Here Are 10 Plants That Are Great Edible Houseplants
Updated: Oct 18, 2022
Usually, I'm not that excited about houseplants. It's a simple matter. I've looked after them, and they are high maintenance, needing regular watering no matter the weather, prime placement by the windows, and periodic doses of imported fertility. We who live out of cities may plant things in the soil where these plants live—even when cultivated—and thrive.
Since herbs and salad greens are the most common indoor crops, they're the best options. You can usually squeeze them onto kitchen windowsills, and we harvest them frequently. Since oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, and mint survive outside, we don't bother growing them in pots. However, there are a few herbs that might be worth considering:
Basil - It's always fun to grow basil in bulk during the summer and then freeze it for winter pesto cubes. However, the notion of an everlasting basil plant is tempting. Winter usually gets me in the mood for rosemary and sage, two favorite holiday herbs, rather than basil, which feels like a summer flavor.
Stevia - Although stevia is a bit inconsistent in getting started, we have one plant that has provided us with enough leaves to sweeten our tea for the entire year. Although we neglected it last winter, it regrew this spring and has thrived in a pot on our deck, receiving occasional greywater showers.
Cuban Oregano - Living in Central America, we became familiar with Cuban oregano, also known as Spanish thyme. It is not, contrary to what its name suggests, oregano or thyme, but it tastes similar. Cold weather is the only thing that bothers this plant, which is hard and straightforward to care for. We neglected our plant last year, and it is still alive in its pot today.
It is simple to cultivate, likes high humidity and shade, and is highly medicinal. In other words, ginger was an excellent crop to grow in Central America. Although it is not suited for North Carolina, some attributes make it a popular houseplant. You can grow ginger from a grocery store by starting it from ginger. We might be able to produce good ginger for our current demand for tea if we grow it in our bathroom, which I believe is the perfect climate for this plant. I would make ginger beer a few times a week when we lived in the tropics, but we would not be able to keep up with that demand if we grew it in our bathroom.
There is no problem growing hot peppers in pots indoors, provided they are considered decorative and edible. Those productive habaneros nearly drove us crazy, so we began a test to see if we could keep them going indoors. Tabasco peppers are also a possibility in the future.
Dwarf Citrus Trees
I always considered citrus trees to be an exception to the houseplant rule. In reality, we cannot grow citrus outdoors. Lemons are critical in the kitchen, and I like to consume mandarins and other citrus fruits of a similar size. The fact that mandarins and other citrus trees thrive in pots and indoors in North Carolina is beneficial, particularly during the winter and heavy rains (about 130 cm annually where we live). Parthenocarpy, the ability to bear fruit without pollination, makes these plants viable for life indoors and allows them to continue flourishing.
Black pepper vines, Piper nigrum, are native to India and cannot tolerate the cold. Fortunately, we may be able to cultivate our peppercorns. Although they can tolerate a little shade and can be grown in a hanging basket, we should pause for this.
While some doubt its effectiveness, I can guarantee it makes all the difference. Bay trees (Laurus nobilis) can only be grown outside if they don't work in a container. A container is the best option if it does not grow outdoors. Bay leaves can be picked from a bay tree pruned into a shrub. Bay trees can grow up to 15 meters in height outside, but inside they can be pruned into shrubs, and fresh leaves can be plucked. Currently, the list is pretty short. Some plants on the back burner are waiting if the front performs well. These plants might appear if the list is booming and could serve as a self-reliant method. Some of them would be more for nostalgia than necessity, but some would certainly have an important function.
Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)
Because of my curiosity, I might make a mistake. It is possible to grow a pitaya plant from seed to produce the same tasty fruit from which the seed originated. In addition, it has lovely, fragrant flowers. We are more likely to attempt prickly pear, which might survive outside in winter and provide edible pads.
This is a beautiful plant and simple to grow, but it's somewhat irrelevant in our environment. Why bother cultivating greens indoors if we can eat them year-round outdoors? It thickens sauces quickly and is friendly to eat. We might, however, experiment with it for a brief time if space allowed if we grew it in large quantities in the tropics.
Central America turned out to be a verdant oasis for us, where we enjoyed consuming cranberry and Jamaica hibiscus leaves. Because of the heat, we couldn't cultivate many salad vegetables, so we learned to prepare salads with okra shrubs (also known as hibiscuses), Malabar spinach, and other leaves. As it happens, okra, a vegetable I like and grown here as a short-lived annual, might be welcome in the house. I genuinely enjoy cranberry hibiscus leaves (and Emma likes Jamaica rosa de tea made from them) and their visual appeal.
It's cold out there, and the winter season is just around the corner. We've been witnessing many leaves falling in the forest these days. A few houseplants wouldn't seem like such a terrible idea during the coldest months, and having the chance to grow something we otherwise wouldn't is a bonus.
Read Next: Vegetables To Grow In The Winter
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