Guide to Fruit Tree Container Gardening

Picking fresh fruits from your yard or your garden makes you feel good. Besides that, you can save money from buying fruits from the groceries; you can simply spare a little time in cultivating vegetables, berries, coffee trees, and other fruit trees.

Do not fret if you only have a small yard or patio or you don’t even have a space for gardening at all because gardening during these days has become mobile and more practical that almost everyone can engage in. Container gardening has many benefits – economical, physical, psychological, and even a sustainable method of planting and harvesting vegetables, herbs, or fruits.

strawberry plant with fruits in a terra cotta jar

Growing fruit-bearing plants and trees is possible with container gardens. Find out what you need to know and how to get things started. So, we have a list of the essentials and the important pointers you must consider as you start your venture with fruit trees container gardening.

When do you plan to start planting?

Time is very important when planning to grow plants, whether it’s a vegetable, flower, herb, or fruit tree. If you have planned to plant in summer, winter, or spring, research what fruit trees are in season with the time you wish to grow them. Time also determines the temperature that your plant will experience as it grows, the sunlight, or the rain that it will receive. So, know when is the best time to plant. Berries, cherries, apples, oranges, lemons, and citrus are common fruit trees planted in containers or pots.

citrus fruits

Do not plant during summer or winter when the temperatures are freezing. During summer, planting is strongly discouraged because of the lower success growth of the tree. Planting fruit trees is a long-term investment, so it’s best to plant at the right time. Meanwhile, during winter, container gardening is a good excuse for planting on frozen ground. You can protect your newly planted fruit trees during winter if you have planted them in containers. Simply keep them in a garage until the conditions improve. You can heel in bare-root trees, either in a trench in the garden or, if the weather is extremely bad, in a pile of compost in a garage.

What fruit-bearing trees to plant

Since you will be growing trees in a container, ideally, choose the dwarf or semi-dwarf types of fruit trees because full-sized varieties will be challenging to grow in pots or might not even be possible to grow them unless you plan to transfer them to the ground when they mature and exhaust the post or container’s space.

The best fruit tree varieties for pots include:


Pick the varieties of apples that you like best and grow them. They require minimal attention if a few basic cultivation rules are followed, just like choosing the right rootstock, proper watering, feeding, pruning, and mulching.

Peaches and nectarines

Dwarf varieties of peaches and nectarines are excellent for pots or containers because you can easily move them and protect their sensitive flowers from cold spells. ‘St. Julien A,’ ‘Pixy,’ and ‘Bonanza’ are good varieties, and they must be repotted every two years.


Growing lemon trees in containers is like growing them on the ground. Look for the dwarf varieties like Meyer improved dwarf, Lisbon, or Ponderosa dwarf. They grow best in containers given proper care, good drainage, fertilizer, and pruning.

Choose the Right Type of Soil

The type of soil that you will use in container gardening is very crucial. Ensure that you buy a good potting mix because the soil can change the amount of water needed for the tree. Generally, any good quality commercial potting soil will work fine, although you can make your own excellent potting soil by mixing up 1 part sand, 1 part peat moss, and 1 part perlite or vermiculite.

Use Quality Pots or a good quality container

Pots also play a crucial role. Good quality pots can last longer than cheaper and weak types. Some cheap plastic containers fade and become dull within a year or two. Go for glazed ceramic pots or good quality polyurethane pots. Ensure enough drainage holes on the containers. In general, 10 to 16 inches in diameter containers are the best choice to start fruit trees.

Know to place your containers

Unlike planting flowers or vegetables in a container, growing a fruit tree in containers requires a good spot for sunlight, free from pest, not a windy place, so when star flowering, their flowers that become fruits will not be blown by the wind. After all, you plant these trees so you can enjoy a fresh and abundant supply of fruits.

Also, fruit trees in containers are not as movable as vegetables in a container. Trees are significantly heavier. Therefore, place them in a spot where they can grow best.