Growing fruit trees in containers

Will it fruit in a pot? YES!

By Zoe Merring

Many tropical fruit trees can be grown in a pot. We get many calls from customers in cooler climates asking if our tropical trees can grow and fruit in a pot.
The answer is yes!

Several plants fruit well in pots.
Blackberries and raspberries, barbados cherries, blueberries and many more start fruiting even in their 1 gallon containers. We are especially excited about our new Pixie grapes, which are heavily laden with grapes even at only a foot long!

While some plants are small and will fruit easily in a container, others are large trees. For the tree type fruits, we recommend growing only non-seedling plants for pot culture. We have cuttings, air layers and grafted plants that are great options. These have the ability to fruit right away, as they are the same age as the parent tree. Some horticulturists recommend removing the first year fruit to allow the plant to focus on growth and establishing. If the plant is being kept in a pot, this is not necessary.

We also have several dwarf varieties of fruit trees that will thrive in a pot.

For avocados, we carry the Wurtz variety which is a dwarf tree.

We have several types of mangos that will do well in a container:
Carrie, Cogshell, Cushman, Excellent, Fairchild, Glenn, Ice Cream, Julie, Keitt, Lancetilla, Lemon Meringue, Mallika, Manilita, Nam Doc Mai, Neelum, Okrung, Okrung Tong, Pickering, Rosigold

Our peaches, plums, and nectarines also fruit in their 3 gallon pots. The plum on the right had over a dozen fruits ripening.

Even lychees and longans, which grow to be huge trees can be successfully grown in a pot. The trees we carry are air layered. This is a process in which a branch of a mature tree is wrapped in such a way that it forms roots and can then be removed. A seedling tree can take 10 years to fruit and would attain a huge size. Our air layers are laden with fruit at just over 4 feet tall! For lychees, the Emperor variety is the best choice, as we are seeing fruit on these plants at only 1 foot tall.

One of the most important aspects of pot culture is keeping your tree properly trimmed. The tree should be cut back and pruned regularly. This is not just to restrict height, but to encourage early branching. The more branching, the more fruit can be held which is especially important for a tree restricted in a pot. It is also important to monitor the roots, and pot the tree up as needed. Roots can be pruned as well in order to keep the tree happy with a small pot.

It's never too soon to start preparing for your future orchard. Whether you are limited in space or temperature - growing fruit trees in pots is a great solution.