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Simple Tips For Growing Apple Trees In Pots And Containers

Updated on September 12, 2013

How To Successfully Produce Your Very Own Home Grown Apples In A Small Space

Apples are one of the most popular fruit and it’s not surprising why. There is a wonderfully large variety of apples trees to choose from and the different apples are very versatile. Some are enjoyable to eat as they are, others lend themselves well to sweet and savoury cooking, and the juice makes a refreshing drink, as well as being used to make the popular alcoholic beverage we know as cider.

It is a pleasure to be able to go into your garden and pick an apple from the tree, knowing that it hasn’t been sprayed with chemicals or treated in order to make it last in storage before being sold in the shops. But can you enjoy your own home grown apples if you only have a small garden, or even no garden at all, just a small area of outside space or a balcony? Yes you can! Apple trees can grow quite happily in pots.

Apples | Source
Apple tree
Apple tree | Source

There are many dwarf variety of apple trees available, which are ideally suited to being grown in containers. Ideally, you will need two or more trees to encourage cross pollination for the trees to bear fruit. Check with your garden centre or nursery for advice on which varieties you would like and which will compliment each other as you will need trees that bloom at roughly the same time. If space is a premium, there is an alternative. It is possible to buy a tree which is actually two varieties on a single root stock. The two parts of the tree will pollinate each other, as well as produce different varieties of apple.

You will need a decent sized pot, at least 24cm deep, but the bigger the better to encourage good root formation which will give a healthier tree. Keep the pot watered and once you see the buds appearing make sure the growing medium doesn’t dry out. It is a good ideal to mulch the surface to prevent moisture evaporation. Bark mulch will work but is not very attractive but shingle will work in a similar fashion and also gives a better appearance, which may be required if the trees also play a decorative role to your outside space.

You can prevent unwanted insects from reaching your fruit but placing a greased band around the trunk of the trees, although compared to growing trees in the ground, pot grown trees should not suffer as much from this problem.

The trees will require pruning. This should be done in early spring. The aim is to ensure good air circulation around the branches and allow sunlight to get through, cutting away any braches that cross over each other. Make sure you don’t prune when it is still very cold or wet, as this could increase the chances of the trees being exposed to disease.

Apples trees are a welcome addition to any outside space. They are attractive trees, with pretty blossom, and give off a wonderful aroma, reminiscent of warm, late summers. They will add structure and interest to even the dullest of spaces and will provide you with fruit unrivalled by anything you can buy in the shops.


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    • jasmith1 profile image

      Adrian Smith 6 years ago from UK

      Thanks Michael - I am glad this was helpful. :)

    • jasmith1 profile image

      Adrian Smith 6 years ago from UK

      I am so glad this was useful - it sounds like perfect timing! Happy growing! :)

    • Michael J Rapp profile image

      Michael J Rapp 6 years ago from United States

      Very cool. I have a few apple trees -one a dwarf - but I didn't realize there were some that would grow in pots. Voted up, useful and shared!

    • sallieannluvslife profile image

      sallieannluvslife 6 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Thanks for this hub! I did not know that apple trees would survive in pots. My husband and I were just talking about purchasing some apple trees and planting them in our yard, but this would mean that I could keep them on my patio! I can't wait to try it...Thanks!