The rewards of growing fruit-bearing trees are many. While many plants grow to be enormous in the wild, some are naturally small trees. Furthermore, many fruit tree varieties are now available in dwarf form, giving you more fruit growing options. They require less space than standard-size trees while still grow enough fruit for fresh eating. Clearly, there is a wide choice of suitable fruit trees for home gardeners. Just choose the ones that excel in your climate. Of course, you can try to modify the microclimate for the plants that are not naturally found in your region.
Most varieties of avocado grow to 40 feet in height so generally are unsuitable for small gardens. In optimum conditions, avocadoes can attain heights of 80 feet tall. Despite this, the true dwarf variety, Wurtz, only grows to about 10 feet. Wurtz (Little Cado) is suitable for growing in containers. The small variety can produce abundant fruits at early age.
Banana tree can be a great choice for adding a touch of the tropics to your home. Not all varieties produce edible fruit. The best known edible variety is the cavendish. It is also one of the best for cold climates. Cultivated banana plants are typically kept at a height of 16 ft. Dwarf cavendish banana grows as much as 10 feet. Super dwarf cavendish grows only 2-3 ft., making it suitable for indoor growing.
With attractive foliage and distinctive star shape fruit, it can be an attractive alternative for planting in the backyard. Carambola trees can grow up to 30 ft. However, they rarely reach that height. Small varieties such as Maher Dwarf are suitable for small backyard or container growing. Carambolas will also serve well as an espalier.
Grapevines may not be the easiest fruit to grow at home. Proper pruning is important for fruit production. However, a grapevine can be a very rewarding addition to your home garden. While it is true that grapevines can climb 80 feet or more in the wild, they need very little space if pruned carefully. The growth is also limited by the climbing structure’s height. Most varieties are self-fertile, meaning you do not need more than one plant for pollination. Vines are also known to have a very long lifespan (100 years or more).
Jackfruit is one of the largest fruit in the world. The trees are huge. They can reach up to 100 feet in their home tropical climate. That said, dwarf varieties like black gold stay between 8 and 10 feet tall. The Australian variety probably has the most cold hardiness, making it a good choice for subtropical climates.
Mangoes are fast-growing, especially in a hot climate. A mango tree can reach a height of 100 feet or more. Container growing is possible with grafted dwarf varieties. Pickering is probably the top choice when space is severely limited. With compact growth habit, the tree can be kept at a height of just 6 ft. Mangoes are self-fertile. A single tree will produce fruit without cross-pollination.
Papaya (Carica) exists in many areas throughout the world. This fast-growing shrub requires little maintenance. They are perfect for home gardeners who like to start growing fruit trees. Papayas are easy to grow from seed. Trees begin bearing after first year of growth. There are male, female and hermaphrodite papaya trees. The male will not produce fruit so you will want to sow more than one seed to ensure you will have a fruit-bearing tree. Like other fruits, there are a number of different varieties. The compact variety Waimanolo can bear fruit when only 4 feet tall, making it a great choice to grow around the home.
Pineapples grow to about 5 feet in height. Pineapples are easy to grow as houseplants. They grow well in sub-tropical and tropical climates. Pineapple plants do not need much water nor high quality soil. You can even keep the plants in containers and have them indoor. The roots do not need much space. Pineapple plant only fruits once. However, you can get a new fruit-producing plant easily by removing the crown of the fruit and planting it into the ground.
Also called chiku or sapote, Sapodilla trees can grow to more than 30 m tall. There are dwarf cultivars, however, that are well suited for home garden. A dwarf variety that is reportedly highly productive is called Silas Woods. It can be maintained at less than 5 feet in height. The Makok cultivar is another small compact grower that is worth trying.
Like most fruit, a standard-size watermelon requires a lot of garden space. If lack the garden space then miniature watermelon varieties, such as Sugar Baby are probably the best choice. This variety spreads just 3 to 4 feet. Some people even grow watermelon on a trellis, saving even more space.
As you can see, many tropics and subtropical edible plants can grow very large. That said, hybrids and cultivars exist that are not too tall for most home environments. Whether you live in the big city or rural property, there is always a place to be found in the garden for at least one fruit tree.