Growing Fruit Trees in Containers

I’m normally not a fan of growing food in containers, other than wooden raised beds which I guess are a form of containers.  But fruit trees are an exception, and one that most people don’t ever consider, probably because they don’t think it’s possible.  But it is possible, lemons, oranges, and avocados are three examples of commonly purchased fruit that you can grow at home, and in containers.  Here are a few reason why you might want to consider containers are a strategy for growing fruit.



Space is a factor for a lot of gardeners.  And trees are not light on the space they require.  Their roots need room, and the taller they get the more shade they will cast on ground that you would otherwise like to be using to grow food.  But growing fruit trees that are specially-suited for live in containers (though these varieties can be put in the ground) will give you the ability to grow fruit trees in areas not available otherwise, areas like steps and patios.


Keeping a tree in pot, even a large pot means that it is mobile.  You might have to use a hand cart, but you will be able to move it where you want it.  This means that you can move it from your front yard to back yard as seasons and light change, you can relocate it if it starts to shade other crops, and if you move you don’t have to say goodbye to something you have worked hard for.

Poor Soil

If your soil quality is not good enough to produce fruit in, you don’t have to wait while you build that quality up.  You can start your trees in containers with rich compost and later transplant them into the ground once you have improved the soil if you can.  If not, you can leave the trees in containers and not have to worry about the ground.


So if you have poor soil, are considering moving, and don’t have enough space, you still don’t have any reason why not to be growing fruit trees.

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5 thoughts on “Growing Fruit Trees in Containers

  1. This information is so timely. I will be growing my own fruit trees in a container. This information has answered my thoughts and questions I’ve thought about but hadn’t had the time to research. Thanks!

  2. I have planted a lemon first, then a lime and lastly an orange tree. While I live in AZ where such grow very well I have to agree that to grow them in containers is a thought. My lemon tree is struggling in its 5th year two of bearing fruit. The first year a bumper crop but this year the ‘tree’ looks so strange and the fruit are small…lots of them but small. The tree grew well but then started to spread all out and did not become a tree per say at all. The branches are drooping so after the fruit is harvested I am cutting it way back and see what happens. The lime tree has produced fruit in the first year….about 15 to 20 total, but the tree is very small yet and doing well. The Orange tree has struggled with the heat but is trying hard and growing some. All were watered well and fed plant food. I wanted the shade as well as the fruit in planting the trees. Will perhaps try a lemon tree on a pot in Spring in case the ground one does not make it. AZ sun is brutal tha tis for sure….everything gets sun burned.

  3. We have 6 potted fruit trees;4 Meyer lemons and 2 Key Limes.
    Never thought I could get them to survive or do as well, but looks like we will be harvesting lemons again soon. Trees are only about 4 feet but producing well and looking healthy.
    Keep them on outside deck during Summer, but then move them indoors in front of windows with southern exposure – no direct sunlight, but bright.
    I am amazed how well they are doing. I was prepared to get grow light for them, but as yet I don’t think they will need one. I talk to them daily and keep their leaves sprayed.

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