How to Grow Trees in Patio Containers


Ornamental and dwarf trees are ideal for patio container gardens. Taller trees can even be grown to offer patio shade. Line up several trees side-by-side to create a natural privacy barrier that you can move anytime desired. There are trees suitable to all the different growing zones and many dwarf varieties for creating the perfect tree patio container garden collection.

Step 1

Mix one part sand, one part organic composting material and one part general potting soil in a large bucket. Add 2 tbsp. of all-purpose granular time-released fertilizer. Thoroughly mix all items together.

Step 2

Line the bottom of the potting container with medium-size pebbles. Fill the pot half full with the soil mixture from the previous step.

Step 3

Wet the root ball of the tree, and let it stand for several minutes. Remove the tree from the original container, and lift it into the new container.

Step 4

Wrap pvc tubing around the top edge of the potting container with a 2- to 4-inch piece hanging down toward the center of the tree's root ball. You can use this tubing to directly water the root ball after the patio tree is established.

Step 5

Fill the remainder of the potting container with the soil mixture prepared in previous step. Avoid filling the pvc tube with dirt.

Step 6

Water the newly planted patio tree until water drips out of the drainage holes. Place it in the desired location.

Step 7

Check the patio tree weekly and water as needed. Pour 1 to 3 cups of water down the pvc piping until water drips out of the drainage holes.

Step 8

Leach the patio tree pot once every six months to prevent fertilization buildup and encourage new growth. Fill the potting container with water from a garden hose or tap until water heavily flows out of the bottom. Wait two hours. Repeat with a second watering to leach the soil.

Step 9

Prune and trim the patio tree just prior to the dormancy period. Bring in patio trees at the beginning of winter for tree varieties that cannot withstand the lower temperatures of your U.S. hardiness zone range.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand
  • Organic composting material
  • General all-purpose potting soil
  • All-purpose granular time-released fertilizer
  • Large bucket
  • Large planting container
  • Medium-size pebbles
  • 1-inch pvc tubing
  • Water


  • "The Potted Garden: New Plants and New Approaches to Container Gardens"; Scott Appell; 2004

Who Can Help

  • Backyard Nature: Trees for Container Gardens
Keywords: patio tree container, patio tree, container tree

About this Author

Lisha Smith writes for several blogs and has freelanced for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Greensboro in psychology. Smith has self-published several books. Her areas of experience include gardening, cooking, home improvement, pets and mental health.