It may be cold outside but I have a project that could be fun for you and your entire family. Did you know that you can grow your own tropical houseplant from foods that you may have in your house right now? If you don’t believe me I can tell you that it is true because I have actually done it myself! Fruit that you purchase from the grocery store can be the source for a houseplant that could become a great conversation piece with family and friends.

Modern methods of storage and shipping allow us to receive fresh fruit at the grocery store. This means that seeds and other parts of the fruit are viable and while it may sound complicated it is actually rather simple to grow a citrus tree, avocado tree or even a pineapple plant in your home. While it is fun to grow these plants just for their foliage it is even possible with the right growing conditions and a lot of patience for these plants to produce edible fruit.

When I was a kid I remember my sister, who is now my business partner, taking the pit of an avocado, putting several toothpicks in it and suspending it in a cup of water. I thought she was crazy but several weeks later that avocado pit actually sprouted. She let the plant grow for awhile and when the roots were plentiful she planted it in a pot. I don’t recall it ever bearing any fruit but I do remember her growing it for several years.

Years ago, on a total whim, I took the seeds of a lemon and planted them in some Dixie cups with basic potting soil in them. I didn’t do anything special to the seed other than let it dry out for a few days before I planted it. I must admit that I was a little surprised when the seed actually sprouted and I was able to actually grow a small tree for several years before I had to toss it when I moved out of state. The waxy leaves even had a lemon-like smell when rubbed between my fingers and while it never flowered it certainly was a fun plant to talk about when people came to visit.

A plant that I’ve always wanted to try to grow is a pineapple. It is hard to believe that cutting the top off of a pineapple and planting it can actually lead to a plant, but my research indicates that not only is it possible it is not that difficult to do. Pineapples are actually part of the Bromeliad family and while they are generally grown for their striking foliage it is possible that they may produce fruit for you in about 3 to 5 years.

While I’ve mentioned several specific plants that are good candidates for this type of project there are other related plants that you can try; limes, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, mango and pomegranate can also be grown in this manner. Hopefully, this article has given you the inspiration to try something new and if you want to try to grow a “kitchen” houseplant please contact us and we can send you some specific directions on how to go about it.  

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  • hada_herida@yahoo.com Mar 08

    Hello, yes I’d love to learn how to grow all types of kitchen houseplants! Thank you

    You’re welcome. Let us know how you make out.

  • pathunter75@hotmail.com Mar 08

    We live in southern California and have an avocado tree in our yard (now about 8 ft tall) that I started from a seed from an avocado I bought probably only 4 years ago.  It produced fruit that ripened about 5 months ago.

    Thank you for sharing. You are lucky to be in California as it is a great climate to grow avocados.

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