Many of you have definitely caught the indoor plant bug, but have you ever grown ones that are categorised as veg/fruit? (And we don’t mean those little carrot tops you’re growing on your window sill.) Our guest contributor, Alice Glare, lists her unique indoor plant babies and gives you tips on raising your own edible fronds. 

Curry Leaf Tree

This is my number one vote for a productive indoor plant! Herbs like basil or rosemary will rarely work if grown indoors, but this guy! Wow! It’ll keep all but the most prolific curry cooks in curry leaves, replacing the need for a visit to a specialty grocer when cravings strike. One of my favourite breakfasts is eggs fried in a little butter with curry leaves and whole cumin seeds. Bliss.

Beware that in cooler places (e.g. Melbourne) they can be a bit deciduous. I thought I’d killed mine when it lost all its leaves, so I raced to implement all the plant-hospital tricks. When it resprouted enthusiastically in spring, I realised what was up.

Curry leaf tree

Curry leaf tree. Image credit: Alice Glare

Turmeric

(Pictured below, at centre.) Best plant for instant indoor-jungle vibes. I got this as a tiny tubestock plant, but I don’t see why you couldn’t grow it from a chunk of fresh Tumeric sourced from your local Chinese/Indian/Vietnamese grocer. It dies back in winter, so plant a chunk in spring and see what happens. Also works with ginger. If you want turmeric flavours without destroying your plant by digging it up, you can use the leaves. I’ve had success wrapping fish in them then baking or steaming; tofu or tempeh would be worth a try too.

Avocado

(Pictured below, at right.) Don’t expect any home grown smashed avo here, but if you want a free and lush looking indoor plant, you can’t go past sprouting an avocado seed and potting it up (try a few, they don’t always sprout). If you want to plant a tree outside that is more certain to produce fruit one day, best to hit up a nursery and buy a grafted plant.

Social distance jungle walk ft. curry leaf, turmeric, Kelly and avocado (L-R)

Social distance jungle walk ft. curry leaf, turmeric, Kelly and avocado (L-R)

Coffee plant

New to my house, I’m not betting on harvesting any beans soon (or ever), but I think it’s a fun addition to the collection!

Coffee plant and avocado tree

Coffee plant and avocado tree

Pineapple!

Again, don’t plant this because you want a supply of home-grown fruit. Do plant this if you want a spiky, architectural, unusual houseplant. I grew this from the top of a pineapple I bought at the shops. They’re actually a member of the Bromeliad family, which are known houseplant faves.

Pineapple

Seed raising

Now is a great time to sow seeds of lots of winter veg. Brassicas (so cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, and allll their cousins), lettuce, spinach, peas. Keep them in a place where you’ll be able to check on them regularly. Treat little plants like goldilocks: not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too dry. And watch out for marauding insects like snails. They loooooove little seedling microgreens.

Keep seedlings in a place that you will remember to check regularly. These guys are now on the outside table because some enterprising insect mowed down the first wave of germinants.

Keep seedlings in a place that you will remember to check regularly. These guys are now on the outside table because some enterprising insect mowed down the first wave of germinants.

 

Read more from Alice Glare:

Can’t get enough about gardening? Here’s more from the YFM archives:

Image credits: Alice Glare

Alice Glare