Indoor tree suggestions

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by shawnal, Aug 21, 2021.

  1. shawnal

    shawnal New Member

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    Hi all!

    I’ve just joined this forum and am so happy to be here! Please forgive me if I’m posting in the wrong thread or duplicating a question that has been asked elsewhere. It will take me some time to figure this whole thing out. :)

    I am looking for suggestions on a tree varietal that I can grow indoors in a container. I currently have a fiddle leaf fig but it’s grown in some funky directions and I’m ready for a new look and feel. The corner faces south west, and while we get plenty of light, we keep blinds closed in hot heat of summer, so little to no direct sunlight. I’ve been a fan of the dwarf olive trees seen in many design mags, but would love your suggestions or favourites that thrive in the PNW. Ceilings are 10 feet.
     

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  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Welcome to the forums. It would help to know how much light there is when the blinds are closed. Are they closed completely or are they partially open to let some light in?
     
  3. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    I suggest Ficus carica, so you'll get both aesthetics and taste.
     
  4. shawnal

    shawnal New Member

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    great question! They are Venetian blinds so in the summer we close them tight. There is still light that gets through (vs blackout) but not direct sunshine. I could let a little in but it gets pretty hot in here!
     
  5. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Consider Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig Tree Plant - Ficus Benjamina ), a commonly grown indoor tree which does not need or want full sun. I don't know how well it handles heat but it is native to warm regions. If necessary, it can be kept pruned.

    The edible fig, Ficus carica, needs full sun in the summer, which is almost impossible to get indoors. Being deciduous, it loses its leaves in the fall and goes into dormancy for the winter.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
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  6. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    I have kept young Ficus carica seedlings indoors over the winter. I have no space indoors for large trees, so I don't have experiences with those, but I have seen large fig trees indoors in offices and in shopping centres. My young indoor figs did not drop leaves despite dark conditions (here, near 60 latitude, winter days are very short and dim, the sun hardly rises above the forest next to my house and the sun is only very seldom visible from November till January because of constant cloud cover). My windows are much smaller (1.20×0.80m only), nearest trees cast shadow on windows even during sunny winter days. Because of lack of sunlight they became leggy, but survived even without grow lights. Your conditions are much better than mine. If your Fiddle leaf fig did ok, then you should have good results with Ficus carica.

    Ficus carica
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
  7. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    @Sulev - your comments underscore the unsuitability of Ficus carica for a position such as @shawnal describes.

    "Can you grow a fig tree indoors? The short answer is no.
    Here’s why you wouldn’t want to: The edible fig (Ficus carica) needs full sun in the summer, which is almost impossible to get indoors. In autumn, the deciduous fig tree loses its leaves and goes into dormancy for the winter, when it doesn’t need any sun at all."
    Growing Fig Trees in Containers for Indoor Winter Care | Perfect Plants
     
  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    It's a bit of a challenge in terms of light; bright in winter with shades open and dark in summer with shades closed. You might consider a tall specimen from the Dracaena fragrans (Deremensis Group) (syn. Dracaena deremensis). There are many cultivars with different looks to choose from. Two of the older cultivars are 'Warneckii' and 'Janet Craig'. (UF > IFAS > MREC > Apopka - Dracaena Production Guide)

    Since the fiddle-leaf fig seems to be doing well, you might consider another species of Ficus, perhaps F. binnendijkii.
     
  9. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Dracaenas aren't quite what I would call trees but very nice, contained plants that could do well in your situation.

    At 2 to 3 feet tall, Ficus binnendijkii is hardly a tree either. Sounds like a bit of work too. Who has patience for a houseplant you wish to reach tree proportions to grow only
    2.5-4 metres in 10-20 years?

    I still think Ficus benjamina is your best bet. Not without its own challenges but a very lovely tree.

    Ficus binnendijkii | narrow-leaf fig/RHS Gardening
     
  10. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    There are small specimens but the large ones I've seen in the stores are quite a bit taller. The RHS page says its ultimate height is 2.5-4 meters. F. benjamina is nice too but is denser than F. binnendijkii which may obscure more of the view.
     
  11. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    A quote from the same article:
    "The exception to the “no indoor figs” rule is the dwarf fig variety ‘Petite Negra’, which gets only 3-8 feet tall when grown in a container and usually keeps its leaves through the winter."

