I love my northern-zone home, but I have to admit: sometimes I envy sunny southern and tropical-zone gardeners. Just think of having a grove of orange trees! Peach trees that didn’t freeze to death every third year! Endless options for citrus, nut trees, and so many more without worrying about freezing temperatures and three feet of snow for half the year!

Well, I’m not moving, and that’s just that. So I compromise by bringing a little bit of the tropics to my windowsill and coaxing the little plants to survive six months of indoor life and six months of warm outdoor patio growth every year. I’m not saying I’m successful at this, mind you. But it IS an awesome hobby that lets me extend gardening into a season that is otherwise dark, snowy, and sometimes depressing (because seriously. Who is NOT depressed when bare feet hit the hardwood floor on a -15F dark morning?).

It took me a lot of trial and error to figure out which of the bazillions of seed catalogs that arrived in my mailbox were legit, so below is a list of my favorite suppliers of tropical and otherwise exotic windowsill plants. Obviously this list emphasizes fruiting plants — I’m not big into freeloaders, although I do have a few hanging around. Please also note that I do NOT receive compensation or any kind of kickback for recommending these companies. I am not associated with them in any way — I’m just sharing my favorites as a favor from one gardener to another.

Happy Gardening!


AllspiceI have many guilty pleasures when it comes to gardening, but I have many guilty pleasures when it comes to gardening, but Logee’s is the guiltiest. I LOVE sorting through their catalog and website. They have plants that I’ve never seen for sale anywhere else. Dwarf Avocado? Macadamia nuts? Sign me up, please!

Their selection is absolutely top-notch and I’ve been very happy with the quality of plants I’ve received. As a sample of the type of plants they offer, think exotic fruits and spices — mango, a whole slew of citrus fruits, dragon fruit, olives, guava, vanilla, cocoa, cinnamon, allspice, black pepper, and so much more — all in dwarf sizes perfect for windowsill growing.

I’ve bought a wide variety of different plants from them, some with great success and some with not so great success, but I’ve never doubted that it was a healthy plant when it arrived and the failure to thrive was the fault of my own windowsill. It’s good stuff. They’re high on my list. (Bonus: the owners wrote a book on caring for windowsill tropical plants. I highly recommend it for beginners!)

My biggest caveat with this company is the price. Not that I blame them for the price, but just heads up that if you want all the toys, you have to pay all the dollars. It’s a sad fact of life, fellow gardeners.


BananasStark Bros is a very reputable company that sells your basic popular windowsill plants — a small handful of citrus fruits (lemon, lime, tangerine, one or two oranges), dwarf bananas, etc. Over the years I’ve bought or observed friends’ purchases of most of these plants, and they’ve always come in nice shape.

The Meyer Lemon tree I bought from them has been unbelievably forgiving of some very stupid mistakes, and I greatly appreciate that hardiness (You can read about caring for indoor lemon trees in my what-went-wrong post). I’m still coaxing some of the other plants I’ve bought from Stark to fruit, but they are healthy and I have high hopes. (Come on, I’m a gardener. Of course I do.)

Caveat is that depending on the year, you can sometimes find cheaper prices elsewhere for the same plants. However, if you’re buying enough non-tropical plants (apple trees and blueberries, whatever), throwing in a citrus tree to bump you up to the free shipping level will often get you a very affordable and very nice quality plant.


Ginger rootI have a very long and very happy customer relationship with Jung Seed. I just LIKE them. They’ve almost always sent me great plants and I appreciate their selection. When it comes to tropicals and windowsill plants they’re more limited than Logee’s, but then again who isn’t?

At Jung you can find your basic citrus fruits, pomegranates, spices like bay trees, some interesting rhizomes like ginger and turmeric, and other warm-zone plants for your windowsill. I haven’t bought any windowsill trees from them, but I’ve bought some of the spice-type plants and I’ve been quite happy.

Caveat — sometimes the size selection on plants is limited. I.e., I’d much rather start with a small lemon tree rather than a big expensive one that ships in a gallon pot. But I realize everyone has different preferences, so while it may be a deal-breaker for me on that particular plant, I can still find other interesting purchases here.


Windowsill fruit treeFYI, I’m considering Gurney’s and the apparently defunct Henry Fields to be the same entity. I’m sure they’re legally separate, but catalogs, customer service, address, all that basic stuff is the same… which to me says it’s the same company.

So that being said, I have to put an asterisk on this recommendation. I’ve bought some awesome stuff from Gurneys. I’ve also bought some fairly laughable sale items. The dwarf olive tree I bought from them for windowsill growing? I got a great deal on the price… and the plant arrived literally like three inches tall. Gurneys has an interesting selection of plants like dwarf banana trees, some dwarf citrus, a dwarf pomegranate, coffee plant, and more, but just be aware that I’m not taking any flak if you get a tiny plant. It’s happened to me; however, that was the distant past, and things might be different now. Take it for what it’s worth!

These four companies are just a drop in the bucket of what’s out there for windowsill gardening or growing tropical fruits indoors, but they are my annual go-tos. Someday I will be rich and I’m going to buy out the whole catalog — probably annually, because not everything survives my windowsill’s iffy temperatures — but in the meantime I leaf through the catalogs and dream…

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