Growing Fruit Trees in Containers

The information contained in these pages are focused on the Northern California climate and may need to be modified for other areas. If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail us.

Things to Consider When Growing Fruit Trees in Containers

Citrus in Container

When growing fruit trees in containers, there is generally more care required than for the fruit trees that are planted in the ground. Generally, fertilizing should be done more often, especially for citrus. We recommend using Master Start(5-20-10) or the E.B. Stone Organics Citrus & Fruit Tree Fertilizer once every 6 weeks during the growing season (March - September). Also, watering must be done more frequently. Generally, watering will need to be done 2 to 3 times a week during the Spring to early Summer. More frequent watering may be required during the hot summer months. Some factors to consider for the frequency of watering are the container size, the exposure to wind and sun, the type of soil you use, and the outside temperature. Generally, the larger the container, the less frequent you will have to water. Smaller containers generally dry out faster than larger containers. The more wind your plants are exposed to, the more water they will need. Wind can dry your containers out quickly, even if it isn't a particularly warm day. Also, depending on your soil mix you may need to adjust your watering. Soils that drain very quickly will need to be watered more often than soils that are heavy and retain water. In the end, you will have to be the judge of when and how much to water.

For those who are new to container gardening, be observant and check your plants at least a couple of times a week. If you like the idea of growing fruit trees in containers, but aren't sure that you will remember to water, we recommend setting up a drip irrigation system for your container plants and using a timer(electric or battery operated). This will alleviate some of the worries of container gardening.

Fruit Trees That Grows Well In Containers

Not all fruit trees will grow well in containers for long periods of time. If you want to grow a fruit tree in a container for just a couple of years, then you can grow just about any fruit tree. However, if you want to grow a fruit tree in a container for its entire life, then you may want to try some of the fruit trees listed below. The size of container plays a factor in what you can or can't grow. Generally, you will want to use a container that measures 18 - 24 inches wide and about the same depth. Larger containers can be used as well. Wine barrels cut in half are often used. It really doesn't matter the material of the container as long as there is adequate drainage.

Some of the fruit trees that grow well in containers are dwarf meyer lemons, dwarf kumquats, dwarf eureka lemons(will require regular pruning), dwarf limes, genetic dwarf nectarines, genetic dwarf peaches, and some of the dwarf apples(varieties on the Mark, B-9, or M-27 rootstocks only grow 8-10 feet). Also, pineapple guavas, chilean guavas, and strawberry guavas can be grown successfully in containers. Blueberries also are great in containers. For more information about growing blueberries go to our Blueberry Care Guide Page. Other fruit trees may do okay in large containers with regular pruning.