Nine times out of 10, if people are looking to add a fruit tree to their backyard or courtyard, they go for a traditional lemon tree.
And for good reason. They’re beautiful and relatively easy to maintain, but if you’re keen to try something a little different, here are five of my favourite fruit trees that will surprise and delight you.
I love the shape of a nice Tahitian lime tree. They work well in a big pot in a sunny courtyard or simply planted in the garden as an edible feature tree.
Limes like a lot of water, food and sun. And, like all edibles, require healthy soil, compost, blood and bone and as much sun as possible.
Bananas are easy to grow, just a little trickier to manage. Think of them like bamboo – they can grow tall and spread from the base.
If you have the room and want that tropical lush look with the added bonus of fruit then give it a go. Plant your banana tree in the hottest part of the garden and only allow three plants to grow at once – one tall, one medium and one small.
Let the tallest one fruit then die first, then the next one and so on, always keeping a cycle of three at any given time.
You can bag the hand of bananas on the plant or, if it’s not ripening outside due to cooler weather, cut it off and bag it inside.
We could all save money to buy a house if we could just make our own smashed avo on toast, right?
I’ve got a little money tree at home and it’s looking good! I bought a grafted Hass avocado only one metre tall and it already has fruit.
You can get different types of avocado so do your research for the best type for your climate.
Pollination happens when an A-type plant and B-type plant’s male and female flowers are open at the same time of day for a pollinator to do the deed.
Hass and Pinkerton are an A-type and Bacon and Shepard are B. They grow in full sun to part shade, make great feature trees, require good drainage and will get mighty thirsty in hot weather.
I remember selling our abundance of passionfruit for pocket money on the side of the road as a kid (hindsight tells me that perhaps I should have been selling avos instead).
I don’t think I made a lot of coin, but I do know my customers were impressed with the flavour.
Passionfruit makes for the best fruiting green wall, but like any climber is better in the ground than a pot.
Grafted passionfruit may “sucker”, (shoot unwanted stems from root stock underground) – I’ve had more luck with the non-grafted variety. Grow it on a fence, wall or anywhere you can reach to pick and maintain. Just be sure to cut back one third after fruiting to keep it nice and tidy.
Fresh figs are a great thing. The plant itself is low maintenance, thrives in any soil (except clay) and will bear fruit once or twice a year depending on your pruning.
Fig trees grow well from a cutting taken in winter or just buy a plant from a quality nursery. I love the black Genoa variety to make fig and rosemary tart or just eat them fresh from the tree.