What Size Pots For Fruit Trees

You can still grow fruit trees if you have limited space in your garden. You will need the right pot size that allows the trees to produce abundantly. In this article, we have gathered information to help you find the right pot sizes for your fruit trees.

A suitable pot size for fruit trees is at least 20 inches in diameter and 24 inches deep. The pots should have a capacity of around 10-15 pounds. Compact fruit trees will require pots of at least 4 inches wide. 

You also need to consider the age and nutrient requirements of the fruit tree when choosing pots. The wrong size might not allow the best growth for the fruit trees. There is a wide variety of pot choices, so read along to know what is best for your fruit trees. 

Home citrus tree, bonsai tree. Home decor and indoor gardening. What Size Pots For Fruit Trees

What Is A Good Size Pot For My Fruit Tree?

Growing plants in pots is a way to build a small but fruitful garden in a small home. There is less to worry about if you grow plants in containers. You can take advantage of limited space to propagate your favorite fruits, whether indoors or outdoors.

You can grow fruit trees at home with the right pot size. The recommended size depends on how big the tree will grow in the future. Most fruit trees can grow in pots that are at least 20 inches in diameter and 24 inches high. 

Another basis for the pot size is capacity. You should choose pots that have a capacity of around 10-15 pounds. The right size should provide support for the trees as they grow. The right capacity also allows pots for mobilization.

If you bought compact and dwarf fruit trees, they usually come in 4-inch pots. You can slowly repot them in larger containers to allow more growth. 

It is also a good idea to have patio trees to provide shade and beauty to the area. The pot's diameter should be at least 12 inches. The same size is also applicable for indoor fruit trees. You only need to add some pebbles to the bottom layer for drainage purposes.

Lemon tree in flower pot

What To Consider Before Buying Pots?

Before you buy pots, you should know the requirements of your plants. It is a different environment when you plant fruit trees in small containers. Read further to learn what you need to consider.

Height Of Fruit Tree

The pots can influence how big your fruit trees will grow. Even if it seems that a bigger pot can help the trees grow, it is not always ideal.

The plant tends to focus on filling the wide space with roots. If you aim to harvest abundant fruits, you should help the plant concentrate its energy on fruit production instead of sizing up.

Moreover, choosing the right size will prevent your fruit trees from getting root rot because of root congestion. 

Moving the plant can also be difficult if the pot is too big, so you should place the pot in a permanent location. 

Listed below are the combinations of pot sizes and the tree heights:

  • 1 gallon - 2 foot tree
  • 2 gallon - 3.5 foot tree
  • 3 gallon  - 5 foot tree
  • 10 gallon - 9 foot tree

Water Requirement

Water is vital to the growth of fruit trees. It is not enough that you water them regularly. You should also consider how the soil and the roots absorb the moisture. A pot of the wrong size may not allow the plant to manage excess water.

Small fruit trees with shallow roots that require less water should be in small pots. In contrast, the larger trees need bigger pots because of the high water requirement. 

A 1-gallon pot is roughly 7 to 8 inches


Limited space can limit your choice of bigger pots and fruit trees. Your apartment might not have sufficient space for a big pot. Even if you have a garden lot, you might have too many plants, which results in overcrowding.

You can place the pots in a window, a balcony, or a patio. It is up to you to decide how you space them and to create a beautiful landscape.

Pot Material

If you are keen on aesthetics, you also have various options for pots. 

Here are some types of pots you can choose:

  • Plastic - The least expensive option and easy to remove when repotting mature trees. These pots are easy to move and less porous but can become brittle due to sun exposure.
  • Ceramic - There are two varieties of ceramic pots:
    • Unglazed - More porous and quickly dries
    • Glazed - Retains moisture well
  • Stone - Expensive yet reliable in holding the trees when windy. You should choose this if you don't plan to relocate the plant.

Fruit Tree Variety

Regardless of the pot you choose, it is important that you grow a suitable fruit tree. Not all fruit trees can live in pots. You should also consider your the weather and temperature patterns of your location.

small pink apple fruit among green leaves

The top choices of fruit trees to grow are apples, apricots, cherries, and pears that will be ripe in summer and fall. Warm varieties of fruits like fig, banana, and citrus trees thrive well in pots.

Plants of high ornamental value, such as blueberries and lime, are great for the patio and dooryard. 

You can also choose dwarf trees or rootstock that will fit in small containers. Full-size trees will not grow in pots.

Other fruit trees you can grow in pots are the following:

  • Lemons
  • Mandarins
  • Olive
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Plum
  • Pomegranate

You can learn more from this post on the 15 Fruit Trees You Can Grow In Pots at Home.

Lemon trees with ripe fruits, decorating house exterior.

Is It Good To Grow Fruit Trees In Pots?

Planting fruit trees in pots has advantages, as listed below:

  • Influence soil pH levels
  • Improve aeration and drainage
  • Balances moisture
  • Higher retention of nutrients
  • Easy access for pruning and harvesting 
  • Adds some design to your garden
  • Allows more mobilization and relocation
  • Encourages pollination 
  • Controls growth to maintain size

little fruit bearing apple tree

Do You Need To Change Pots When The Trees Grow?

It is necessary to change the pots at least every two years. The fruit trees will grow big and might not fit in their original pots. If you retain the size of the pot, the tree might not get the right amount of nutrients, air, and water it needs.

The next pot to choose depends on the current size of the tree. It is time to transfer to a larger pot when there are roots exposed in the bottom or top of the pot. Also, when you see that the tree is wilting, that means it needs more growing room.

Another sign that you need to repot is the condition of the roots. You don't need to change pots if there are white and healthy roots with plenty of soil. Otherwise, you have to replace the pot.

The right time to change pots is in spring when the trees bring new growth.

Tips To Maintain Fruit Trees In Pots

In order to have bountiful fruit trees in pots, you should follow these tips:

  • Make sure that the pots have many holes for drainage. If the pot's diameter is 20 inches, drill five 0.4-inch holes to allow excess water to flow.
  • Do not overwater the trees. The soil should be evenly moist but not soggy. Very wet soil will cause fruit tree diseases.   
  • Give the fruit trees the right fertilizer. Too much nitrogen will speed up growth but will slow fruit production.
  • Do not fertilize during late fall to winter.

Pruning is also crucial for the tree's growth. Doing so helps a tree retain its size and shape. It is easy to prune dwarf cultivars of fruit trees.

You need to remove the dead, damaged, and diseased parts. Then clear the inside of the tree's canopy so the leaves and fruit grow outside.

Small bonsai tree taken from an apple tree with white background. What Size Pots For Fruit Trees

In Summary

Choosing the right size pots for fruit trees helps them grow to their full potential.

When selecting the pots, you should consider the potential size of the tree, water requirement, and location. You can also choose any material for the pot that is suitable for the fruit tree.

Remember that not all fruit trees can grow in pots. You have to pick the right varieties. As the tree grows, you need to change the pot to allow space for the roots. Also, observe the right care for potted fruit trees to allow abundant growth.

You can learn more about planting in pots from these posts:

Tall Plants For Pots In Full Sun [15 Gorgeous Ideas You Should Try!]

Tropical Plants Suitable For Pots In Full Sun [11 Ideas To Make Your Landscaping Pop]

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