At Ambius we are passionate about interior landscaping, and whilst we don’t often get asked for fruit and vegetable to be installed as office plants, we certainly don’t see why they couldn’t be!
Our previous blog post covered the 5 easiest herbs to grow at home, but actually anything with a shallow root system (think lettuce, not a whole carrot, which grows deeply in the ground) can potentially grow well indoors, provided that it gets enough sunshine and light.
This means that you really don’t need a large garden, greenhouse, or even much of a green thumb to grow your own veggies and fruit indoors.
Our favourite fruit and veg to grow indoors:
We asked our experts at Ambius to share their favourite fruit and vegetable to grow indoors. They came up with these 9 for you to try at home:
Lettuce is a great salad component to grow indoors. Because the plant has a shallow root system, it doesn’t need a particularly deep container. It can be grown in any container that’s at least 15cm deep, and most types of lettuce can be grown straight from seeds. (Or from punnet seedlings if you are in a bit more of a hurry.)
Lettuce seedlings need a lot of sun – fourteen to 16 hours of sunlight is ideal. But make sure wherever you keep the pot isn’t too hot – you don’t want your lettuce to dry out. The soil should always be moist.
Anyone short on space can grow microgreens indoors to a nutrient blast to to savoury dishes. Studies have shown that microgreens are loaded with nutrients, such vitamins, C, E, and K, lutein, and beta-carotene – up to 40 times more than the mature leaves of the same plants.
Only 5 cms of soil is needed (try using a an upcycled egg carton or cut off the lower part of a milk carton) to successfully grow these nutrient-dense seedlings. Keep the soil moist, and harvest with kitchen scissors as needed.
3. Indoor Citrus Fruit
Growing citrus fruit indoors is as simple as choosing a spot with lots of sunlight and installing a potted lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit tree.
Just try not to overwater your citrus tree as you get eager for your fruit to grow to peel-worthy status. Overwatering can lead to root rot – known informally as “getting wet feet”. Unfortunately, people often mistake overwatering for underwatering, further exacerbating the problem.
Small peppers are perfect for growing in sunny indoor spaces. They are colourful enough to look like a decorative houseplant, and their uses are just about infinite. Not to mention WAY more cost-effective than buying them from the shops.
They do need to be planted in pots that have good drainage, and like most indoor edibles, they need plenty of sun. Water your peppers when the top of the soil feels slightly dry to the touch, and avoid overwatering lest the roots rot.
5. Spring Onions
During lockdown last year there were all sorts of social media posts doing the rounds regarding re-growing common household veggies from scraps. Like celery, spring onions are easy to grow completely for free, using scraps to revive the plant.
Keeping the roots attached, cut off the ends of the bulbs and add them to a jar with water. Change the water every few days and watch your spring onions revive! Just trim when you’re ready to eat, and they keep growing.
Strawberries are a popular indoor plant, and can be grown in pots or hanging containers. Germinate your strawberry seeds in moist, shallow soil, or for those of us in more of a hurry, purchase plants and repot them.
Indoor strawberries will require at least 6 hours of sunlight. Keep the soil moist, but not drenched, and be sure the pots drain well. You can let the soil dry out between watering.
7. Indoor Peas
Peas are perfect for your indoor veggie harvest, but an indoor pea plant needs 8 to 10 hours of bright light so make sure you position it in a really well-lit spot.
Snow peas and dwarf peas both work well for year-round growing and don’t need much care other than biweekly watering and some dowels or stakes to support the plants. Once the shoots are about 15 cm., pinch off the tops to promote branching.
You can grow mushrooms just about anywhere, and during lockdown, home grown fungi became quite an Instagram trend.
A wide range of mushroom growing kits rely on just a spritz of water to get going, and can be decorative, like this pink oyster mushroom. Freshly harvested mushrooms are perfect for a risotto, mushroom sauce or even in a gift bag for a unique present!
Most people think that tomatoes are vegetables, but they are actually classed as fruit. Irrespective, they are relatively easy to grow indoors as long as they get enough sun (otherwise they won’t produce fruit).
They need full daylight from either the sun or grow lights for the whole day – all eight hours – as well as well drained soil. Never let the soil dry out completely – as soon as you notice the soil is almost completely dry, it’s time to water again.