Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How to grow fruit trees in your home

I'm sure you have seen apples trees and other fruit trees on your daily commute or when you travel around your state. You probably hear about apple picking in the fall and maybe even partake in it.

But, how can you grow apples without a backyard or with very limited space? Are your fall and winter seasons brutally cold?

You'll learn that just because you have some limitations it doesn't mean that you can't do it. For many years now they have developed different strains or hybrids of most fruit trees to grow smaller. These are ideal for those people that have limited space, but still want to enjoy good fruit.

These kind of trees are called Dwarf trees. They are grafted, or spliced, at a certain part of their trunk to basically stunt their growth. There is such a thing as Dwarf, Semi-Dwarf and Super Dwarf.

Dwarf : Most of these can grow up to 5-7 ft tall.
Semi-Dwarf: Most of these can grow from 8-10 ft tall.
Super Dwarf: These will grow up to 4-6 ft tall.

Of course this depends on nutrition, location, soil and ideal climates as well.

The other thing to remember is that all Dwarf trees will only reach their full height if they are grown in the ground with some good care. So, if you are looking to keep them at under 6 ft tall the best thing to do is to grow them in pots. While in pots these trees will get accustomed to the pot they are in and grow fruit. The best thing about this is that most fruit is the same size as on a full outdoor tree. As these are hybrids some offer different taste, different appearance and a different amount of fruit.

So the thing to see here is where you would like to grow them. Most Dwarf trees will do much better in about 6-8 hrs of direct light, weekly watering and in temperatures of over 60 degrees. This means that you can grow them indoors next to a south or southwest facing window. They will grow slower than if planted outside with a full day of sun, but they will grow.

You will want to feed your trees with fertilizers once they are about 6 months old on a monthly basis and also when the fruit start forming as well. They enjoy a lot of water, but don't like to be soaked, so make sure you use high quality soil that has good drainage. Also, make sure the pots have drainage holes on the bottom. The plant will often tell you if it is being over watered, under-watered or being fed too much. Most of the time you will see the signs on the leafs. They will tend to change color on the tips or sides.  But, all trees are not the same so keep a look out for signs of stress. Dwarf trees are accustomed to humid weather so adding a humidifier near them or misting their leafs regularly is very helpful as well.

Dwarf trees will attract little mites and things like that especially indoors so you must keep on eye on them. If you see little spiders or mites you can wipe down the leafs with soapy water. There are also good remedies that you can find online to get rid of small pests. Also, if you happen to get ants you can wrap the bottom part of the trunk of the tree with tin foil and put some vaseline on the foil.

Some Dwarf trees that do very well indoors are the Citrus trees, fig trees, pomegranate trees, banana trees, peach trees, pear trees etc. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that you can pretty much grow any kind of fruit tree in your home.

You can often find these at nurseries and also online. My recommendation is to order a plant that is at least a year old so you can make sure it makes it through the shipping process. Also, the roots will be more established and you will be able to tell immediately if it is healthy.  These do cost more than ordering them in smaller form, but will ensure that you grow a healthy tree for a very long time.

There are such things as dwarf blueberry plants, dwarf strawberry plants, dwarf kiwi plants, dwarf nut trees as well. So take some time and look online and you'll find that there are tons of different dwarf kinds of fruits, vegetables and plants.

So take a chance and grow something today.

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