Fruit plants are a joy to have in the garden. They often have a striking show of springtime blooms in addition to edible fruits that taste much fresher and sweeter than anything available in a market. There are a number of easy-to-grow fruit plants that can be cultivated in the home or in the garden.
Native to the tropics of South America, papaya plant (Carica papaya) is an easy-to-grow tropical plant that boasts creamy, edible fruits and waxy white blooms. The bright green plant sports broad, tropical leaves that resemble palm fronds. Papaya should be grown in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 11, as the plant has no tolerance of frost. Gardeners in USDA Hardiness Zones 8B to 9 who initially grow the plant indoors may be able to transfer the plant outside when it gets warmer. Papaya requires fertile, well-drained soil that is watered on a regular basis during the warm summer months. The plant will produce its best fruit if grown in a bright, full-sun location. Papaya plants can largely be left alone. Caution should be used with unripe fruits and leaves however, which are known to be toxic.
Meyer lemon (Citrus meyeri) is a large shrub or small tree originally native to China, although it has been cultivated in the United States since the early 20th century. The plant is commonly grown as an ornamental, or as a low-maintenance fruit tree, boasting round, juicy lemons that are sweeter than the average lemon. Meyer lemon attracts butterflies with its flowers, producing fantastic waxy white blooms that are tinged with pink. The plant can be cultivated with ease in USDA Hardiness Zones 8B to 10. Plant the shrub in well-draining soil in a location that gets a full day of sunlight. The plant should be watered frequently during the growing season, less so during winter. The plant can also be cultivated indoors in a container and then brought outside to soak in some summer sunlight.
A native of Brazil, the easy-to-grow red pineapple (Ananas comosus) boasts edible pineapple fruit and blooms. The plant offers glossy variegated leaves and a tall, red, flowering stalk. The plant can be easily grown indoors in just about any gardening zone provided there is full sunlight coming from either the south or the west. Red pineapple should be grown in a well-draining, high-quality potting soil. Water the plant frequently so as to keep the soil consistently moist and use a diluted water soluble fertilizer every two weeks during the summer. Misting the plant with warm, lime-free water in the summer will help mimic the plant's natural environment, keeping it healthy and attractive.