Published on May 1st, 2013 | by Guest Contributor
Grow Tropical Fruits at Home!
If you love tropical fruit but strive to live a green life, then you have a bit of a conundrum to solve, especially if you live in the decidedly un-tropical United Kingdom. Many of our favorite healthy and delicious fruits arrive to shops and supermarkets from distant lands, clocking in a fair number of food miles before they reach your mouth.
Buying from a supermarket isn’t the only option, though. It is possible to grow many tropical fruits in the UK, even in the famously chilly British climate, provided you have a warm, sunny conservatory to grow them in. Conservatories are often referred to as greenhouses in the US, and they can be lovely as attached additions to your home or built separately from the main house. The following are some of the tropical delights you might want to try growing to keep yourself supplied with great fruit without causing damage to the planet.
You might not know that conservatories were originally used in the UK and other parts of Northern Europe to grow oranges when they were first introduced to this chilly land, which is why conservatories are sometimes called orangeries as well. These were often grand and luxurious types of greenhouse in the grounds of stately homes, many of which still exist today and are seen as tourist attractions or local landmarks. Nowadays you can buy a good value and effective conservatory from companies like Anglianhome and grow your own oranges and other citris fruits regardless of the climate. Try a dwarf variety or one called Calamandon or Calamansi, which is a lovely small variety of citrus.
This is a tropical fruit which grows surprisingly well in the UK, especially in the southern part of the country. If you have a south facing conservatory these gorgeous flowering and fruiting vines will grow quite well. These are easy to grow in pots and are not too fussy about the quality of the soil.
The delicious mango is one of the tastiest tropical fruits which UK homeowners could grow in their conservatory. There are different varieties of mango around and if you are going to be growing it indoors then you will want to look out one of the miniature varieties, as full-sized mango trees are easily 30 feet tall! Fresh, ripe mangoes are some of the most delicious foods on the planet, good for salads, smoothies, and simply peeling and eating on their own.
This fruit is mainly grown in Asia and and South America, where it is also called carambola. When it comes to growing it in the British climate you will want to keep the plant well protected from the cold weather during winter. It is a slow-growing tree and you can expect it to reach a maximum height of maybe five feet after about five years or so. If you are lucky you will get flowers on the plant a few times a year as well as some lovely fruit for snacking.
This post is published on behalf of Anglian Home Improvements, the conservatories and double glazing specialist in the UK, who provided financial support for the article.