Caring for fruit in a Conservatory

Here are a few suggestions of fruit you can grow in a sun room or conservatory and how to look after them. These potted fruits could be strawberries, grapes, figs, citrus, etc.

Most fruit-producing plants are trees or shrubs that need a deep and nutritious root run, so choose containers that are at least (30 cm) in diameter and a little more in depth. As plants grow, move them into larger pots or small tubs. You can also root prune them each year to maintain a right size. The exception would be strawberries which can grow in a smaller pot or even a hanging basket.

In general use a soil-based compost placed over a generous layer of drainage material such as pebbles or gravel. Water and feed regularly, especially while plants are bearing flowers and fruit, when a high-potash fertilizer is recommended.

Strawberries: Leave strawberries in pots on a sunny windowsill and will fruit almost continuously from early summer until mid-autumn depending on variety. Large-fruited strawberries will also do well. To stimulate early strawberries, pot up plants in autumn (13 to 15 cm) pots and leave in a well-lit room. The plants should develop edible crops from late spring onwards, after which they can be discarded or planted out in the garden to grow on.


Grapes: A vine provides shade and looks ornamental trained up walls and across the roof of a conservatory. Ventilate freely to prevent mildew spoiling the fruit. Each winter, shorten the side-shoots back to two buds.


Figs: All varieties fruit more heavily if their roots are confined to a large pot. It may still be necessary to prune in summer and winter to control growth. Set in a well-lit spot away from direct sun, and feed the plant sparingly two or three times in the growing season


Citrus: Citrus grow very well in pots. They are evergreen, love as much sun as possible and like to be kept well-watered. Feed them regularly and be on the lookout for insects during the growing season and treat accordingly.


Pop into me anytime for further advice on this or any aspect of your garden. See you soon at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion!

Monica, Horticulturalist

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