    Vancouver is 10 degrees southwards of me.
    Hence more sunlight during the winter,
    Dormancy is induced by environmental conditions, in a warm well lit room most figs will not drop leaves completely.

    Figs need regular care, including pruning.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
  12. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    Of course, there are plenty of options other than a fig tree. If I had similar place like that, I'd tried cacao (difficult) or coffee (relatively easy) tree. Citruses are a nice option also (and fragrant during blooming season).
    There are plenty of slow growing palms.
     
  13. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Whichever the tree may be, it has to withstand long periods of shade in the summer. That pretty much rules out citrus. Similarly, coffee needs bright, indirect light.
     
  14. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    Citruses do well indoors even without direct sunlight. We grew a lemon tree for years in a much dimmer place than that, on the photo above.
    Coffee plants prefer bright, but indirect, light. This means, that they like to live in the shadow.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
  15. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The spot looks good for citrus if not for the blinds but I suspect it would be too dark with them completely closed, which is what the OP intends to do.
     
  16. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what kind of blinds there are. Maybe these are war grade blinds. When I worked at Forest Department, our office was in the north side of the building. Even worse, the view was blocked by park (large Aesculus hippocastanum trees 15 m from windows), and even further, the Toompea hill, with the castle on top (see photo below). We got direct sun only in summer mornings, for few hours at the best, and then we had to close blinds to be able to see computer screen. But the lemon tree in our office did well in these conditions.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
  17. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I second what Margot wrote :

    - Ficus carica is not a good candidate for an "indoor" tree. At best, it will have elongated branches looking sickly.

    - Ficus benjamina is to me the best one. There are some in the hall of a building (a sort odf community centre), they are about 10 metres tall. Some had to be removed because the roots were damaging the fundations. There are nice variegated species. The thing they resent is a brutal change of temperature or exposure.
     
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  18. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    There are sources that say the opposite:
    How To Easily Grow A Fig Tree Indoors

    I have seen beautiful edible fig trees indoors. I must admit tho, I have no idea how long they have been there, before I had a glance. Theoretically it's possible, that they were just brought in right before that.
     
  19. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Who wants a houseplant that looks dead for months through the winter?
     
  20. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    Indoor Ficus carica would not look dead for months through the winter. My fig seedlings did not drop leaves at all. They just stopped growing in the end of November and started to push out new growth already in January.

    I wonder who wants a living houseplant that looks like artificial tree in a shopping mall? I personally prefer if house plant changes together with seasons. Those always lush'n'greens are just boring. Challenge, if you manage to get some fruits or flowers, is inspiring.
     
  21. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Let them say... ;°)

    The video shows small saplings, the other plants around are not "fig-trees" : a common way to lure people into thinking that small saplings will one day look like the plants on both sides of the video ?...

    Here, you can see a few Ficus carica in gardens, in protected areas. They even bear fruit. They take at least two years to mature, nothing to compare with those on the southern Atlantic coast of France or the Mediterranean area.

    But show me a Ficus carica that doesn't look leggy and poorly when grown indoors...

    Not the best kind of publicity. I much prefer trees that look alive, rather than "not so dead"...

    Sorry, I couldn't resist :



    ;-)
     
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  22. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, @AlainK , I did not understand a word, what you wrote in your last post. Maybe French humor is too serious for me.
     
  23. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Sorry Sulev, I was not joking.

    No harm intended.
     
  24. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean by ";°)"?
    What do you mean by "The video shows small saplings, the other plants around are not "fig-trees" "?
    What do you mean by "They even bear fruit. They take at least two years to mature, ..."?
    What do you mean by "not so dead"?
    What do you mean by "Sorry, I couldn't resist :"?
    What do you mean by ";-)"?
    Aren't these jokes?
    What video you are talking about?
    Figs can bear fruits twice a year. I have fruits on an in ground tree, that was a bare stick of wood (cutting) in the spring.
    Indoor figs, that stop their growth for mid winter, don't look dead at all. Their leaves are still green and if they bear fruits, they keep ripening.

    Ok, I'm probably too old for this kind of discussion, my questions are rhetorical. They won't help OP at all. As I wrote above, there are plenty of alternatives. Including plastic trees and look alikes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
  25. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Sorry you felt offended and I made you mad.

    Forget it. Enjoy your figs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021

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