Growing Mulberries Indoors – In Containers At Home

Introduction to Growing Mulberries Indoors

Mulberries are the fruit from Mulberry trees that belongs to the Moraceae family. It is one of the fastest-growing trees, produces an abundance of excellent fruit every year. Speed up the growing process by purchasing an organically-raised dwarf or semi-dwarf variety from your local nursery. Then, place it in a large pot either outdoors in plenty of sunshine, or indoors in a warm, bright place. In this article we also discuss the below topics about Mulberry trees;

  • How to easily grow Mulberries indoors
  • How much time it takes for a Mulberry to bear fruit
  • Do Mulberry trees need full sun
  • Mulberry tree care
  • Growing Mulberry trees in pots
  • How to grow Mulberry from seed
  • How to grow Dwarf Mulberries
  • Can Mulberry grow in pots?
  • Do Mulberry trees lose their leaves in the winter season?
  • Do Mulberry trees need a lot of water
  • The best fertilizer for Growing Mulberries Indoors

The Mulberry produces large, long, black fruit similar in looks to a 3 inches long blackberry. The fruit ripens in early summer. Generally, the Mulberry tree is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree or large shrub.

The main difference between a blackberry and a Mulberry;

Mulberries tend to be longer and more oval-shaped while blackberries tend to be shorter, rounder, and shinier. Both are tart, but Mulberries have a stronger sweetness to match. Also, Blackberries grow on bushes, whereas Mulberries grow on trees.

The difference between Mulberry and blackberry is that they grow on different plants. There are also more subtle differences in their appearance, taste, texture, and nutritional profile.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Growing Mulberries Indoors

Different Varieties of Mulberry Trees

There are three types of Mulberry trees;

Black Mulberry – These are the most delicious Mulberries.

Red Mulberry – They are slightly harder than black Mulberry and these are found in rich soil and the banks of the rivers.

White Mulberry – White Mulberry trees can be hybridized with natural and native red Mulberry.

There are several Mulberry tree varieties obtainable but the two container growing varieties you can look for are ‘Dwarf everbearing’ Mulberry and Mulberry ‘Issai.’ These two don’t exceed the height of 2 meters. Other popular Mulberry varieties are Mulberry Alba ‘Pendula’ and Pakistan Mulberry. Though, you can try any cultivar and keep the height under control by pruning.

Best Location for Growing Mulberries Indoors

Growing Mulberries in full sun and it will bear fruit in partial shade but the flavor and yield will not match plants grown in full sun.

Plant Mulberries in compost-rich, well-drained soil with a soil pH level between 5.5 and 7.0. Mulberries can withstand wind and some tree cultivars can be used as windbreaks. These trees thrive in full sun but can grow well in partial shade.

Soil Requirement for Growing Mulberries Indoors

Mulberry trees prefer a warm, moist, well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position. Mulberry likes well-drained, loamy rich, or any mixed soil, which is a bit acidic or neutral in the pH level.

Use such soil which is full of manure and you can plant it in the month of spring to Full sun to partial sunshine place. However, these Mulberry trees bear poor conditions of soil, but by compost, you can improve the soil and produce good fruits.

The Mulberry prefers soil that is fertile and rich in compost or manure. So make sure to add this, too. For a successful container-grown Mulberry tree, proper drainage is essential. Soil that blocks drainage of water must not be used and it’s a good idea to use a soilless potting mix.

Select a Container for Growing Mulberries Indoors

Fill a container like a planting tray or clay or plastic pot, with a fresh, good-quality commercial potting mixture. Make sure the planting container has a drainage hole in the bottom of the container. And, add a handful of perlite or coarse sand to improve drainage. First, start with small containers.

Mulberry Plant Propagation

Mulberry trees can be planted by seeds, cutting, or graft. A softwood cutting is the easiest propagation during the growing season.

