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Grow an Apple Tree in a Pot

Harvest apples on your patio or near your front door by planting dwarf apple trees in easy-to-move containers. Dwarf apple trees grow to about 8 to 10 feet tall and wide, but provide an abundance of apples. If you start with bare-root trees, you'll be snacking on your own fresh apples in about a year or two. Be sure to plant at least two different cultivars to ensure cross-pollination.
  • Photography by Jay Wilde

    Dwarf Apple Trees for Containers

    With dwarf rootstocks, it’s easier than ever to grow this most bewitching of fruits. You can even raise them in moveable containers.

    Date Published: April 7, 2017
    Date Updated: April 7, 2017
  • Photography by Jay Wilde

    Soak Roots

    Order two different dwarf apple tree cultivars to ensure cross-pollination. Upon arrival, unpack bare-root trees immediately and soak roots in water for 24 hours to rehydrate.

    Date Published: April 7, 2017
    Date Updated: April 7, 2017
  • Use Quality Potting Mix

    Start with a large (at least 18-inches in diameter), lightweight pot with a proper drainage hole in the bottom. Fill about two-thirds to the top with a 2:1 ratio of potting mix and bagged mushroom compost. Form a mound in the center. Note: We lined our pots with 3-4 sheets of newspaper, which acts as a blotter when plants are watered. Make sure the newspaper does not block the drainage hole.

    Date Published: April 7, 2017
    Date Updated: April 7, 2017
  • Photography by Jay Wilde

    Plant the Apple Tree

    Before planting, trim straggly or broken roots. Then spread the roots over the mounded soil, hold the tree in place, and backfill with the rest of the potting mix/compost. Scratch in a fruit-tree fertilizer, tamp the soil, and water generously.

    Date Published: April 7, 2017
    Date Updated: April 7, 2017
  • Photography by Jay Wilde

    Stake the Trunk

    Insert a tall stake close to the trunk, then tie together in two spots. This will keep the potted tree from rocking back and forth and stressing roots.

    Date Published: April 7, 2017
    Date Updated: April 7, 2017
  • Photography by Jay Wilde

    Prune Branches

    Prune back the tree’s branches by about half for a sturdier specimen. It won’t affect fruiting, because mail-order apple trees will take 1 to 2 years to bear fruit.

    Date Published: April 7, 2017
    Date Updated: April 7, 2017
  • Photography by Jay Wilde

    Apple Tree Care

    Protect the trunk from gnawing wildlife with a tree guard. Place the tree in a warm, sunny spot. You will need to transplant the apple tree to a larger pot every 2-3 years to keep it growing.

    Date Published: April 7, 2017
    Date Updated: April 7, 2017

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