One of the greatest things about container gardening is you can grow just about anything in the right size pot (you can even grow a great herb garden in a single pot). Growing fruit trees in containers is quite appealing, especially if you don't have a yard or live in an area that isn't the right zone for what you want to grow. I already grow all of my tomatoes in containers (my front yard get the best sun and tomatoes like lots of sun, so I keep the pots in the front of the house) and have now moved on to growing citrus plants in my house in pots!
Check out this tips on how to grow fruit trees in containers (and don't forget to check out the rest of my gardening tips).
Bigger is Better
When growing fruit trees in containers, you want to choose the largest pot that you can. Don't plant in anything that is less than 15-gallons. The material used is up to you, just note that plastic containers can get really hot so will take more watering. Clay pots are porous and can accumulate salt build-up or have bacteria problems. Wood containers will eventually break down over time. Choose the container that is right for you and the location it will be in. For balcony and rooftop gardens, go with the lighter plastic options!
Gro Pro Premium Nursery Pot, 15 gal $22
Types of Trees to Plant
One thing to note is that you won't have as big of a harvest with trees planted in containers, but you will still get nice homegrown fruit to enjoy! For citrus plants, you can find dwarf varieties for tangerines, tangelos, oranges, limes, and lemons. For a great hybrid, look at the Meyer lemon which is a cross between a Mandarin orange and a lemon, and it does great in a huge pot! You can also grow apples, figs, and peaches. In areas with a mild winter, make sure to choose apple varieties that grow well in warmer climates. You will have a hard time getting cherries to produce as they like a cold, dormant winter.
2-3 Year Old Improved Meyer Lemon Tree in 3 Gallon Pot, 3 Year Warranty $44.99
When to Plant
Most fruit trees like to be planted in their containers in the Spring. Make sure to choose plants that don't have criss-crossed arms and have no mold growing on the roots. In Zones 7-9, you can plant citrus trees in both the spring and summer.
Fruit trees do best when fertilized monthly. Make sure not to put too much nitrogen on them though in the dormant months as you don't want to encourage growth.
Have you ever grown fruit trees in containers? What did you grow?