Tips for Growing Mulberries Indoors in Cintainers

Tips for Growing Mulberries Indoors
Tips for Growing Mulberries Indoors (Image Credit: Pixabay)
  • Most Mulberry trees grow large and are not well-suited for container growing.
  • Choose a dwarf tree variety for container growing. There are many dwarf black Mulberry cultivars.
  • Planted Mulberries in containers about 24 inches wide and deep. Repot plants every year or two as necessary to keep trees from becoming root-bound.
  • Water the potting mixture thoroughly and set the container aside to drain until the potting mixture is evenly moist, but not dripping.
  • You can easily grow dwarf Mulberry species of this plant in the container. For this, you choose a large size pot of about 14-20 inches. But in the beginning, you should develop it in a 10 to a 12-inch container, and later transplant it in a large pot.
  • To grow Mulberry trees in the container, use rich soil, add rich manure in your soil. Keep in mind water stopping damage your Mulberry plant.
  • Now fill your container with a commercial potting mixture. After that, add a handful of perlite or sand to your mix. It will improve drainage. But before that make sure pots have a drainage hole in the bottom or not.

Start Growing a Mulberry Tree from another Tree

Step 1) Mulberry trees thrive with little maintenance when planted in bright sunlight and well-drained soil. Propagating the Mulberry trees by taking softwood cuttings is much faster than propagated by seed.

Step 2) Cut several healthy stems measuring about 4 to 6 inches in length. By using a sharp knife or pruners to avoid tearing the plant tissue. Then, make each cut just above a leaf node, which is where a leaf or bud emerges from the stem.

Step 3) Prep the Cuttings – Remove blooms, buds, and plant leaves from the bottom half of the cut stems. Dip the bottom about 1 inch of the cut stems in powdered or liquid rooting hormone.

Step 4) Plant the Cuttings – Create planting holes with a small stick and several stems can safely be planted in the same container as long as the plant leaves don’t touch. Then, plant the stems in the holes at a depth of one-third of the length of the cuttings. Pat the soil firmly around the plant stems so they stand upright.

Step 5) Cover the Container – Then, cover the container with clear plastic. Place small sticks in the soil to prevent the plastic from touching the leaves.

Step 6) Situate the Container – Place the container in bright and indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch the cuttings.

Step 7) Mist the Soil – After that check the potting mixture daily. If the mixture begins to feel dry to the touch, mist inside the bag lightly with a bottle. If heavy drops of moisture build-up on the inside of the plastic, poke a few holes in it to provide ventilation for a few hours every day.

Step 8) Check for Roots – Check for roots by digging up a cutting with an old spoon after 3 to 4 weeks. Remove the plastic when the roots are about 1/2 inch long. Allow the young Mulberry trees to acclimate to the cooler, drier air for 4 or 5 days.

Step 9) Transplant the Cuttings – Then, transplant each rooted cutting to an individual 1-gallon pot filled with commercial potting soil. Locate the pots in indirect sunlight and continue to keep the soil lightly moist. Move the young plants outdoors when the weather warms in the spring season.

Germination Process for Growing Mulberries Indoors from Seeds

Usually, Mulberry seeds can also be germinated indoors before planting.

Gather Mulberries – Firstly, gather Mulberries at the end of the season when they are ripe. Collect plenty of berries, as not all the Mulberry seeds will germinate.

Soak in water – Soaking the berries in water for 24 hours to soften them. Drain the water and then mash the berries to expose the Mulberry seeds. Pick out the seeds individually, or add water to the mashed fruit, and the seeds will float to the surface, along with pulp from the berries.

Rinse and dry Mulberry seeds – Rinse the seeds and spread them out in a shady spot to air dry. Once dry, rinse the Mulberry seeds again in distilled water. Put the seeds and paper in a sealed plastic bag and place the seeds in the refrigerator. Then, leave the seeds in the refrigerator for 60 to 100 days for stratification, or cold treatment. Replace the moist filter paper as necessary.

Plant Mulberry seeds – In these, remove the seeds from the refrigerator at the end of the 60 to 100 days. Prepare a tray with a mixture of about equal parts soil, peat, and perlite. Place the seeds just under the soil surface and water the seeds until the soil is moist. Keep the seeds at around 30°C during the day for 8 hours and 20°C at night for 16 hours. Use a heat lamp if necessary. Give the seeds lightly for a minimum of 8 hours a day and check soil moisture each day and water as needed.

Check for Mulberry sprouts – Check seeds every 14 days for the germination process. Pick out the Mulberry seeds sprout as soon as roots appear. Then, transplant the seeds into individual pots, to give them space to grow into seedlings. If there is no danger of freezing, the pots can be moved outdoors to a sunny location and water weekly to keep the soil moist. In 12 to 24 months the seedlings will be big enough to move to their permanent place. It can take up to 10 years for Mulberry trees to begin producing fruit.

