6 Fruiting Plants You Can Grow On Your Own Lānai

No garden? No problem.


You don’t have to have a yard to enjoy the flavors and health benefits of homegrown fruit. Alyssa Cho, an assistant researcher at UH Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, shares some unusual fruits you can grow in small spaces.


Cho recommends starting with a grafted tree—an established tree with a stem and buds—instead of seeds in most cases. Frankie’s Nursery in Waimānalo is a good place to start.


Nice quats!


Illustration: Christine Labrador

There are the usual lemons and limes, but you can also try kumquats or loquats, Cho’s favorites because they are “tasty and unique.” All of these trees fruit once or twice a year and can be kept as short as 4 feet with consistent pruning.


How now cacao?


Illustration: Christine Labrador


Cacao trees grow well from seed in shade. They fruit once or twice a year and need pruning to stay small. Cho says, “It will shock you that this fruit has so many surprises,” from its edible pulp to the “really delicate and beautiful” flowers.


Cherry dis one

Surinam cherries

Illustration: Christine Labrador


Surinam cherries fruit regularly and don’t require much pruning—they’re also full of antioxidants. While these pretty little fruits can be on the sour side for some, the bright red berries add color to any room. Because they are perishable Cho recommends enjoying immediately or freezing.


Berry nice

Miracle berries

Illustration: Christine Labrador


Miracle berries “are so interesting and will amaze your tastebuds!” Cho says. After you eat them, anything sour you eat tastes sweet, and vice versa. This berry is a shrub and doesn’t take up much room, though it can be pricey. It will flower and fruit throughout the year.


Pep squad

Hawaii chili peppers

Illustration: Christine Labrador


While not a fruit, Hawaiian hot chili peppers “make really nice, bright plants,” Cho says. She recommends these or any chili variety as they produce throughout the year and are relatively low maintenance.


Crown jewel

Pineapple plant

Illustration: Christine Labrador


It’ll take a while longer (about 18 months) to get a pineapple or two, but the plant’s beautiful leaves and fruit are easy to grow and well worth the wait, according to Cho.