It makes sense that if you are going to grow something like a houseplant, then you should to grow an edible one, one that can provide the aesthetic greenery you’re after for the house and the same lively company, as well as a homegrown treat to munch on. Houseplants you can eat! That’s the future.
Maybe you’ve been meaning to get a little greener indoors; well, now’s the time. Maybe you’ve already got some stuff on the go; well, it never hurts to have more. More clean air, more living room vitality and more nibbles for dinner. From short to tall, rotund to small, there are loads of potentially productive houseplants, possible conversation pieces, with which to adorn your home.
Seriously, you can grow fruit trees as a houseplant. You can grow salad greens, fresh herbs and special spices. You can grow vegetables, legumes and even mushrooms. What’s more, all of these plants will create a diverse and enticing color spectrum to enjoy, and what fun it will be to walk over to the houseplant and prune a little something nice for dinner.
Many dwarf fruit trees provide a great corner piece, and how cool is that they’ll actually flower, produce fruit and provide décor. Dwarf lemons and other citrus fruits do well in pots, can grow indoors (but need ample sun) and self-pollinate, which means they’ll produce all on their own. Avocados are another viable option. It’s really fun to start avocado trees from seeds, but these will eventually need more room to grow. So, get a dwarf tree, keep it pruned, and wait for the guacamole.
Don’t want a tree? Try a pineapple plant. Regardless, these are long-term operations that will ultimately payoff huge.
Greens and Herbs
Greens and herbs come in great variety and are all fairly easy and inexpensive to attempt. Most can be done in a small pots, have shallow roots and will provide a quick yield, especially sprouts (remember chia pets!), which can be anything from beans to garlic to microgreens to grains. Lettuce of all loose-leaf varieties grows readily in containers, loves water and, unlike many plants, often doesn’t need heaps of sunlight. Even kale is cooperative. Herbs work perfectly on kitchen windowsills and provide the edible as well as olfactory delights. Basically, all of the favorites — basil, cilantro, oregano, thyme, tarragon, mint and more — are possibilities. What’s more, you’ll be eating them in a month or two.
While most of us picture a vegetable patch as the way it’s done, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Vegetables make beautiful additions to decorative outdoor gardens, but they can also make productive additions to a houseplant collection. Carrots are fun and require little attention once set in motion. The same goes for radishes. Tomatoes work and can actually be timed to keep the kitchen well stocked in homegrown slices. Peppers and eggplants function similarly (to tomatoes) with slightly less longevity. Bush beans and peas provide a lovely flowers and something nice to eat. The thing about indoor veggies is that, once a few pots are designated, they allow for a lot of experimenting and a nearly constant source of food.
Fun with Fungus
Mushrooms are yet another thing that will grow inside, and they provide something really quizzical to look at. Not exactly the common houseplant, or a plant at all, are they? There are actually lots of mushroom starter kits available now, for the sake of impatience, but they may be less successful than trying to start your own mycelium. Lots of people end up doing this in a terrarium, which might be a fun decorative addition somewhere. It takes a while to get going, but think of the money you’ll save on gourmet mushrooms.
Garlic and Ginger
Garlic and ginger are two useful things to have growing around you. Ginger cures all sorts of ailments, as does garlic. What’s more is that it is easy enough to grow them right from the shopping bag or refrigerator door. Plant a clove of garlic and it will come up in spindly sprouts, which are edible, delicious and a bit milder than the cloves. Cut off a sprouting square of ginger and it’ll grow. And, it’s another one that tolerates shade very well.
So, wait no more. Get that indoor garden growing, that preening plethora of houseplants potted, and soon enough you’ll be snacking on the home improvement project. And, a house covered in greenery just feels so comfortable and wild.
Lead Image Source: James Sargeant/Flickr