New member from Chicago


My name’s Quinn and I’m located in Chicago. I’ve been a reader here for a while but haven’t had much time til now to register since I was quite busy working on my yard all summer. Now that 90% of my trees have been tucked into storage or my grow room, I finally have time to join.

I am not quite the typical gardener as I tend to try higher difficulty trees and plants and if I succeed with them than downgrade. I’m currently in year 5 of my growing adventure and so far have developed quite an interest in container growing about 2 years ago. Now the entire focus of my gardening experiments is attempting to fruit any tree that can possible be grown in a pot.

Growing in Chicago can be quite tough, I have limited space being in the Northside, no space for a greenhouse, and limited sun from surrounding buildings. However, I’ve been able to succeed with quite a numbers of trees.

I would love to see what everyone’s growing and planning to grow in 2019 and pics of their current collection. I add my pics once I figure how to add some.

Current Grow List

Dino King and Peth Phunlan

Payapa - T.R. Hovey (5 gallon)

Thai White Dragon, Super Chili, Thai Red

Saijo, Hachiya (10 gallon)

Pomegranate - Wonderful (7 gallon)

Honey Jar (7 → 15 gallon)
Sugar Cane, Sherwood, Li (5 gallon)

Miracle Fruit - 5 gallon

Asian Pear
20th Century (in ground)
Shinseiki, Korean Giant (17 gallon)

Blueberries - Duke (7 gallon)

Blackberries - Prime Ark Freedom (5-7 gallon)

Peach - Arctic Supreme (17 gallon)

Pluots - 4 N 1 Dapple, FK, FQ, Supreme (17 gallon)
Emerald Beaut Plum (24x24 planter)

Loquat - Champagne (15 gallon)

Lychee - Sweetheart (17 gallon)

Jaboticaba (3 gallon)

Barbados Cherry (3 gallon)

Starfruit - Kari (5 gallon)

Meyer Lemon (30 gallon)
Limequat (15 gallon)
Hybrid Ponderosa (10 gallon)
Bearss Lime (7 gallon)
Calamondin (2 and 15 gallon)
Gold Nugget Mandarin, Page Mandarin, Honey Murcott, Clementine (3 gallon)
Meiwa Kumquat, Variegated Pink Eureka Lemon, Shiranui Mandarin, Honeybell Tangelo, Owari Satsuma (5 gallon)

Guava - Peruvian White (5 gallon)

Hardy Chicago, Smith grafted on Brown Turkey, JH Adriatic (5 gallon)
Black Madeira UCD (15 gallon)

What I will add in 2019

Snow Beauty Peach
Heavenly White Nectarine
Fuyu Persimmon
4 N 1 Cherry
4 N 1 Apple
Figs - Italian 258, Preto, Ben’s Golden Riverside
and a bunch pending


Wow, that’s quite a list! Do you make your own container mixes?

Welcome to the Forum! Nice collection of everything.

Welcome to the forum!

Welcome aboard, Quinn. Glad you’ve decided to post.

What are your most productive trees?
Favourite fig?
How are you growing lychee and do you get a good harvest?

That tree with the flush of new growth is the lychee. Pic from last year as I do not have a current one. Has grown considerably larger but has not fruited for me yet. It is however the best looking tree out of my entire collection.

I would rank my top productive trees would be Miracle fruit and Honey Jar jujube


Most productive tree I have right now. Honey Jar jujube fruiting extremely well in a 7 gallon. Over 7ft tall.


One of the most unknown fruits in the US, but extremely productive and makes anything sour turn sweet for 30-45 minutes. Continuously fruits up to 100 berries throughout the year.


what is it?

Miracle fruit berry. A tree with African origins that is grown by few people in the US. It is naturally suitable for container growing due to it slow growth habit. I’ve found it is extremely productive, has few pest problems, and is a gorgeous looking tree. Best of all, after tasting a berry, your taste buds are coated for about 30-45 minutes, making anything acidic turn sweet including limes and vinegar (I’ve found works best on strawberry). Will make a fun conversation starter as most of the people never heard of this tree.

A typical 4-5 year old tree in a 5 gallon.


Welcome! Nice collection. Do you use a different soil mixture for each type of plant, or do you use pretty much the same mix for everything?

I grow citrus, bananas, and some tropicals here in mid TN. Everything has now been moved into the greenhouse for winter.

Usually I use a mix of leaf compost, peat moss, and perlite (top dressed with rice hull when a.m. leo has a sale) for the majority of my potted trees. I get a few cubic yards of soil and compost dumped in my garage every year since my collection keeps growing.

I’ll probably be adding a dozen more citrus varieties and fig varieties next spring. Glad to chat with another tropical grower like you in the midwest.

Do you cram all that into a garage over winter? Is it heated? That Miracle Fruit sounds intriguing.

Those pots must involve a whole lot of lugging-in at this time of year!

Looks like back breaking work moving in all the pots. Very nice selection and great looking plants! I hope you have a BIG indoor space …lol!

I shove all the cold sensitive trees in a 9x9 ft space in my basement under grow lights. I estimate about 80 potted trees I have to move in and out. Since my yard isn’t quite that big I usually only have to lift it a couple of steps down to the basement. About 10 trees are seriously heavyweights that it takes 2 to lift.

About a month before first frost I move all my trees under my large balcony to shade them til I bring them inside. Vast majority of my trees do quite well with just grow lights over the winter without going through leaf drop.

The only tree that is giving me a hard time right now is this papaya. Slowly dropping leaves but pushing out new leaf growth quite quickly.

I’ll be in bigger trouble towards the new year as I start my new project of propagating figs to add to my collection. Looks like another 20 some 5 gallon trees I have to drag in next fall.


What’s your winter electric bill like? :grin:

Surprisingly not that bad. It hovers between $20-30 a month.


Quinn, welcome to the forum. I am in Chicagoland near woodfield mall