Here is my list of the 10 best fruit trees, that can be grown in containers. I choose these fruit trees based on popularity, amount of work and attention they need and how easy they are to be grown.
Before we start with the actual list we should at first take a look at a question, that I am being asked a lot. Is it even possible for fruit trees to be grown in containers and do they even carry any fruits?
Can fruit trees be kept in pots?
Fruit trees of certain varieties can be kept in pots.
Apples, guavas, and peaches are all fruits which grow on trees that can grow as high as eight meters if given the ideal conditions.
When growing them in pots, the dwarf versions are used or the plant is trimmed quite frequently to avoid the growth getting out of hand.
Keeping a regular fruit tree inside a pot is a bad idea. It is obvious that the normal tree will follow the patterns it does in open gardens. A plant is not a program in a computer that can be taught something.
As the tree grows it will eventually break the pot. One alternative which can be observed is that the plant is kept for a specific time inside the container and then transferred to the farm ground or garden when the size starts to go beyond control.
So it is possible to grow fruit trees in pots, you have to choose a dwarf variant, however. Growing a regular fruit tree in a container is not possible in the long run.
The 10 best Fruit Trees for Containers
There are many fruits which can be grown in pots. Some can grow until they are too big and eventually they have to be transferred to open grounds.
Others can be trimmed and kept in the pot for as long as you like. See the prospects? Here are ten fruit trees you can grow indoors.
Just imagining strawberries growing in the window box is such a beautiful sight. Strawberries are fruits, that can easily grow in any container size.
Alpine strawberries are one variety that can grow in window boxes or other similar containers, for example. This strawberry variant is very resistant to cold weather and does not need as much sun as other strawberry variants.
Strawberries are considered the simplest fruit to grow for new gardeners or people who have limited space.
The ideal growing temperature for strawberries is between 60oF to 80oF and they can grow in cool to warm weather. The temperature is important for the healthy growth of the roots and stems of a strawberry plant.
A strawberry plant can blossom within four to six weeks. Within thirty days of blossoming the fruit is ready to be harvested.
In order to plant a strawberry inside a pot, use an ample amount of potting soil, you can use any soil but strawberries will grow best in loam.
The soil should be well drained!
You can use the whole fruit or buy prepared seeds from the market to plant the strawberries. I would recommend the latter. Mainly because the variants, that you get in the market or on the fields are most of the time genetically altered to not produce fruits, that can be used to grow a new plant.
Choose a pace for the plant, where it gets enough sun. At least 6 – 10 hours of sunlight is needed to grow a healthy strawberry plant.
While watering just be careful not to put too much water or the ground will get logged and the fruit won’t grow properly.
They are very tough fruit trees that are less prone to diseases and grow fast. There are various varieties of plums, and before you begin planting them, you must decide on the type you want.
As always I would recomment a dwarf varient in order to grow it in pots.
Plums do well in almost all types of climates apart from extreme hot and cold climatic conditions.
Bare-root trees are best planted in early spring, or late winter in full sunlight and the soil should be well drained.
It is also possible to plant them in fall and as you plant, prune them to remove old wood.
Water them regularly as they grow. Mulch your plant at the base to preserve moisture.
Plum trees require a lot of fertilizer, and it is advisable to start with a balanced one and nearing time for fruit production, increase nitrogen for more fruit and leaf production.
Like other fruit trees, they also need pruning especially of dead branches.
Plums are more resistant to diseases and pests. But if you are seeing signs of pests or if your plant shows signs of disease then you should react quickly. Try and identify what’s wrong with your plant by either googling the symptoms or asking at your local gardening store.
Some signs, you should look out for are Damaged leaf´s, damaged roots or stems, miss-colored leafs, signs of bugs or other pests crawling on the plant and more.
There are various varieties of apricots, but they are easy to grow and require less care compared to other fruit trees.
If you want to grow them in containers, you should get a dwarf variant though. A regular variant will outgrow the pot quite fast.
They do well in all areas as long as they are not too wet.
Use bare-root trees and plant in early spring, late winter, or in fall when it is warmer. Avoid planting near other plants that could develop verticillium wilts like eggplants or tomatoes.
If you want to grow them from seed just plant them in regular potting soil and water them daily. After the seedling seems strong enough you can transfer it in a regular bigger container and start fertilizing.
