Dwarf fruit trees are a wise choice when you have limited space or if you live in a climate zone that is not conducive to growing certain types of fruit. When you grow fruit trees in pots, you can control the weather by moving them into a greenhouse or your home during the winter--citrus trees are especially sensitive to frost and can die if they're subjected to temperatures lower than 20 degrees F for prolonged periods. Other fruit trees, such as cherries and apricots, require a winter chill period in order to set fruit the following spring.
Remove your young tree from its nursery pot and then gently loosen the root ball.
Fill your planting pot about a third full with potting soil. Hold your unpotted tree above the soil to determine if the soil level is adequate, and then add or remove soil if needed to ensure that the base of the trunk will be even with the soil surface after you fill the pot.
Hold your unpotted tree in the pot with one hand and with the other, scoop additional potting soil into the pot until it reaches the base of the tree's trunk. The tree should be no deeper than it was in its original nursery pot. Keep your tree in a sunny area.
Water your dwarf fruit tree well, until water comes out the pot's drainage hole(s). After one week, check the soil moisture by poking your finger into the soil about 2 inches--if it feels dry, water again as you did initially. Continue watering your tree about once each week, or when the soil feels dry.
Fertilize your dwarf fruit tree with a balanced plant food, such as one having an nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio of 8-8-8, every four to six weeks. Follow label instructions for mixing and applying your fertilizer.
Prune your tree when it is dormant in winter to maintain a compact size and encourage fruit production.