I once saw advertised in a catalog a miniature blueberry bush, that could spend its whole life in a container and grow to maturity. Are there any other fruit plants that can exist their whole life in a reasonably sized (one that the average person could easily pick up) container and how easy/hard is it to maintain these plants?
What kinds of miniature fruit shrubs/trees can be grown in a reasonably sized container?
Here are some plants adapted to this culture:
- Dwarf citrus(lemon, lime, tangerine, orange)
- Blueberries (Tophat is a dwarf variety that is self-fertile, and is good in containers)*
- Dwarf pineapple
- Dwarf fig
- Dwarf pomegranate
- American cranberry
- Grapes (grapes will grow and fruit in containers with a small trellis attached)*
You can grow these adapted plants with low maintenance. It is possible to grow just about any tree in a pot, but some take more care than others. I purposefully left most of the deciduous trees out of the list because they require more winter care. If they get too cold, they will die back, and if they are too warm, they will not fruit. The maintenance is different with all of the plants. of course, strawberries will be easier to maintain than a citrus tree, but the ones on the list are generally carefree. The citrus and pineapple will want to be misted every week if you are in a low humidity area. The trees and shrubs will need minimal pruning, but the vines need trellises and a heavy pruning each year.
*These plants need a cool period in winter
I have miniature lemon and lime trees, both about 3 feet tall in the pot, which bear full sized fruit, and I've had probably 15-20 years. Since I live above the 45th parallel, I take them outside in the summer, bring them inside in the winter to keep them from freezing. Other than watering, fertilizing, and occasionally trimming or repotting them, they get almost no other care, and live in about a 2-3 gallon pot.
If they're designed to live in a pot, just make sure they get adequate sun, water, and fertilizer. Pots can dry out quickly, so the watering is most critical.