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How to Grow a Bonsai Fruit Tree

By Charmayne Smith ; Updated September 21, 2017

Every bonsai tree is a regular tree that has been pruned and cultivated into a more miniature form. The bonsai fruit tree follows this same concept. When carefully pruned, the bonsai fruit tree will produce miniature sized, edible fruit with the same quality as that of its regular-sized counterpart.

Choose a fruit tree that will thrive in your climate and location. Look around your area and see what others are growing in their yards to see which fruit trees are common inhabitants of the area. You have more freedom if the bonsai fruit tree will be grown indoors.

Select a container that complements the current and future size of the fruit tree. Remember, bonsai trees do not have to be tiny, just not full-sized. At its smallest size, the container’s depth should be equal to the trunk’s diameter at soil level, with a diameter at least 1/3 the height of the tree. Choose a container made of untreated, rot-resistant wood. Make sure that the container has several holes at the bottom and sides to release excess water.

Plant the bonsai fruit tree in nutrient-rich soil and peat compost at a 50/50 ratio. Place a layer of soil in the container. Position the fruit tree in the center of the container and then fill the container until the soil is two to three inches from the tree's graft union.

Choose a sunny location for the bonsai fruit tree. Select a location that receives at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day. The location should be fairly warm with good air circulation and ventilation. Keep the bonsai away from sources of direct heat, such as heating vents, stoves, fireplaces, grills, etc.

Water the bonsai fruit tree regularly but avoid over-watering. Check the soil moisture levels prior to watering. Stick your finger about an inch into the soil near the roots and water when the soil feels dry. Check at least twice daily during the hot summer months.

Feed the fruit tree to enhance its growing vigor. Use a well-balanced fertilizer that contains nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. Distribute the fertilizer at half-strength around the diameter of the tree and gently incorporate it into the soil. Apply the fertilizer in the early spring just before the growing season and every two to four weeks until mid-July.

Prune the bonsai fruit tree continuously throughout its growing season. Pinch away new shoots and buds. Trim branches, stems, and foliage. Allow the tree to bloom while pinching away larger flowers to promote smaller ones. Continue the pruning of new growth to promote a stunted size.


Things You Will Need

  • Bonsai fruit tree
  • Soil
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Water
  • Pruning shears

About the Author


Writing professionally since 2004, Charmayne Smith focuses on corporate materials such as training manuals, business plans, grant applications and technical manuals. Smith's articles have appeared in the "Houston Chronicle" and on various websites, drawing on her extensive experience in corporate management and property/casualty insurance.