12 Trees You Can Grow in Containers

12 Trees You Can Grow in Containers

12 Trees You Can Grow In Containers

An Introduction to Container Gardening

Container gardening is a popular choice for those who have limited space but still want to enjoy the beauty and benefits of growing plants. While many people associate container gardening with flowers and vegetables, it is also possible to grow trees in containers. Whether you have a small balcony, a patio, or a rooftop garden, growing trees in containers can bring a touch of nature to any space.

The Benefits of Growing Trees in Containers

There are several advantages to growing trees in containers:

1. Portability: Container-grown trees can easily be moved around, allowing you to create different landscape arrangements or protect the tree from harsh weather conditions.

2. Space-saving: Growing trees in containers eliminates the need for a large garden space, making it a great option for urban dwellers or those with limited yard space.

3. Easy maintenance: Container-grown trees require less maintenance compared to those planted in the ground. You can easily control their growth, pruning requirements, and exposure to pests and diseases.

Top 12 Trees for Container Gardening

Here are 12 trees that thrive in containers and can add beauty and shade to your outdoor space:

1. Japanese Maple: Known for its stunning foliage, the Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) is a popular choice for container gardening. It comes in various colors and sizes, making it a versatile tree for any space.

2. Olive Tree: Olive trees (Olea europaea) not only produce delicious fruits but also have elegant silver-green foliage. They are drought-tolerant and can grow well in containers.

3. Magnolia: With their large, fragrant flowers and glossy leaves, magnolia trees (Magnolia spp.) can create a stunning focal point in your container garden.

4. Dwarf Fruit Trees: Varieties such as dwarf apple, peach, or citrus trees are perfect for container gardening. They produce delicious fruit and can thrive in smaller spaces.

5. Crepe Myrtle: Crepe myrtle trees (Lagerstroemia indica) bear colorful blossoms throughout the summer and have attractive bark during the winter months.

6. Japanese Flowering Cherry: Japanese flowering cherry trees (Prunus serrulata) are known for their showy pink or white blossoms in the spring. They can be grown in containers, but be mindful of their size.

7. Hinoki Cypress: The Hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) is a slow-growing evergreen tree with attractive, dark green foliage. It adds a touch of elegance to any container garden.

8. Juniper: Juniper trees (Juniperus spp.) come in various shapes and sizes, making them a versatile choice for container gardening. They are also low maintenance and drought-tolerant.

9. Weeping Fig: The weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) is a popular indoor tree that can also be grown in containers outdoors. It has graceful drooping branches and glossy, dark green leaves.

10. Japanese Black Pine: Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii) is a resilient tree that can handle harsh conditions. It has dark green needles and a rugged, twisted trunk, adding character to any container garden.

11. Red Maple: Red maple (Acer rubrum) is a fast-growing tree with stunning red foliage in the fall. It can grow well in containers but may require regular pruning to control its size.

12. Bay Laurel: Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) is not only an attractive tree but also a useful herb. Its aromatic leaves can be used in cooking, making it a practical addition to your container garden.

Tips for Growing Trees in Containers

Growing trees in containers requires proper care and attention. Here are a few tips to ensure successful growth:

– Choose the right container: Select a pot or container that is large enough to accommodate the tree’s root system. Ensure it has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

– Use quality potting mix: Use a well-draining potting mix that contains a blend of organic matter, such as compost, and inorganic materials like perlite or vermiculite.

– Provide adequate water and drainage: Make sure the container has proper drainage to prevent water from accumulating, which can lead to root rot. Water the tree regularly, but avoid overwatering.

– Fertilize regularly: Container-grown trees may require more frequent fertilization compared to those planted in the ground. Use a slow-release fertilizer or liquid fertilizer as directed.

– Monitor sunlight exposure: Different tree species have varying sunlight requirements. Place your container-grown tree in a location that provides the ideal amount of sunlight for its specific needs.

– Prune as needed: Regular pruning helps maintain the tree’s shape, prevents overcrowding of branches, and stimulates new growth. Prune during the dormant season or as necessary to control size.

– Protect from extreme weather: Container-grown trees are more vulnerable to extreme temperatures. Move them to a sheltered area or wrap the container with insulation during cold winter months.


Growing trees in containers is a practical and aesthetically pleasing way to incorporate greenery into small spaces. Whether you choose a Japanese Maple, Olive Tree, or any of the other options mentioned, container-grown trees can bring beauty and shade to your outdoor area. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy the benefits of trees even if you have limited gardening space.

My 2 Cents

Growing trees in containers is a fantastic way to bring nature into your living space, no matter how small it may be. Remember to choose the right tree species for your environment and ensure you provide the necessary care for their growth. Container gardening allows for great flexibility, as you can move the trees around to create different focal points or protect them from harsh weather conditions. So don’t limit yourself to just flowers and vegetables in containers – give trees a chance, and watch them thrive!