Many people only know exotic fruits from the supermarket. Some exotic species can also be cultivated in the winter garden or on the windowsill. This is how it works.
Mango, lychee, papaya, pomegranate: we know many exotic fruits from the fruit counter in the supermarket. We have probably already tried some of them. However, very few people know what the plants on which the fruits grow look like. In the vast majority of cases, however, this is not a problem, because the seeds are usually supplied with the fruits.
And from these small plants can easily be grown, which then beautify the window sill or the winter garden with their sometimes exotic flair. And with a bit of luck, you can even reap fruit from some of them. Other exotic fruit plants can be found in well-stocked garden centers, there are especially citrus fruits in a large variety, some even varieties specially grown for pot cultivation.
Exotic fruits: which ones can be grown in the winter garden?
- Citrus plants
How can you grow plants from exotic fruits yourself?
Most exotic fruit seeds are capable of germination when taken from ripe fruit. Whether they are sown straight away or have to be stratified first varies from species to species. The success rate increases with special potting soil because it is adapted to the needs of young plants.
Tropical fruits usually like it warm: The cultivation temperature should ideally be between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius under foil or in a mini greenhouse, as surface heating that is placed under the cultivation container can be helpful. The need for light during germination is different: some seeds need light, some dark.
Lychee young plants love a bright, warm place and high humidity
Once the seed is in the ground, you have to be patient. The waiting time can range from a few days to several months. After germination at the latest, you have to light up the seedling and slowly “feed” it with fertilizer after a while, usually soon to be transplanted in high-quality potting soil with good drainage. Exotic fruits are usually used to high humidity, which you can give them with a plant sprayer.
Otherwise, it is said: Individuality is the key, every exotic fruit plant has different preferences that are better taken into account. Once the exotic young plants are out of the woods, most of them can easily be left to grow on the windowsill or in the winter garden.
Exotic fruits: From A for a pineapple to Z for citrus
The pineapple is the classic among the exotic fruits. And that is an exception when it comes to the proposed propagation method. Because with her, a plant is grown from the tuft of leaves that is normally thrown away. To propagate a pineapple plant, it must be kept warm and with high humidity – a winter garden or a bright bathroom will go well.
You have to wait between one and four years for the flowers to bloom, and even longer for the fruit. But at some point, when the pineapple fruit has turned yellow, its harvest time and enjoyment can begin.
A pineapple plant with fruit: With good care, a home-grown pineapple can bloom and produce fruit after just one year
The avocado is currently on everyone’s lips as a superfood. But also how much water has to be used for each fruit: about 1,000 liters of water per 2.5 avocados. The native Central American can be grown from the avocado seed in a glass of water or soil.
The small avocado tree thrives at 22 to 25 degrees Celsius in a light window, in winter it takes a break at 10 to 15 degrees Celsius in a place that is as bright as possible with a reduced watering frequency. Unfortunately, you can’t expect exotic fruits, but in summer the exotic plants can keep you company on the balcony.
One of the oldest cultivated plants on earth is the pomegranate, which is already mentioned in the Bible as well as in the Koran. From the 16th century, he decorated the orangeries of princes and kings.
As a container plant, it is a welcome guest in the winter garden or on a sunny terrace in summer. Even cultivars are definitely too big for the windowsill. The beautiful flowers are pretty, the dark red fruits only develop under optimal conditions.
On the other hand, the wood is more tolerant than many other exotic species during the winter: Frost down to minus five degrees Celsius is tolerated outside, the winter quarters can be dark when the surroundings are cool.
The exotic star fruit or carambola looks bizarre, originally from Southeast Asia but now growing all over the tropics and subtropics. As a container plant, it is often offered in garden centers – mostly short-stemmed representatives that do not grow taller than three meters. With high humidity, generous amounts of water, and careful fertilization, the chances are good that the carambola will feel comfortable with you in a warm environment.
If the pollination works, the exotic fruits will develop by autumn. You can overwinter the star fruit in a bright place, where the temperature should only fall a little below 20 degrees Celsius.
The exotic star fruit can be cultivated in the greenhouse or the winter garden in this country
Lychee is also known as love fruit or Chinese plum. The litchi plants can be easily grown from the core if the pulp is carefully removed beforehand. The litchi plant grows to a moderate height of one and a half meters in the bucket; a temperature reduction in winter is necessary for the flowers to develop. In summer on the sunny spot on the terrace, in winter cool and bright – this is what the lychee tree likes best.
As a warning in advance: Mango trees can reach heights of up to 45 meters in their homeland. It won’t be that many meters in Central Europe, but the exotic is definitely an eye-catcher. The bean-sized seed, which is contained in the large fruit pod and from which a mango tree can be grown, is astonishingly small.
There are two methods of getting it to germinate: drying or soaking. After planting the mango kernel, you wait up to six weeks for the first green. During the growing season, generous amounts of water and nutrients are required, and ambient temperatures of up to 28 degrees Celsius are ideal. The winter temperature must not fall below 15 degrees, a small dry period corresponds to the natural life of the mango.
The papaya plant with its tufted crown appears peculiar and definitely exotic. You can plant the black papaya seeds that you spoon out of the fruit cavity. Young plants appear relatively reliably if the germ-inhibiting pulp is removed. The papaya also likes it warm at 27 degrees Celsius, the humidity should be high.
The kernels of the papaya must be cleaned and freed from their gelatinous shell before planting
First of all: “The” citrus plant does not exist, rather 13 species with very different looks and very different needs are united under this genus. After all: All of them are perennial, woody, and evergreen plants that we cultivate as container plants. In summer they feel comfortable outside in a sheltered location, in winter a frost-free place is the order of the day.
After the “move”, the citrus plants each need a period of acclimatization – when moving outside, for example, a partially shaded place is recommended so that they can get used to the UV light. All citrus plants do not like waterlogging and prolonged drought, when fertilizing it is best to use special products that provide them with calcium and iron in equal measure.
When citrus plants overwinter, tastes diverge: For example, the lemon (Citrus limon), orange (Citrus sinensis), and tangerines (Citrus reticulata) species like moderately light and cool, relatively warm – and therefore also in the cool bedroom or in the cold hallway – the real lime (Citrus aurantiifolia) and bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) can be overwintered.