Like with almost any Fruit tree start with normal balanced fertilizer and change to a fertilizer, that has more nitrogen when the fruits begin to develop.
Deeply water newly planted trees and regularly through the growing season. Add mulch at the base of the tree to conserve water.
Once the tree is mature, water it periodically but not much. In the spring, top dress with a low-nitrogen fertilizer.
Halfway through the growing season, thin immature fruits and ensure a spacing of about 1 to 4 inches.
Apricots are prone to fungal diseases. They include black rot, canker, among others. If you see signs of such an infection then immediately get a product at your local gardening store to help your tree recover!
The next fruit which can be grown easily in pots because of newer varieties being developed through the process of crossbreeding are apples.
Dwarf rootstocks are now available for apples which makes them easy to grow in pots and containers.
If you are growing apples at home, it is important to use the self-fertile variety so that you don´t have to grow more than one plant or replace the existing one after some time.
There are also some family tree varieties of apples where multiple types of apples have been grafted into the same tree. These plants also make for an effective choice when growing apples in pots.
In order to plant the tree, find a sunny sheltered spot, where you can place the pot.
As stated earlier, use a dwarfing M26 rootstock because the stay only about 2m tall if grown in a pot of 50cm.
Make sure you place the pot where you want to keep it because once filled it would be too heavy to move. Alternatively, if you want to move it around, you can put the pot on wheels.
Fill the pot about half with compost, add the tree or seedling and fill with compost up to its oil line. Next, add manure and water leaving the plant to grow.
You have water the plant regularly and fertilize it the same ways as the other trees I mentioned above.
Raspberries are colorful and tasty fruits, that are amazing additions to every container garden.
These berries are a bit tricky to grow but there are several varieties, that can be planted in pots. Some forms of raspberries, that can grow in containers include eritage’, all gold’ and aspberry shortcake.’
These varieties differ in size and also the season when they bear fruit.
Raspberries are plants, that bear fruits in two seasons, which means that you are able to harvest fresh berries almost throughout half the year.
There are summer as well as autumn fruiting raspberries.
Raspberries also grow in sheltered sunny pots like apples.
Also, like apples, these fruits are self-pollinating making them easy to grow.
Even though they are easy to grow they are kinda hard to keep in check. Raspberries grow fast and uncontrollably to you have to cut them back regularly and keep them in check.
They are usually put in the same category as nectarines because they have identical growing conditions.
Peaches and nectarines are also available in dwarf varieties much like apples. The plant once put in a container will not grow beyond 6 to 8 feet.
There are several iterations of both these fruits which are dwarf and are ideal to grow in pots. These include olden gem’, arden gold’ and onanza’.
Peach flowers are fragile although the trees are hard and tough.
The flowers require extra protection from fleece and other problems.
In order to grow a peach or nectarine plant in a pot, get a tree with bare roots.
you can plant them any time between November and March. They can grow in almost every soil.
To start planting them, fill the bottom of the container with pea gravel, then fill the rest with potting soil and some compost if you want to.
Remember, that you have to water them every day in the beginning and to make it easier you should not fill the pot to the brim with soil!
They blossom in the spring, bear fruits in the summer and then their leaves will become very colorful in autumn.
Cherries come in two varieties, the sweet or the sour.
Sweet cherries grow well under the sun. The sour variety will grow well in the sun but in shade as well.
The roots of the plant remain shallow so watering properly is important. Cherries don’t tolerate drought and hot weather but they are also vulnerable to rotting if you add too much water.
If you want to plant cherries in a pot, get a container that is 60cm wide.
Make sure the soil is well drained and there is plenty of organic matter in it to aid better growth. isela 5’ is the preferable sweet variety while olt’ is the seed of choice for the sour type of cherries.
Ficus carica also known as the common fig is a species of fruit which is native to Asia.
It is traded internationally but can also be grown in several US climates
Figs can’t grow in harsh winters so you can plant it indoors if you live in such a region.
Figs usually grow better in pots because they produce better fruit when their growth is restricted.
These plants prefer a lot of sunlight as well as regular maintenance.
To grow a fig plant, get either the rown turkey’ or runswick’ variety both of which are ideal for growing in restricted spaces.
These variants are hardy so they can grow better inside the house. Choose a warm spot close to the window where it will receive regular sunlight.
Next, also make sure that you provide it with ample water and be careful not to over water it.
