These trees are self-pollinating, which means you don’t need another tree in order to produce fruit. Use a slow-release granular fertilizer designed specifically for citrus trees twice a year, around Memorial Day and Labor Day.

best indoor fruit trees meyer lemon citrus x meyeri
Courtesy of Via Citrus

2. Meyer Lemon (citrus X Meyeri)

  • Why We Love It: Pretty small tree, self-pollinating
  • Easy to Grow Indoors? Yes
  • How to Water: Water when index finger pushed into soil feels dry

Meyer lemons are small, round and super-sweet and were bred by combining lemon and mandarin orange plants. They’re a less acidic lemon, says Trejo. Give them the same care as calamondin oranges, with four or more hours of direct sunlight and twice a season, apply granular citrus fertilizer.

best indoor fruit trees key lime citrus aurantifolia
Courtesy of Via Citrus

3. Key Lime (citrus Aurantifolia)

  • Why We Love It: Handsome tree, self-pollinating, flavorful limes
  • Easy to Grow Indoors? Yes
  • How to Water: Water when index finger pushed into soil feels dry

Key limes have a bright, fresh flavor that’s delicious in pies and cocktails, says Trejo. These trees also are self-pollinating. It can be more challenging to tell when the limes are ripe because they don’t change color, but squeeze them gently; if they yield slightly, they’re ready to harvest. Fertilize twice a season, as with other citrus trees.

best indoor fruit trees olive olea europaea
Mauro Murgia / EyeEm/Getty Images

4. Olive (olea Europaea)

  • Why We Love It: Handsome, silvery foliage
  • Easy to Grow Indoors? Yes
  • How to Water: Water when index finger pushed into soil feels dry

These natives of the Mediterranean make attractive houseplants, though it’s unlikely you’ll be harvesting olives any time soon. Some types, such as ‘Arbequina,’ are “fruiting” and bear olives, but only if they get enough sunlight, which is tough to do indoors. They also need a period of chilling temperatures to stimulate flowering and set fruit. Other non-fruiting varieties, such as ‘Little Ollie,’ stay bushier so they’re good choices in pots. Feed with a houseplant food twice a month during its growing season in the spring and summer.

best indoor fruit trees avocado persea americana
AJ_Watt/Getty Images


  • Why We Love It: Free to grow from avocado pit, low-maintenance watering
  • Easy to Grow Indoors? Yes
  • How to Water: Water when index finger pushed into soil feels dry

Once you eat your avocado, stick three toothpicks into the pit immediately, then submerge the broad end of the pit into a glass or jar filled partly with water. Give it bright light and change the water every few days. Within about two weeks, you should have roots emerging. If nothing happens after three weeks, toss it and try again. Transplant your baby avocado plant into soil in about two months when the roots fill the jar. Make sure it continues to receive bright light, and water only when soil feels very dry to the touch.

It’s unlikely you’ll ever get fruit (it takes seven to ten years for avocados to produce fruit), but you can try! After all, it’s a free houseplant and a fun project for kids, too.

best indoor fruit trees coffee plant coffea arabica
Catalin Piturca / 500px/Getty Images

6. Coffee Plant (coffea Arabica)

  • Why We Love It: Shiny foliage and dense bushy form
  • Easy to Grow Indoors? Yes
  • How to Water: Water when soil feels dry

Like almost every tropical plant, coffee plants (yes, this is the same plant from which coffee beans are harvested!) like tons of bright light, but not direct sun, which will burn their leaves. Keep them near a bright window or diffuse light with a sheer curtain. They also like a trip outside in summer, but keep them in full shade and gradually move them into the sun. It’s unlikely you’ll ever get berries from your coffee plant, but it may produce fragrant white flowers in spring when it’s a more mature plant. Trim it to keep its bushy shape.

best indoor fruit plants fig tree ficus carica
Jasenka Arbanas/Getty Images

7. Fig Tree (ficus Carica)

  • Why We Love It: Handsome foliage, self-pollinating
  • Easy to Grow Indoors? No (it’s higher-maintenance)
  • How to Water: Water when soil feels mostly dry, about once a week

Fig trees—and we don’t mean fiddleleaf figs, which are strictly ornamental— can be tricky to grow indoors. But their handsome, deeply lobed foliage makes them an attractive plant, and they’re self-pollinating. They need tons of bright light; keep them in a south or west-facing window or use a grow light. Dwarf varieties such as ‘Miss Figgy’ and ‘Fignomenal’ are great choices for patio pots because they stay compact; bring indoors for winter in cold climates.

