In part one of our series on growing fruit trees in containers, we gave you some helpful tips for getting started. In this article, part two of the series, we focus on what you need to do to take proper care of your potted fruit trees, so they can stay healthy, grow and thrive.
One of the number-one threats to a young potted tree is overwatering. Once the tree is planted in the container, it is very important to keep a close eye on it and only water when needed. While you want to avoid letting the soil dry out completely, daily watering may not be necessary. You should water when the soil is dry to the touch a couple inches below the surface. The sun may play a part in drying it out, so be aware of exposure to the location of your tree. This can vary if the tree is moved at different times of year.
Note: Mature trees in containers outdoors, during the months where they are in full leaf (late spring, all through summer), use plenty of water. Your mature, leafed-out trees may benefit from daily watering, until the temperatures cool off and the trees begin to harden off for the winter again. Keep an especially watchful eye on your trees’ water needs during the growing season!
Many potting soil mixes come with fertilizer included. If you are using a mix like that, then you will not need to fertilize additionally at planting time. However, you may choose to fertilize during the growing season. If you do, be sure to use compost tea/manure tea, or a water-soluble fertilizer like Stark® Tre-Pep®, so that the roots are successful in absorbing the nutrients.
Just like trees planted in your yard or anywhere outdoors, trees in containers benefit from winter care and protection. After your tree becomes dormant in the fall, there are a few important actions you should take:
For additional details or to learn more about winterizing, check out our article, Fruit Tree Care: Winterizing Your Plants. Be sure to check out winter-care information specifically for fig trees in our article, Growing Fig Trees in Containers.
When it comes down to it, growing fruit trees in containers can be just like growing them in a backyard. With the same attentive care, you can have your very own container orchard on your balcony, patio, sunroom or wherever you want!
Follow the link for an interview with Stark Bro’s and more helpful advice on growing fruit trees in containers from About.com.