Growing Fruit in pots -
Most fruit can be grown well in a pot on a patio - or even on a balcony.
Fruit trees – like most shrubs and small tree – can be grown well
in containers or large pots. Growing apples pears and cherries in
pots is particularly good if you have a small garden, or even a
Fruit tree grown in pots – any containers – will remain small,
because of the root restriction of growing in a pot. However, the
fruit can often be near same size as those grown on a tree that is
grown in the open ground. It will help if you thin out the
overcrowded trusses of apples, pears or cherries early in the year.
Pollination may be just a little bit of a problem if the
container is grown on a patio or on balcony! This is simply because any
pollinating insect will prefer to gather – and spread – pollen in a more
plentiful area! So – unless you use a family tree, it might be better to
plant a few varieties that will cross pollinate. In the case of apples, if
there is a crab apple nearby, then pollination probably will not be an issue
with any grown in a pot or container.
With peaches and nectarines, they are generally
self-fertile so pollination need not be considered a problem. The same goes
for all of the grape varieties. Figs, Plums, Olives, Blueberries and
Cherries can all be grown in pots without the need for pollinators. For the
beginner, please remember that an apple has to be pollinated with another
suitable apple tree. A Pear will not do the trick!
Type of Pot or Container
Clay pots or half barrels are usually good, because of
their stability. They are much heavier than plastic pots– but plastic pots
hold moisture better. Do not think of growing your fruit tree in the
container it was grown in at the garden centre of nursery. You will need a
- Use a good all purpose compost with maybe
30% loam based compost mixed in to add a bit of weight.
- Make sure that the plant is well
supported, and not liable to blow over in winds.
Add a good long last organic fertiliser
to the compost, or use
Osmocote type pellets.
Water Retentive Crystals, to help conserve moisture.
- Look at your particular fruit tree in the
sections listed on here.
- Be aware that plant roots can suffer
frost damage in hard winters when grown in pots, so either
protect your pot, or at least place them with other pots
- Keep the plant in full sun – but protect
the pot from direct sunlight.
- Re-pot them every two or three years.
- Use a pot which is big enough – normally
at least 16in dia.
- Most cultural hints are the same as for
open ground trees. Again, see the relevant section for your
- Water, Water, Water, and Water! Don’t
forget to make arrangements if you go on holiday.
- Start off with a suitable variety and
size. Do not attempt to grow an apple tree that is already
6ft tall in this way. Ensure that your selected tree has
been grown on a suitable dwarfing rootstock.
That’s it! Enjoy Growing your your Fruit tree in a pot!