The next fruit on the list is pomegranate. Besides being bright red, they are extremely juicy and used in a variety of dishes and drinks.
They are also quite easy to grow in a pot due to the shallow roots.
This also means that watering is easy and there won’t be much trouble caused by excessive growth.
This, however, doesn’t mean that the plant should be left completely unchecked. A plant is a living organism and will continue to grow as long as it lives.
Spreading too much in a small space will cause the plant to die.
In order to plant a pomegranate plant in a pot, dry the seeds from the fruit for a few days before planting. Put the seed almost a quarter of an inch deep in a light seed-starting mix.
Make sure that you water it properly and the seed will germinate in a week or max 6 weeks.
The plant can grow to around 6 m but is usually limited to 2 m. It can live for almost 200 years.
Last on our list is the guava. If you love and enjoy guavas as much as I do then you will probably also jump at the opportunity to grow it inside your own home.
Not only does the fruit taste amazing but the flowers of the plant also have a sweet scent to them.
Guavas can be grown easily inside a pot. It loves a sunny and warm climate because it is a tropical plant.
Despite this, it can adapt to several weather conditions like temperate or a mild winter.
The tree, when grown in open ground, can exceed 5 meters in height but with proper trimming, it won’t go above 2 meters but still produce tasty fruit.
Some frequently asked questions
We all think that fruits grow on big trees so they require to be planted outside.
There are a lot of questions I get when it comes to container gardening and especially growing fruit trees in containers. So here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions.
How is it Possible for Fruit Trees to grow in Containers?
Not all fruits grow easily grow in containers. The ones that do are either modified varieties like apples and peaches while others have shallow roots or just produce better fruits in restricted space.
In some cases, it is even better to grow trees in containers and restrict their growth. It sounds weird but the explanation is actually pretty simple. Trees, that are grown in an open space or in a garden have to find the nutrients, they need in the earth, by spreading their roots over a huge distance underground. And in order to be able to do this, the tree has to grow big.
When you grow a fruit tree in a container, the tree doesn´t have to spread its roots as far, that is if you fertilize it regularly, and thus the plant will stay small and convert the energy it has not to growth but to other things, like the fruits, it is growing.
This is not the case with all fruit trees though!
Which Fruit Trees are the easiest to grow?
We have listed ten fruits which are easy to grow in pots. All except raspberries.
So you can fairly easy grow apples, plums, cherries or any other plant I mentioned above in containers with very minimal effort.
How to plant fruit trees in pots and other containers?
Every fruit tree has different requirements when it comes to planting them in containers.
There is ample information regarding some fruits provided in this article.
For others, there is a similar procedure but some small details like soil or fertilizer, the kind of pot and the size of the pot and other aspects, can differ.
The ideal conditions for growing fruits in pots is to use a pot between 30 to 60 cm wide. Fill it with soil and compost that has high nutrient content.
Make sure that you water it appropriately and trim the growth on a regular basis before it can get out of hand.
Choose a spot near the window where sunlight can reach adequately and if the plant prefers shade, then move the container to a place, where it gets more shade.
How often do you water potted plants?
Again, this can differ from plant to plant.
Each fruit can have different water requirements. Some prefer a relatively drie environment while others grow properly in moist soil.
Despite this, no fruit can survive if there is too much water in the soil or if it is left completely dry.
If you are placing the plant outside but in a pot, it can receive water from the atmosphere or rain which falls. In this case, you will have to give it less water on a frequent basis.
Are there any drawbacks when growing Fruits in Pots?
If a fruit plant is looked after carefully, there are no apparent disadvantages of growing it inside a container.
In fact, there will be more advantages for the plant itself.
Still, if one was to count the disadvantages, the first one would be the higher need for fertilizers. Less soil and restricted growth mean more compost and nutrients will have to be added to the soil.
The other more significant drawback is that sooner or later, the pot will become too small for the plant as it will outgrow it. The stem can be trimmed on a plant but the roots can’t.
Despite providing them with the nutrients in close vicinity, they will still grow in accordance with the tree, eventually going through the walls of the pot.
And yes, in case you are wondering, the roots are powerful enough to break through the walls of the container.
Growing fruits in pots in no herculean task. You just have to find the right variety and make sure that the instructions provided are followed correctly.
Once these factors are taken into account you can easily grow a lot of your favorite fruits inside containers and insider your home without having any major hassles.
So try it yourself and see how easy it can be!