Miniature fruit trees are perfect for the gardener with limited space. They can be grown on patios in containers or planted in the ground. They take up very little space, yet can produce the same size and quality of fruit as their dwarf and standard-sized cousins. If you're looking to add some variety to your landscaping efforts, these miniature, fruit-bearing trees have much to offer.
Care of Miniature Trees
Miniature trees can be cared for in the same way as other plants in warmer climates. In zones 4 through 6, plant the miniature trees in containers. Then bring the containers indoors or place them in an unheated space, such as a garage, to protect them during the winter months. Miniature trees may require some pruning to keep them in an attractive, smaller shape.
Types of Miniature Fruit Trees
There are many types of miniature fruit trees to choose from. No longer is the gardener restricted to miniature trees that grow apples and lemons. There are miniature varieties of oranges, figs, peaches and even bananas!
Peaches and Nectarines
Many people love peaches and nectarines, but they may be limited by their hardiness zone or the size of their property. If you love the taste of these fruits, try these varieties that grow on miniature trees:
- Stark Sensation Miniature Peach - Stark Brothers Nursery offers this full-sized fruit on a miniature tree. It is recommended for zones 4 through 8.
- Stark HoneyGlo Miniature Nectarine - This nectarine tree will reach a height of four to six feet. Grows well in an 18 to 24 inch sized container. The fruit will ripen in late summer. It is recommended for zones 4 through 8.
- Miller's Garden Beauty Nectarine - Enjoy a fuzzless peach grown on your own patio. These trees reach a height of four feet. They are recommended for zones 6 through 8.
Love the taste of fresh apple pies and apple crisp? If you grow a miniature apple tree on your patio, you'll reap the benefits of a much larger tree, including full sized fruit. The following nurseries sell a wide variety of miniature apple trees:
- Stark Emerald Spire Cononnade Apple - This tree produces full sized green apples with a gold blush. It grows best in zones 4 through 8.
- Stark Crimson Spire Colonnade Apple - This tree produces a red apple with a tangy flavor. It is recommended for zones 4 through 8.
- Coronet Apple Trees - These miniature apple trees are produced in the U.K. Cornet apple trees are easy to care for and require no special pruning to maintain their size.
- Gardener's Columnar Apple Trees - While these trees can grow five feet or taller, they don't have branches that will spread out. They produce full sized fruit on a column shaped tree and therefore take up very little patio space.
- Pacific Groves Fuji - If you love the taste of the Fuji apple but don't have the room for a standard tree in your backyard, consider growing this much smaller miniature tree. It reaches a height of four to five feet and the limbs spread up to four feet when grown in a container.
Miniature cherry trees are in much demand for their sweet flavor. They can be eaten right off of the following miniature trees.
- Compact Stella - Does best in areas with mild winters. It produces a large, sweet cherry. Grows four to six feet tall with a limb spread of up to four feet.
- Miller X-tra Dwarfed Bing Cherry - Produces the same cherries that are loved by many. May grow to a height of six feet tall and a limb spread of up to six feet wide. Grows best in zones 6 through 9.
For those living in colder climates, growing citrus trees on the patio or indoors is the only way to enjoy these types of trees. While patio trees are much smaller than their standard counterparts, they can still produce clusters of delectable citrus fruits each year. These trees may also be grown indoors all year long or placed out on the patio during warmer months.
- Meyer Patio Citrus Trees - This nursery sells miniature lemon, grapefruit, orange and lime trees. The trees can be pruned back so that they only reach several feet in height while still producing quality fruit.
- Dwarf Dancy Tangerine - Grow delicious tangerines on this tree that only reaches a height of three to four feet tall.
- Dwarf Valencia Orange - This two to three foot tree will produce full-sized sweet, Valencia oranges.
Miniature Tree Nurseries
There are many tropical and warm-climate loving fruit trees that can be grown in miniature in cooler locations. These miniature fruit trees are often called patio or tub trees. The following nurseries sell a wide variety of these much smaller versions of popular favorite fruit trees.
- Stark Brothers - Sells miniature apple, lemon, key lime, orange, tangerine, banana and Arbequina olive trees.
- Miller Nurseries - Sells miniature peach, cherry, apple, dwarf orange and quince.
- Clifton's Nursery - Has many unusual miniature trees to choose from including avocado, fig, lemon, peach, plum, mandarin orange, cherry, nectarine, grapefruit and olive.
Why limit your patio garden to fruit trees that are typical local favorites? It is easy to grow a variety of fruit trees, including citrus, in cooler hardiness zones. Add some interest to your landscape this year with patio containers filled with unusual fruit trees. Not only do these plants look beautiful but you'll also get to enjoy some delicious fruit!