Keeping dwarf fruit trees indoors is a way to grow both ornamental and producing fruit trees. In some cases, a dwarf tree can produce full-sized fruit. Indoor potted fruit trees require more care than trees growing outside in orchards. Pruning, fertilizing and watering your tree regularly will help keep it in optimum health.
Many fruit trees are available in dwarf or ultra-dwarf varieties. Even so, you can control the size of full-sized varieties by pruning the roots. Trees that often do best as indoor fruit trees are varieties of citrus like limes, lemons and oranges.
Regardless of the variety, there are a number of techniques you can use to maintain your fruit tree's small size. Regular pruning in the winter, when most trees are dormant, can help encourage resources to move to flowering and fruit production. Another way to maintain a small tree is to remove your tree from its pot once every two years and trim the roots back by 1/3 to 1/2. Root pruning also has the added advantage of preventing root binding and minimizing problems with root rot.
Most potted, indoor dwarf fruit trees require full sun. A south-facing window or patio, during warmer months, is an ideal location for your dwarf fruit tree. If you don't have a south-facing window or location, place your tree in a window where it gets either full morning sun or full afternoon sun.
Potted trees depend completely on you for nutrition and fertilization. The exact type of fertilizer best for your tree will depend on your type of dwarf fruit tree. In most cases, a good balanced organic fertilizer like fish meal or fish emulsion will provide adequate nutrition for your trees. However, any balanced fertilizer will help your tree. Because each type of fertilizer is different, follow the manufacturer's instructions for flowering plants to help maintain your tree's health.
Fruit trees require a lot of water, especially when the fruit is growing. However, they require less water in the winter. A good rule of thumb is to water your potted tree until water runs from the holes in the bottom of your pot. Check your soil for moisture by feeling the soil about 1/4 inch below the surface. If it feels dry, water your tree.