7 Perfect Patio Fruit Trees for Small Spaces
Because you don’t need an orchard to grow fresh fruit.
Patio fruit trees make it possible to grow delicious fruits even in the smallest of spaces. Imagine growing a small fruit tree right outside your back door. Patio fruit trees are small enough for virtually everyone to enjoy!
Here are 7 perfect patio fruit trees that you can grow on a porch, patio–and just about everywhere.
Patio Apple Trees
Apple trees might be the perfect patio fruit trees. Imagine picking your own tasty apples, grown right on your patio! It’s possible with the correct dwarf varieties and a bit of pruning. Many tasty varieties of apple trees can perform great in containers—as long as they are grafted onto the right root stock. Many popular varieties of fruit trees cannot reproduce themselves from seed (including apples), so their branches are grafted onto a sturdy rootstock of another type of apple to create a new tree. For best results in containers, you need an apple tree grafted onto a dwarf rootstock such as P-22, M-17 or M-9.
Consider some of these popular patio apple tree varieties:
- Pink Lady
Patio Peach and Apricot Trees
Peach and apricot trees are starting to become very popular grown in containers, and for good reason. They fruit very quickly, usually within 1-2 years of planting, and they are also very attractive.
One great benefit of growing a peach or apricot patio tree in a pot is that you can bring them indoors if a late frost is forecast. That will protect their delicate flowers so they’ll fruit later. It’s an ideal solution if you live in colder climates that tend to kill off peach blossoms!
If you want to give patio peach or apricot trees a try, check out the following peach and apricot varieties:
- Bonanza peach
- Pix Zee peach
- Pixie-Cot apricot
- Bonfire peach
Patio Cherry Trees
Grown for their spectacular spring flowers as well as their fruit, cherry trees are another member of the rose family that can thrive in containers. There are two basic types of cherry trees: sweet and sour. Sweet cherries are the ones you typically find in a grocery store. Sweet cherries are perfect for snacking. Sour cherry trees are easier to grow and more tolerant of shade. Their fruit is much more sour, and ideal for baking. (Cherry pie, anyone?)
If you want to give patio cherry trees a try, consider getting one or two of these great varieties:
Meyer Lemon Trees
One of the easiest and most popular patio fruit trees is the Meyer Lemon. A Meyer Lemon tree is a hybrid between a lemon and a mandarin orange. The result is a surprisingly sweet lemon that’s perfect for baking, cooking or just garnishing a cold glass of tea.
The Improved Dwarf Meyer Lemon is ideal for small spaces – able to fruit at just 2 feet tall. Grow your patio Meyer Lemon outside during the summer months, and bring it into a sunny room during winter.
You can buy a healthy Meyer Lemon tree online at NatureHills.com.
Patio Pomegranate Trees
If you want to try something a little different, a patio pomegranate is a great choice. A pomegranate tree is able to live up to 200 years. So, it’s no wonder the beloved pomegranate has been cherished for its delectable fruit and ornamental appeal for thousands of years.
The Dwarf Pomegranate (Punica granatum ‘Nana’) has a pomegranate tree’s great attributes with the added benefit of only growing three feet tall! Grow your patio pomegranate tree outdoors during the warm season. If you live in colder climates, bring it indoors to overwinter.
You can buy a healthy Dwarf Pomegranate at from several reputable online sellers including at Logees.com.
Patio Fig Trees
Not many people consider growing figs on their patio, but these semi-tropical trees are a wonderful choice. Fig trees do not require much upkeep, fruit very quickly, and are much easier to grow in pots than in the ground if you live anywhere with cold winters. When the tree goes dormant in the fall, simply move the pot into an unheated shed or garage. They’ll burst into life again the following spring.
All of the varieties listed below are known to grow well in containers:
- Brown Turkey
- Black Mission
- Chicago Hardy
A variety called Fig ‘Petite Negra’ is perfect for growing in a container on a patio, deck or balcony. This amazing fig plant can start producing figs when it is just 12 inches tall. When grown in a container, the tree reaches just three feet tall and produces an impressive number of figs. Fig ‘Petite Negra’ is available at Logees.com.
Patio Orange Tree
Many types of citrus trees can grow in containers, but the Calamondin Orange is considered one of the best patio fruit trees for beginners. This unique little citrus tree is widely adaptable, and it will even thrive indoors year-round. Its fruit is very tart, not good eaten raw, but delicious when made into faux lemonade or marmalade. Its jasmine-scented flowers are delightful, too.
You can find calamondin oranges at NatureHills.com.
Other Patio Fruit Plants
You don’t have to depend on growing trees to enjoy plenty of delicious fruit on your patio or balcony! These fruiting shrubs and plants also perform very well in containers and small spaces:
- Goji berry
Not all fruiting shrubs appreciate a container, so make you check for dwarf varieties. Like many fabulous plants, these container-friendly fruit bushes can easily be purchased online from a reputable nursery. Sunshine Blue Dwarf Blueberry, for example, can be found at Wayside Gardens.
How to Buy a Dwarf Fruit Tree
Like all garden plants, fruit trees perform best when they’re given a good head start. Give yourself the best possible chance of success by selecting a quality, healthy dwarf fruit tree that is known to do well in containers.
Make sure the fruit tree you buy checks off all these boxes:
- It is a live tree grafted onto dwarf rootstock (never buy fruit trees from seed)
- The tree is self-fertile, unless you have room for two or more trees
- It comes from a reputable nursery, either local or online
In addition, you need to take pollination into account. Cherries, apples and other popular trees need another tree in order to pollinate and grow fruit. Grow at least two of each if you can; otherwise, you need to select a self-fertile variety.
Fruit Tree Growing Tips
Growing patio fruit trees in containers is not necessarily harder than growing them in the ground. Just follow these fundamental guidelines:
Make sure you provide adequate sunlight.
Check the light requirements of every plant before you buy, and place them accordingly on your patio. Too much sun can cause burned leaves and stress. Too much shade can prevent flowers and fruit.
Containers dry out much faster than trees planted in the ground. So, your patio fruit trees will need extra water, especially during the summer months. Water deeply, then allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
Select the right container.
Not all planters are created equal. Plastic containers, for example, are lightweight and inexpensive. But a tree planted in a plastic container can become top heavy and tip over. Terracotta and glazed pots are popular alternatives. Select the right size pot for your tree. Make sure the planter you select has drainage holes in the bottom. A tree will not survive long if it’s sitting in soggy soil.
Prepare for bad weather.
Potted trees are very vulnerable in storms. High winds, hail and heavy snow can easily damage them. Because they grow above ground, potted trees are also more susceptible to large temperature swings. Have a plan in place to protect your patio fruit trees by providing protection from bad weather. If possible, bring them indoors during severe weather.
Know your climate.
Not all patio fruit trees will appreciate being brought indoors during the winter, especially if you live in a warmer climate. For example, cherry, apple and plum trees need to be left outside where they can get their necessary “chill time” in the winter. Similarly, citrus, pomegranate and other more tender trees need to be brought indoors during the coldest months. Plan and select your tree varieties accordingly.
There are so many wonderful benefits of growing patio fruit trees in containers! Try them out yourself to enjoy delicious fresh fruit for years to come.
Fruit Trees for Larger Spaces
If you have space in your yard for additional fruit trees, read Top Fruit Trees for Backyard Orchards
And if you’re ready to expand into greenhouse growing so you can grow patio fruit trees in in the perfect conditions, read Backyard Greenhouses for Every Budget.