If you have limited space or if you’re tired of buying apples and you want your own supply, you should know that you can easily grow apple trees in pots at home.
In this way, you’ll have organic and delicious apples to enjoy. To optimize the chances for success, choose a dwarf variety, rather than starting them from seeds.
Apple trees are grown from grafts on a rootstock which help control the height, size, and resistance to pests and diseases; and, they also better the production of fruits.
When you’re shopping in a local nursery or online for your apple variety, go with ones like M26, M27, Bud9, G16 or M9.
Apples that are grown on these rootstocks will not grow more than 8 feet in height, making them ideal for mini gardens.
How to Grow Apple Trees at Home
Apple trees need cross pollination so you’ll need to purchase 2 apple trees. If you’re planning on planting just one, make sure it’s one that self pollinates.
To begin flowering, the apple trees need an annual cycle of cold weather in winter or the chilling period. This period is measured from the total hours it gets per year when the temperature goes below 45 degrees F, but above the freezing temperature.
The average requirements for chilling of apples are around 800 to 1000 hours.
If you live in a milder climate in winter, opt for low apple cultivars; if you live in harsher winter climates, opt for the high chill varieties.
This helps better the apple tree’s productivity.
What Type of Pot to Choose for Your Apple Tree?
Choose a standard size one; around 5 to 6 gallons and 12 inches deep and wide.
Gradually and annually, change the container size, but only when the plant has become root bound. This can be checked out when the plant stops its vertical growth.
Where to Place my Apple in a Pot?
Apples, like other fruits do, loves to grow in full sun. So, make sure you choose the sunniest location, but without too much wind or draft.
In the hotter summer climates, move it where it will be shaded from afternoon sun.
When to Water Apples in Pots?
This plant will need regular watering-generally, water more in the phase of the flower bud formation and less in the winter period.
Always water deeply, but never overwater it. Make sure the pot has draining holes on the bottom and you always remove the surplus water.
What Is the Best Soil for Your Apple Tree?
Apples thrive in deep, fertile, and well-draining soil, not one that holds in water. Choose a potting mix abundant in organic material and a pH between 6 and 6.8.
Should I Feed my Apple in a Pot?
Fertilize the apple tree with diluted liquid fertilizer while still young, every 2 weeks when it’s growing season.
As the fruit matures, you can use any other fertilizer. But, do it less often in the fall through winter. Resume in spring.
The Best Part: Harvesting Your Apples
Dwarf apple trees usually produce flowers within 2 to 3 years. In the first year, remove all the blooms to prevent the tree from setting fruits.
By doing this, you give the plant a chance to focus on growth.