In this article, we will be discussing what worthwhile edible plants that can be grown in the home indoors.
Many edible plants can be grown indoors, anything from herbs, vegetables and some fruit plants. They will make an attractive but functional addition to the windowsill and also in some cases provide scent.
Growing edibles in the home also has the great advantage that the produce you have is close to hand, especially useful when the weather is bad and you are cooking something. You can have you own edible garden indoors.
Believe it or not, you can grow grapes inside conservatories. All you need is plenty of room and a good support structure. We all know that grapes have many roles in life from the wine which comes from the fruit to the dessert varieties that are eaten with cheese at the end of the meal.
Both the European (Vitis vinifera) and its American cousin (Vitis labrusca) can be used, The European grape has better quality but the American variety tends to do better in cooler weather.
To grow grapes, you need to read my article on growing soft fruits. You need to know that there are many different kinds and you will have to choose wisely.
If you have a large conservatory for overwintering plants, you may think about growing tender but beautiful orange or lemon trees. They can be brought out to a sunny spot outside during the summer months and brought inside during the winter months.
Citrus plants make attractive indoor plants with their attractive, aromatic foliage and heavenly scented flowers.
In oranges, the Seville type and the ‘Washington’ are the easiest for fruiting. In lemons, Meyer’s lemon, an everbearing type is the one to grow. An everbearing type means that you have flowers and fruit at the same time throughout the year. The fruit it bears makes a great lemon substitute. ‘Garey’s Eureka’ is another evergreen variety that can be used. How to grow a lemon tree can be found here.
Buy graft plants from a reputable supplier as you do not want to be disappointed. They are fussy plants as they do not like sudden changes in temperature or light, as this will cause the plant to lose leaves. Water freely in spring and in summer feed with a citrus-based summer fertiliser. In winter, water less and use a specialised winter fertilizer for citrus fruit. Watch out for a multitude of insect problems from scale insects, mealy bugs, spider mites and whitefly.
A vast array of herbs can be grown inside and the best way of growing them can be found here.
The following are suitable to be grown as indoor herb plants.
This is a delicious herb that can often be bought in supermarkets. It is a perfect partner to tomato dishes and combines well with other fresh summer vegetables. It can be raised from seeds, where you have a larger choice than those found in the supermarket.
Bay tree can be used as an indoor plant whilst young. They tend to get large but at the same time, they are slow growers. The leaves are used in numerous dishes such as stems, soups and sauces. All you need to do is buy small plants in spring. Once it gets too big you can transplant to a large container to grow as an outdoor specimen, so you will not lose the plant. Great if you place it by the side of the door.
These are useful to grow in the home. They are vigorous and recover quickly once it is harvested. All you need to do is select a small bunch and cut right back to near the base of the plant. It goes great with many dishes, especially egg-based ones.
This is a herb that is strong tasting and smelling. It is a herb that you either love the taste of or hate. The annual seeds need to be sown every year in spring or it can be bought as a pot specimen plant from supermarkets. The seeds germinate quickly and it does not matter if they bolt, as the seed feed have as many uses, more than the leaves themselves. Young leaves can be used in salads and in many Asian dishes. Some varieties are grown for their leaves whilst other varieties are used for their seeds. A versatile herb.
This herb is widely used in Eastern cooking, where it will add a tangy lemon flavour. It is an attractive plant with tall, arching light green leaves. At the base of each leaf, there is a pale bulb-like swelling which is the edible part.
Grow it in the garden and you will regret it, as it spread very quickly via an underground root system. It is best to grow mint in containers where the plant growth can be kept in check. There is a large multitude of flavours and varieties so you do have a choice. Can be propagated via cuttings in spring. You need to water carefully and mist regularly to keep the humidity high.
One of the main advantages of growing parsley inside is that it will not die back in winter like those grown outdoors. It is a biennial, where it will flower and produce seeds in the second year. Although you can have these plants for two years, the leaves are not so good in the second year. It is therefore recommended to grow fresh plants from seed every year or you can buy pot ready specimens from the supermarket.
An indoor-grown specimen can grow in a wide range of conditions, so can be grown in many homes. Rosemary works with many meat and fish dishes, as well as to add flavour to roast potatoes. It will also add flavour to stew and soups where sprigs can be removed after cooking. The plant tends to last for 4 to 5 years, after that it becomes too woody and needs to be replaced. This can be done via cuttings.
This makes a great houseplant and it is naturally bushy and compact. It has many uses in the kitchen, especially in stews and with vegetable dishes and seafood dishes. Comes in many varieties, so you do have a choice. The only serious requirement it has is that it likes full sun.
The three best vegetables to grow in the home are aubergine, chillies/sweet pepper and tomatoes. This is great for those who have no garden to grow them in. All relevant growing conditions can be found in this article and in this one.
This versatile vegetable has many uses in the kitchen from Moussaka to parmesan melanzane. If you want to grow aubergine in the home, use a patio variety like Ophelia that does not get too big. Do not forget to hand pollinate the flowers or you will get no fruits. Indoor plants will need to be watered frequently and fed every two weeks whilst in fruit with a high potash liquid fertilizer.
CAPSICUM (Sweet Pepper and Chilli)
You can grow mini-pepper plant and array of chilli plants at home quite successfully. They are both tasty and decorative and will brighten, anybody’s home. In summer they should be covered in small fruits that have a beautiful range of colours (depending on the variety grown). For varieties suitable to grow I recommend you read my article on baby vegetables.
Tomatoes tend to do well indoors as they do enjoy the extra warmth. This is provided you have a spot in direct sunlight. The indeterminate tomatoes tend to be unsuitable to be grown indoors but there are a large number of varieties that grow small and bushier. To find a list of these suitable for growing indoors, once more look at my article in growing baby vegetables. I recommend you choose one and grow them indoors.
In this article, we have discussed what edible plants can be comfortably grown in the home indoors. These include some fruits such as lemons, oranges and grapes, many herbs and three fruiting vegetables. You may not have enough to have large crops, but you will have enough to considerably contribute to your meals.
There are a number of these edibles that can be grown and if you do not have any garden to grow them in, I would suggest you grow these plants and give your taste buds some homegrown flavours.
If you have any questions or comments you wish to make, please do so in the comment box below,
Happy Indoor Growing.