There are many reasons for growing fruit trees indoors. In essence, caring for an indoor fruit tree is much like caring for a bonsai. You will prune your container-bound fruit tree to conform to the size of your choice and train it to produce proportionately sized foliage and fruit. While it may be easier said than done, successfully growing fruit trees indoors can be obtained by providing your tree with the right combination of sunlight, water, nutrients and care.
Select a potting container for your indoor fruit tree. Choose a large enough container to support the anticipated size of your fruit tree, such as a 15-gallon pot or large Versailles planter. Ensure that the selected container has several holes at the bottom to provide proper drainage for your tree.
Remove your fruit tree from its original bindings or container and gently remove the excess soil from the root system. Inspect the root system thoroughly. Use sharp, sterile pruning shears to trim away any dead or damaged roots. The damaged roots may appear blackened, withered or sunken.
Mix equal amounts of clean sand, pure peat and perlite, as instructed by the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Fill the container with soil until the edges of the container are about 1 inch below the tree's graft line when it is placed in the container. Position the tree in the center of the container and fill it halfway with soil. Irrigate the soil to remove any potential air pockets. Add the remaining soil and press it firmly around your fruit tree to secure its upright position. Irrigate the tree thoroughly until the water flows from the drainage system.
Place your potted fruit tree in a warm, sunny location. Choose a location that receives at least eight hours of full, natural sunlight. Select locations that are away from sources of direct temperature variations, such as heating vents and air conditioners.
Feed your fruit tree in the early spring, just before the growing season begins. Use a well-balanced, water soluble fertilizer, as recommended by the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Follow the instructions carefully and apply at half strength to prevent root burn.
Prune your indoor fruit tree in the early spring. Use sharp, sterile pruning shears to remove any leggy branches or water sprouts. Remove any dead, dying or damaged stems and branches. Thin-out interior branches to increase air circulation and light penetration throughout your tree.
Irrigate your fruit tree deeply and infrequently to prevent overwatering. Check the soil moisture of your fruit tree prior to each watering. Stick your finger about 2 inches into the soil near the roots. Irrigate when the soil feels somewhat dry. Never allow the soil to dry out completely.
Use a watering can with a fine flow to irrigate the tree. Water your fruit tree until the water flows evenly from the bottom of the container. Do not allow the water to rest at the bottom of the pot's water trap as this will promote fungal diseases.