The best trees to grow on your patio are naturally those that add to the overall aesthetic. Whether you’re adding potted plants, shrubbery, or small trees, it’s all about bringing nature closer. And, hey, what’s better than having fruit-bearing trees right there on your deck?
However, if growing fruit in containers isn’t your thing, keep in mind that many trees can help add a touch of privacy to your patio, provide shade, and frame the overall view. In this article, we’ll go over the best trees for pots on patios and how you can enjoy container-grown shrubs and trees that will add to the beauty and texture of your patio space.
Put citrus trees on your patio
Why not consider placing trees that bear limes, oranges and tangerines, lemons, or kumquats out on your patio or deck? They’re all citrus trees and can be grown in larger containers. Moreover, they’re all beautiful trees and can accent your outside space nicely.
These trees will require bi-monthly or weekly feeding. No, you won’t hear “Feed me!” coming from your trees, never fear. However, you’ll need to supplement watering with organic fertilizer (tree food). Also, remember that these trees are frost-sensitive. If you live in a more seasonal region, you’ll want to bring these trees into a greenhouse or into an enclosed patio where you can regulate the temperature.
Try a chaste tree
The chaste tree hails from Asia and the Mediterranean. It’s a tree with more than one trunk that can eventually become a great tree to use for shade. Both its leaves and its flowers are aromatic. It blooms in the summer and fall.
The chaste tree has several varieties. The Latifolia and Rosea sport pink flowers, while the Alba and Silver Spire have white ones. Experts recommend that if you choose to place this tree on your patio, you’ll need to prune it every winter to help it maintain shape. (If you don’t prune it, the branches can grow quite wide.)
Add an edible fig tree
The edible fig is yet another tree that comes from the Mediterranean. In early summer and fall, they bear the fruit from which they take their name. Now, as long as these trees have consistent water and plenty of sunlight, you can easily grow them in containers.
Their leaves are large and lobe-shaped, and these too can be used for shade. However, be aware that those grown in containers likely won’t rise to the same heights as those grown in an orchard or garden. Additionally, it’s worth noting that these trees do best in warmer climates (like the Mediterranean). Figs from trees grown in these warmer climates are known to be juicier and sweeter. They can make a mess when they drop off the trees, though, so you’ll have to be willing to clean up after your fig trees.
How about a Japanese maple?
The Japanese maple is an excellent tree for growing in a container on your patio. It is naturally small (although it can grow to about 15 feet). However, it grows fast, so you must be prepared to re-pot your Japanese maple around every two years.
As with the chaste tree, the Japanese maple has several varieties. These varieties include the Mikawa Yasubusa, Dissectum, Burgundy Lace, Butterfly, Red Dragon, and Crimson Queen. All of these varieties will require a bit of pruning. A word of caution: These trees are not as hardy as some, and you may spot damaged, diseased, or dead branches from time to time, which you’ll need to remove.
Place olive trees for a Middle Eastern flair
If you’d like to give your deck or patio a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean touch, you can’t go wrong by putting some potted olive trees in that outdoor space. They’re perfect for adding to a Greek, Italian, Israeli, or Syrian theme!
Olive trees naturally have shallow roots and amazingly can live even as a huge, mature tree in a container. Just note that these trees can grow tall and wide but are easily kept in check with moderate pruning. When taking care of your olive trees, be sure to provide them with consistent water. The containers you use should be larger because the trees will eventually fill them.
Finally, these trees do better in warmer climates. If you choose to put an olive tree on your patio and you live in a colder area, you’ll need to bring the tree into a covered patio or greenhouse when it gets frosty out.
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