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Edible indoor plants

 
pollinator
Posts: 291
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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It’s that dreary time of the year in the northwest. I’ve been thinking about which edible plants would be happy indoors. I know indoor plants are all the rage now but they all seem to be poisonous ornamentals. I prefer edibles 😁
A few years ago I purchased a small banana pup that was very happy indoors. I kept it indoors until it got so large I was forced to move it out. So that got me thinking what else might work.
I purchased an arabica coffee last year and it’s pretty tough. Over water, under water and deep shade doesn’t seem to bother it. My fig I started in the grow tent that I moved upstairs once it got too large seems to be hanging in there. It doesn’t look happy but it’s slowly growing. It’ll go outside once it is safe. This has gotten me thinking about what other plants might work indoors. My current guesses are:
Pineapple: drought tolerant and supposedly shade tolerant.
Cinnamon: possibly?

I’m sure there’s others. Ideally it would be a drought and shade tolerant tropical. That evergreen foliage is nice in the winter.
 
pollinator
Posts: 374
Location: Utah
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Piper Nigrum (black pepper) maybe. Low level jungle climber.

Papaya? Supposedly they grow quickly and bear within a year. You cut them back to the ground when they get too big and they come back from the root.

Stone fruits don't seem to do well indoors. Apples and pears likewise.
 
gardener
Posts: 2848
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Indoor citrus is said to do well.
Indoor sweet potatoes can give you greens and slips.
I hope to trial everbearing raspberries in my greenhouse.
Mushroom are always an option.
 
Chris Holcombe
pollinator
Posts: 291
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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I thought about cocoa trees but they require a lot of humidity and that’s not really normal in the winter indoors
 
Chris Holcombe
pollinator
Posts: 291
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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forest garden fungi food preservation
 
Posts: 139
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
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If you want house plants, might as well have ones that produce an edible product.
Peppers, Tiny Tim tomato, chives, rosemary, Marjoram, Basil, winter savory, are the successful plants I have so far.
Try for plants rated for above USDA zone 9 and stay at a small size.
 
pollinator
Posts: 148
Location: WNC 6b
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Great topic Chris! For that you are awarded an apple! =) Enjoy.

Indoors, like in our living room...we've grown mushrooms, mints, basil, rosemary, bacopa, strawberries, frankincense (tree), pineapples, st john's wort and ice cream bean trees. Think of edibles and medicinals. We grow the st john's wort in the pineapple pot.

A planted pot can be so dramatic! What do they say...a spiller, a filler and a thriller. A pot has three levels.

i really like the coffee idea! I didn't realize they were so hardy. Thanks for sharing
 
Posts: 70
Location: Salt Spring Island BC (zone 8-ish, yes really!)
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I grow ginger, turmeric and lemon grass from tubers/lemon grass plants from the grocery store.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1084
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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I know of one real houseplant that's edible: tradescantia (spiderwort). The green or purple striped leaves can be used in salads!
 
Posts: 5
Location: Northeast US
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Leftover sweet potato vines--leaves are tender and delicious.  I just let my sweet potato keep producing slips into the late summer--then plant in a hanging pot. The plant doesn't live for more than a few months but it is totally free and beautiful during that time.  If I can get the picture to load this plant is towards the end of January.
IMG-1294.JPG
sweet potato indoors
 
Posts: 119
Location: New England
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I have a celery I pulled out of the yard and transplanted into a 1/2 gallon milk jug on my kitchen window.
 
Posts: 10
Location: Southeast Michigan, suburban, zone 6a
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Gynura, often called longevity spinach, has done great indoors this winter, with almost no help. It is a bit viny so I put a bamboo stick in the 8" clay pot when I brought it indoors and twist-tied up the vines and it has grown and grown. The leaves have a slight fuzz but they are a bit thick and very tasty raw. I have not sauteed them but I am sure they would be great. They are full of nutrients.  Highly recommend it as a houseplant and outdoors in summer. I planted it in a spot that had morning sun only but bright light the rest of the dday and indoors it has bright indirect light. I eat at least one large leaf a day!
 
pollinator
Posts: 143
Location: Wichita, Kansas, United States
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I've kept a variety of herbs in pots indoors.
sage
parsley
oregano
basil
chives
I'm forgetting something.
Parsley, being biennial, seems to taste better before it blooms.

I kept a bell pepper plant in a 5 gallon bucket for about 5 years.  It bloomed regularly.  But, it only set fruit when I physically pollinated them.  When I started keeping the same Q-tip to use over and over the pollination rate went up.
The peppers didn't get very big but had loads of flavor.
 
Posts: 6
Location: So. California Zone - 10a
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I've read a few articles that malabar spinach can be planted indoors. Very edible, much thicker and more gelatinous than regular spinach but is very nutrient dense and can be eaten raw or cooked. It's a vining plant unlike regular spinach so can grow up a trelles, a staircase rail, or perhaps a bookcase.
 
Sena Kassim
pollinator
Posts: 148
Location: WNC 6b
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Hey Heidi, malabar would grow quite well in your area too. It's a warm weather loving plant. I grew it outdoors in Phoenix. I hadn't considered it growing it inside. It would be so lovely to have vining up a book case or something...thanks for suggesting!
 
Chris Holcombe
pollinator
Posts: 291
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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Here’s what I have so far. A ginger plant in the foreground, followed by a fig cutting I rooted, a cara cara orange and then lastly an arabica coffee tree.
704EBC5F-A18D-4BFC-ACA1-E5BA94C33200.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 704EBC5F-A18D-4BFC-ACA1-E5BA94C33200.jpeg]
 
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