How to Care for Dwarf Fruit Tree Pots


Container fruit trees allow you to create an orchard on an apartment balcony, enjoying fresh fruit even if you don't have land of your own. While the exact care for dwarf fruit tree pots varies by the type of fruit--such as apple, peach or orange--gardeners always need to address the tree's watering, fertilizing, pruning and light needs. Dwarf fruit trees can live long, productive lives if well cared for. They begin fruiting earlier than standard sized trees, meaning that impatient gardeners won't have to wait as many years for a new tree to produce.

Step 1

Place your dwarf fruit tree pot somewhere it can receive full sun, since the trees need full sun to produce fruit. Leave dwarf fruit trees outdoors year-round unless they're cold-sensitive--like citrus trees--and you live in a cold climate. If you need to move the tree pot indoors, place it in a draft-free room where it receives bright light.

Step 2

Supplement light for indoor trees during the winter months by using a fluorescent plant light or a clamp light. Leave the light on for at least 8 hours a day. Move the tree back outdoors when temperature rise above 40 F.

Step 3

Prune your dwarf fruit tree regularly to remove dead, diseased or weak branches. Cut off branches that crisscross other branches and those that grow vertically up, since the latter cast shade on adjacent limbs. Use anvil pruners to make the cuts. Prune all but citrus trees in the late winter to early spring, when frost danger passes for your area. Prune citrus tree once you've harvested the fruit, which will be in winter or spring.

Step 4

Water your dwarf fruit tree pot regularly. Check the soil's moisture content by sticking your finger a couple of inches into the soil. If the soil feels dry and crumbly, water until it becomes saturated. Then allow the soil to dry out before watering again.

Step 5

Transplant your dwarf fruit tree into a new pot when it outgrows the old one, waiting until spring to move the tree. Move up one pot size and always choose a container with drainage holes. When you notice roots poking out the holes in the bottom of the pot, or see the tree slow its growth habits, it's time to transplant into a larger pot.

Step 6

Fertilize the dwarf fruit tree annually. Use a well-balanced fertilizer for most fruit trees and a citrus tree fertilizer for dwarf citrus. Apply the fertilizer following the instructions on the package, using a dose range for your tree's age or size.

Things You'll Need

  • Fluorescent light
  • Clamp light
  • Anvil pruners
  • Water
  • Fertilizer


  • Four Winds Growers: Growing Citrus in Containers
  • About Apple Trees: Dwarf Apple Trees
  • Delange: Dwarf Peach Tree
  • Arizona Master Gardening Manual: Planting and Varieties
Keywords: dwarf fruit tree, container fruit trees, dwarf tree care

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.