Growing fruit trees in Indianapolis is a matter of selecting species that thrive well in its humid continental climate. This Midwestern state experiences hot, humid and rainy summers and freezing winters, and the fruit trees that grow well in Indianapolis are able to withstand those drastic temperature changes. Many of the best fruit trees for this region are native to North America.
Common serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) is a perennial fruit tree native to the eastern half of North America that grows well in the Indianapolis soil. A member of the Rosaceae, or rose, family, it is also known as shadblow, downy serviceberry and juneberry. Reaching heights up to 36 feet tall, common serviceberry is native to upland woodland areas, according to Duke University.
This fruit tree grows in spring through summer and produces white flowers with five long petals in the middle of spring. Its edible fruit forms and ripens from spring through summer. Common serviceberry thrives in moist soil conditions and in full sun to partial shade exposure.
A perennial member of the Rosaceae, or rose, family, American plum, or wild plum, (Prunus americana) grows throughout North America and is well-suited for the Indianapolis soil. A small tree, the American plum grows from spring through summer, up to 24 feet in height. Its white flower clusters bloom in mid spring, and its purplish fruit, or drupe, forms from summer through fall. It thrives in full sun and moist soil.
Chickasaw plum (Prunus angustifolia) is another small perennial fruit tree of the Rosaceae, or rose, family that grows well in Indianapolis. The tree grows from spring through summer up to 12 feet in height. Its white flowers bloom in early spring, and its fruit forms and ripens in the summer. Chicakasaw plum thrives in moist soil and full sun.
Pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica) is another member of the Rosaceae family that is native to the United States and grows well in Indianapolis. This fruit tree grows in the spring through summer, up to 25 feet in height. Its white blossoms bloom in mid spring, followed by the tree's fruit production in the summer. The pin cherry thrives in moist to semi-dry soil and in full sun.
Black cherry (Prunus serotina) is a member of the Rosaceae family, also native to the United States. It grows from spring through summer, reaching up to 40 feet in height. The black cherry tree's white flowers bloom in late spring, and its fruit forms and ripens in the summer. This fruit tree is intolerant to shade and thrives in moist to semi-dry soil conditions.
Apple trees (Malus domestica and species) also belong to the Rosaceae family. They grow from spring through summer, up to 30 feet tall. The purple blossoms bloom in mid-spring, and the apples form and ripen from the beginning of summer through the fall.
Peach trees (Prunus persica) are also able to grow well in Indianapolis. Transplant the peach tree in the springtime, once the ground has warmed up a bit and the danger of frost has passed. This early planting allows the tree enough time to establish a firm rooting system before the fall. Peach trees grow to 25 feet tall, but pruned species will stay under 15 feet. Peach trees thrive in moist, well-drained soil and full sun.