Most types of figs are deciduous and drop their leaves in winter, but ‘Petite Nigra’ often retains its foliage if it’s kept warm and starts fruiting when it’s only a foot tall. Feed a balanced fertilizer once a year in early spring.

best indoor fruit plants banana tree musa acuminata
Issarawat Tattong/Getty Images

8. Banana Tree (musa Acuminata)

  • Why We Love It: Striking foliage, self-pollinating, can bear fruit in just two years
  • Easy to Grow Indoors? Yes
  • How to Water: Keep soil consistently moist, not sopping wet

This self-pollinating tree is a handsome tropical plant with broad, flat leaves. It likes part shade on patios or medium light if indoors. If given proper conditions, it will fruit after about two years. Look for the dwarf Cavendish variety, which tops out at about 6 feet tall.

best indoor fruit plants pineapple ananas comosus
Rico Kucel / EyeEm/Getty Images

9. Pineapple (ananas Comosus)

  • Why We Love It: Conversation starter, fun to grow
  • Easy to Grow Indoors? Yes
  • How to Water: Water when index finger pushed into soil feels dry

This plant is eye-catching, and given time, you may get a small edible pineapple from it. Give this plant bright, indirect light and keep it away from drafts. Fertilize during the growing months with a water-soluble houseplant food.

best indoor fruit trees pomegranate punica granatum
DEV IMAGES/Getty Images

10. Pomegranate (punica Granatum)

  • Why We Love It: self-pollinating, can bloom flowers
  • Easy to Grow Indoors? Yes
  • How to Water: Water when soil feels dry

The best variety for indoors is ‘Wonderful,’ which is self-pollinating, but it needs lots of direct sunlight (at least 6 to 8 hours). Water well for the first couple years; after that it likes to stay a little on the dry side. It isn’t a big fan of humidity, but if you’re lucky, it will bloom with trumpet-shaped orange-red flowers in summer with fruit developing by fall.

best indoor fruit plants finger lime citrus australasica
Sabino Parente / 500px/Getty Images

11. Finger Lime (citrus Australasica)

  • Why We Love It: Unusual edible lime that’s great for cocktails
  • Easy to Grow Indoors? Yes
  • How to Water: Water when soil feels dry

Finger limes are another citrus that’s fairly easy to grow indoors, provided you give it lots of bright light. The unusual long, slender limes almost resemble a pickle. When cut open, they reveal little round balls, sometimes called lime caviar, which have a slightly sour taste. They’re amazing in cocktails.

best indoor fruit plants kumquat fortunella margarita
Riccardo Botta / EyeEm/Getty Images

12. Kumquat (fortunella Margarita)

  • Why We Love It: Fragrant white flowers, self-pollinating, small edible fruit
  • Easy to Grow Indoors? Yes
  • How to Water: Water when soil feels dry

The oval, bright orange fruit of the kumquat tree doesn’t get much bigger than a large olive. But this self-pollinating citrus tree is an attractive foliage plant, and its fruits are delicious for flavoring water or in cocktails. Like all citrus plants, it needs lots of bright light. Fertilize during its active growing season with a citrus-specific plant food.

best indoor fruit plants buddha hand fruit citrus medica var sarcodactylis
Federica Grassi/Getty Images

13. Buddha Hand Fruit (citrus Medica Var. Sarcodactylis)

  • Why We Love It: Conversation starter, great scent
  • Easy to Grow Indoors? Yes
  • How to Water: Water when soil feels dry

These weird-looking citrus fruits have a floral fragrance and are used mainly for their rinds because the inside is mostly pith and rind, not fruit like other types of citrus. But cut open the fruit, and it will perfume an entire room with its sweet scent. The zest also can be added to food and cocktails. It’s self-pollinating, needs full sun, and benefits from citrus fertilizer once or twice a year.

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Freelance Gardening Editor

Arricca Elin SanSone is a gardener with more than 15 years of experience. In addition to PureWow, she writes for Prevention, Country Living, Veranda, The Spruce and many other...