The Process of Growing Mulberries Indoors

Step 1) First, purchase a dwarf Mulberry tree from a nursery that certifies healthy plants.

Step 2) Select a planting container that is approximately a third of the height of the tree, excluding the roots that will be buried under the potting soil. Select a pot that has drainage holes at the bottom.

Step 3) Then, fill the container two-thirds full of good quality potting soil. Place the bare roots of the tree into the soil, spreading them out across the top and pushing them down gently into the dirt.

Step 4) Water the soil carefully to ensure the plant roots are saturated, but not sitting in pooled water. Observe the container bottom to make sure excess water is moving out of the drainage holes; if not, they can be plugged and the soil will need to be shifted in the pot to prevent root rot. Water again when the soil becomes dry on top.

Step 5) After that, move the Mulberry tree to a sunny location; dwarf fruit trees require plenty of light and warmer temperatures to thrive indoors.

Process of Growing Mulberries Indoors in Containers

  • Mulberry trees are extremely forgiving plants. Then, there isn’t much in the way of special care for Mulberries in pots.
  • Full sun exposure will make Mulberry happiest.
  • Mulberry trees are tolerant of a variety of soils but when potting them, it’s best to use a good quality potting medium amended with some nutrient-rich compost.
  • Feed the tree at regular intervals during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer, liquid seaweed, or water with compost tea. Allow the surface of the soil to dry between watering and then saturate the soil.
  • You can prune ever-bearing tree varieties at any time to retard their growth. Otherwise, cut back leggy plants in the late winter or early spring season.
  • Mulberries are formed on new growth. They are susceptible to spider mites, whiteflies, and mealybugs, but these are usually fairly easy to manage.

Mulberry Tree Care and Maintenance

To take care of the Mulberry tree and to make sure that will survive in an indoor environment; here are some of the important points to remember;

  • Mulberry trees are easy to grow. Fertilize in the spring season with compost and mulch to keep the soil evenly moist. Prune young Mulberry trees in late winter to develop strong structural branches.
  • Mulberry trees have few pests other than birds. Generally, a large tree will produce more Mulberries than you and the birds can eat, but for dwarf and weeping types, cover the trees with netting during fruiting.
  • Similar to other indoor plants, watering is one of the most important for Mulberry trees.
  • When it comes to fertilizing the tree, use it with caution and a granular fertilizer is best during the first few months of the plant. Fertilizers are very important as they can supplement the nutrients that the plant cannot find from the soil.
  • The application of mulch on the top of the soil will help, especially when it comes to retaining moisture. The mulch has a thickness of about 2 to 3 inches. Replenish the mulch once it thins.

Water and Feeding Requirement for Growing Mulberries Indoors

Mulberry plants need regular water, but they cannot tolerate wet soil. This plant needs 1- inch of rain per week during the first year, and if the weather is dry, then you need to water them. After the plant is established, they do not require water except for the warm climate. Reduce watering in the winter season. Mulberry requires a little fertilization in the initial period.

Pruning Requirement for Growing Mulberries Indoors

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Pruning Requirement for Growing Mulberries
Pruning Requirement for Growing Mulberries (Pic Source: Pixabay)

Normally, in containers, you don’t need to care much about pruning than the Mulberry tree growing on grounds. The best time for scheduled pruning is when the Mulberry tree is dormant and not growing (in winter). You can prune after the fruiting season ends. Slight pruning and trimming of the dead, damaged branches, diseased, and crossing branches can occasionally be done or at the time of requirement anytime.

Mulberry Growing Problems

Mulberry trees are affected by some pests and diseases. Though, never saw these plants suffer from major problems. It can be mildew, leaf spot, and root rot problems. But with proper drainage, you can stop the root rot problems. In general, insects can damage such as thrips, whiteflies, and mealybugs. However, getting rid of them is easy and it sometimes damaged by deer.

When and How to Harvest Mulberries

Mulberries will drop from the tree when ripe. Then, place sheets under a tree and shake the limbs to harvest large quantities of the berries or handpick Mulberries once they turn the mature color for that variety. Collect Mulberries by shaking tree branches over a sheet spread on the ground, but wear gloves to avoid the fruit staining your hands.

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