When we think of trees, we think of them as having large roots inside the soil. And hence, many of us would say that trees do not belong in pots; that they need to be in the ground where they can literally spread out and grow naturally. And to be sure there are certain limitations to growing fruit trees in pots. But there are several pluses as well. In this article, we look at both, advantages as well as disadvantages.
The most obvious benefits
Here are some of the most obvious advantages of growing fruit trees in pots:
Space: There is the obvious benefit of space when it comes to growing things in pots. People who do not have the luxury of a large garden or open space available, can still enjoy the ‘fruits’ of their labors by growing a variety of produce in pots and containers. People with no yard to speak of; or those who have only a balcony or a verandah can also think in terms of growing and eating their own fruit!
Mobility: Another benefit is that the pots can be moved or shifted, unlike trees rooted to the ground. So, you can ensure that your fruit tree gets the best sunlight the year round by moving its position. It may also be easier to protect potted trees from frost, snow and other harsh natural elements.
Easily Managed: Since these trees will naturally be smaller, they will be more manageable in terms of pruning, harvesting, pest control, etc.
Early Fruits: One more benefit of potted fruit trees is that they may actually start to bear fruit one season earlier than if they had been planted in the ground.
Adds to Beauty: And like all potted plants, fruit trees in containers can really enhance the look and feel of any living space. If you’re moving house, you can take along your trees!
Disadvantages to be aware of
Needless to say, growing trees in pots will have certain disadvantages as well. Here are some of the major ones:
Low Yield: One of the obvious downsides to growing trees in pots is that they will never be able to yield as much fruit as the trees that are planted in the ground. So even though they may start producing fruit earlier, they may not produce as much fruit.
Reduced Lifespan: The lifespan of the trees is also reduced when growing in pots. Trees in pots may only last about 10 years or so, after which they may need replacing – the tree would need to be transplanted into the ground or perhaps even discarded.
Limited Options: Some fruit are easier to grow in pots than others. Also there may only be some varieties that are suitable for containers – many will fail to thrive in containers, so your options are more limited than if you planted fruit trees in the ground.