Growing Fruit In Containers (A Newbie Guide)

If you’re looking for a way to get into growing your own fruits, growing them in containers is a great option. You can grow everything from strawberries to citrus fruit in containers, and it’s not as difficult as you might think.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about growing fruit in containers, from the types of plants that work best to the soil and fertilizers you’ll need. We’ll also give you some tips on how to care for your container-grown fruit plants so that you get the most delicious and nutritious fruit possible!

green fruit tree growing in container

Of all the vegetables that can be grown in containers, fruits are the best suited. They need little sunlight to grow and their fruit needs less time to ripen. 

Containers for growing fruit should be at least 18 inches deep because the roots will need to go down to find water if it’s not available near the surface. 

The roots of fruiting vegetables need constant moisture so planting peas or beans around each container is one way to provide some extra help. 

What are the benefits of growing fruits in containers?

Having fresh fruit direct from your garden is one of the joys of life. Fruit bushes can provide interesting leaves, bark, and shapes, and they often have blossom, which provides flowers and scent. 

Insects will be attracted to the flowers, and you can create a productive and lively area in any sized site. 

The are many benefits to growing fruits in containers : 

  • They’re easy to move if necessary. You don’t have to worry about damaging them when moving them into storage for winter. 
  • Less disease to deal with. Plants cultivated in pots have fewer disease problems than plants cultivated in the dirt for the most part.
  • Fewer dealings with pests. Insects that travel from plant to plant in the garden are less likely to detect plants on a balcony, veranda, or deck.
  • You can grow a greater diversity of fruit in a limited space.
  • Less space to grow fruit. Fruit trees are grown in the ground take up a lot of space, but you can fit many more containerized fruit trees into the same area.
Small tree laden with fruits in container

What type of soil should I use for growing fruits in containers?

The best soil to use for growing fruits in containers is a soil mix that is specifically designed for growing plants in containers. This type of soil will be light and airy, and it will drain well so that the roots of the plants can get the oxygen they need.

The pH for this type of soil should be between six and seven.

Good soil for growing fruits in containers should also have some organic matter in it so that your growing plants can get nutrients from the soil as well as from fertilizer.

Using a good-quality potting mix is important, but you may want to amend it with organic material like compost or worm castings depending on

You can find container soil at your local garden center.

What type of fertilizer should I use for growing fruits in containers?

As far as fertilizer when it comes to fruits growing in containers, you should use a fertilizer that is high in potassium, like potash.

Potassium is important for growing fruits, and especially growing them indoors because it will help the plants to develop more flowers and fruit.

Fruiting and roots require a phosphorus-rich fertilizer, such as a 15-30-15 combination.

Nitrogen is not as important for fruiting plants as potassium and phosphorus, so you can use a fertilizer that has less nitrogen in it.

You should fertilize your growing fruit containers every two weeks or so with this type of fertilizer.

Orange tree growing in container

What types of fruits can I grow in containers?

Almost any type of fruit that you can think of can be grown in containers, but there are a few that do better than others.

Growing strawberries in containers are easy to do and they will produce fruit fairly quickly if you start growing them from starts rather than growing the plants from seed.

Blueberries are another fruit that does well growing in containers, as long as you remember to water them regularly.

If you have a little more space, you can try growing larger fruits like peaches, plums, or nectarines in containers.

You can also grow citrus fruits like lemons and oranges in warmer areas if you have the right climate for them.

How to Grow Fruit In Containers

The first rule is that each plant will need certain things to grow well and develop flowers and fruit.

They need adequate space in the container, enough water and light, and the temperature needs to be right.

So long as you give the plants those things, you can grow fruit very successfully in containers.

More Growing Fruits in Container Tips

Many fruits which we associate with large trees can now be grown on dwarfing rootstock. The rootstock imparts qualities such as tolerance of soil types, size, vigor, and disease resistance.

The fruit part, or scion, produces the crop, so you might have a ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ apple variety grafted on to a dwarfing rootstock.

Although normally a 30 feet tree, the rootstock will keep the tree small so you can have ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ in a container and get good crops. 

The same applies to many varieties of pears, plums, and cherries. For example, the wonderful ‘Stella’ cherry can be grown on ‘Colt’ dwarfing rootstock, and you get a tiny tree with loads of tasty cherries in a small area.

Other fruits are suitable to grow in containers without grafting them onto dwarf rootstock, including bush fruits such as blueberries, red and white currants, and gooseberries.

The good thing about using containers is that you can have different soil in each container to grow blueberries with a pH of 5.5-6.5 alongside gooseberries who prefer more alkaline soil.

Containers mean that you can have climbing fruit in areas of the garden where there is no soil, such as on a concrete patio next to a wall.

Kiwi, raspberries, and blackberries can be rooted in containers and grow to clothe a trellis or fence, providing good foliage cover plus delicious fruits later in the year.

Just about any fruit can be grown in containers. The only exceptions are vines whose growth needs are not suited to containers.

Figs actually produce more fruit with fuller flavor when their roots are restricted to a container is ideal.

Another benefit of growing fruit in containers on dwarf roots stocks is that you can avoid the problem of having to grow a pollinator nearby.

For example, many apples are not self-fertile and need a different variety, flowering at the same time, close by to ensure pollination.

However, many small trees for containers have four or even five varieties grafted onto the rootstock, meaning you always have varieties in flower which will pollinate each other without needing another tree close by.

These are called ‘family’ grafts and are increasingly popular in small gardens.

You need to make sure there is adequate drainage in your containers and that they are robust enough to support the bulk of the plants and any additional stress put on the framework when the branches are laden with fruit.

When placing your containers in the garden, make sure they will not get frost, especially during flowering time, as the blossoms may get damaged, and you will lose the fruit.

Line the bottom of your containers with crocks or fist-sized stones to help drainage and use fertile compost as fruit trees need plenty of food when fruiting. 

Use the correct planting medium for the fruit grown and give adequate water.

Many container growers find an irrigation system helps because watering a lot of containers is difficult.

Use pot feet to raise the pot’s base from the surface to help drainage further and always check the fruit plant is not becoming too large for the container.

You can choose containers to go with the rest of the garden design, and you can also move them around to ensure that fruiting plants get the most light and sun. You can use supports in the containers themselves, and these can be decorative.

Fruit in containers is not as difficult as you might think, and there are many different varieties of fruit you can grow. You can even try exotics like lemons and oranges in warmer areas. Try it and see.

Fruit trees are a great addition to any garden. They provide shade for your vegetables and flowers, they offer different shapes of leaves, fruits, and flowers with every season. But when you don’t have space for a fruit tree in the ground, there’s another option: containers!

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