Taking Care Of Fruit Trees In Containers

After having shown exotic fruit trees in our presentation at the Agribiz Kapihan recently, not a few people have asked for additional pointers in taking care of them.

Well, there are several fruit varieties that are suitable for growing in containers. Even big mango varieties can be grown in containers. We had a Millennium mango before that was bought by a lady for giving away as gift to a special family friend.



Sweet Dalandan in a pot. The fruits are full-sized.

Another good candidate is pomelo. We have several that are planted in medium rubberized containers that are reguarly fruiting. There are many varieties of pomelo. Some produce superior fruits in terms of sweetnesa and juiciness. Among our favorites are two Vietnam varieties Nam roi and Da Xanh, some Thai varieties and our very own Magallanes pomelo.

Chicos are also highly suitable for growing in containers. These include the Variegated, the Pineras, the Yusepeng and Mapino from the Institute of Plant Breeding in Los Baños.




Guavas are also suitable for growing in containers. Our favorite is the seedless guava. Others are the pink variety from Vietnam and the orange variety from Taiwan.

The imported makopa varieties make good container fruit trees. These include the Mini makopa from Indonesia, the Apple makopa from Malaysia, the Green and some other makopa varieties from from Thailand.



Green Makopa from Thailand



A pretty citrus that has variegated fruit and leaves. The fruit is sweet and juicy.

The small citrus varieties are also great as container fruiting trees. These include calamansi like the Luz variety usually with just two seeds, the variegated calamansi which is very pretty, and of course our ordinary calamansi. Other small citrus varieties are the Key lime, the native Dayap, Chinoto or Japanese orange, American lemon and others.

Now, how do you take care of them? For best results they should be placed under bright light or full sun. They should be grown in a nice potting mix. This could be a mixture of organic fertilizer (our favorite is Durabloom), carbonized rice hull or even non-carbonized rice hull. Add about 40 percent of rich top soil.

Because the tree is growing in a limited space, fertilize it regularly, say every month with organic and granular chemical fertilizer with trace elements. Spraying foliar fertilizer or plant booster every 10 days will make the tree robust and fruitful. Pruning is very important. If yhou want to keep your tree low-growing, you should topcut it. Prune the small brances inside because they are not needed. Watering should be done regularly because the potting media dries up more easily than the soil in the ground.

PROPAGATION – There are a number of ways of propagating fruit trees for container planting. The easiest is by marcotting. The varieties that are easy to marcot are makopa, pomelo, oranges and other small citrus. The beauty about marcotting is that you can propagate branches that are ready to bear fruit once established in the container.

Grafting is another way of multiplying fruit trees in containers. Pomelos and other citrus that are easy to marcot can also be multiplied by grafting. One can produce more planting materials by grafting than by marcotting. One grafting technique that can produce bigger planting materials is called inarching or approach grafting.



Toto Barcelona posing with a Vietnam pomelo grown in a medium container.


AS A BUSINESS – Growing fruit trees in containers can be a rewarding business. Fruiting trees in container command a high price. A fruiting pomelo that’s about seven feet tall and laden with severl fruits will sell for at least five thousand pesos. Of course, it could even be more if the variety is something very special.

Who are the buyers of fruit trees in container? They are the senior citizens who can’t wait a long time for their fruit trees to bear fruit. Of course, even young professionals will want to have a fruit tree in their own farms or gardens. Other buyers are gift givers who want to impress their recipients.

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