Container-friendly subtropical fruit? (grow light in winter)

Hey all,

I’m exploring what fruits I might be able to zone push (in z7a) with the help of an indoor grow light for winter. Generally looking for plants that can tolerate at least 30 degrees so I can keep them outside for 9 months of the year, though I’d consider things that can only tolerate just above freezing.

Since these will be getting moved inside they need to stay under 8 feet or so (or be amenable to pruning).

So far I’ve added feijoas and a Strawberry Chilean Guava (Ugni molinae) to my collection. Was thinking of adding achacha, but I’m not sure how they do with pruning since I know they can get quite tall.

Anyone know of other fruits to consider?

How big of a container are you willing to haul in and out each year? My suggestion, due to my own obsession, would be trying a hardy avocado variety like Duke or Mexicola, but avocados like to spread surface roots and need fairly large containers (25g+) and a good combination of well-draining potting mix and regular watering. Some commercial orchards prune to around 8’ for easier harvest, so that part shouldn’t be a problem.

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Most of your mandarin trees and satsumas are cold hardy below mid 20’s. Fukushu kumquat, New Zealand lemonade, Hardy Chicago fig con grow outdoors and will not die back 10F or above and will set a spring breba crop if the winter temps stay above 15F. Ten degree tangerine 2-2 can survive outside down to 10F and it will ripen fruits before your first frost.


I’d absolutely love to grow avocado but 25+ is a bit big for me :laughing:. I’m planning on my next property being large enough to house a Chinese greenhouse and avocados are the number one thing on my list for when that happens.

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Excellent suggestions!!

Didn’t realize there were such great dwarf citrus out there. Absolutely going to get a kumquat and NZL. Going to do some more research into yuzu to make sure it would be worth the wait to grow out, 8 years to fruit for many people, but love having even more potential options.

I have a whole row of some 20 figs lining my driveway and beyond now :laughing:, including a chicago hardy and a bunch of other supposedly great ones for the cold.

Feel free to reach out then if you want scions of obscure Mexican varieties! Always happy to share.