Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Choosing to Grow Cherries in Pots

Large pots with good drainage for growing dwarf cherry trees

Large pots with good drainage for growing dwarf cherry trees

It’s entirely possible to grow dwarf cherry trees in pots! This allows you to get the most sunlight possible for your trees by moving them around. But first, research which type of tree/s will suit your climate. If you choose a self-sterile variety, remember that you’ll need another variety of the same type to pollinate each other.

Container-grown trees need a pot that’s deeper and wider than the root ball of the tree so there’s room for growth. You can start with a 5-gallon container and pot up your tree as it grows or use a 15-gallon pot that will generally accommodate a 5-foot tree at maturity.

If the pot doesn’t already have holes, drill some yourself. If the holes are too big, cover with landscape fabric and some rocks so the soil doesn’t wash out. This is also the time to put your pot or pots on a wheeled dolly, because your tree is going to be too heavy to move otherwise.

Partially fill the pot with a commercial potting soil. Loosen the tree’s roots, pruning out some of the larger roots. Place the tree on top of the soil with the roots spread out and fill in to about 1 to 4 inches below the rim of the pot.

Tamp down the soil and water it. Apply mulch to retain moisture, because potted plants dry out faster than those in the garden. Water your potted tree regularly, giving it a good soaking a few times a week depending on weather conditions. This encourages the tree to grow its roots deep into the pot.

Use an organic seaweed or other all-purpose fertilizer for your potted cherry tree. Avoid fertilizers that are heavy on nitrogen, as you’ll wind up with lots of foliage and no fruit.


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