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Discussion Starter #1
I live near Louisville Kentucky and would like to grow a dwarf fruit tree or trees in a pot so that I can move it inside in the winter. Sweet cherry and/or grapefruit would be my first choices. Can I and/or do I need to use a grow light when the trees are indooors?
 

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I have a lime tree I've been growing in a pot for 8 years. Hasn't produced a lime yet. It really isn't happy when it's indoors. This winter I left it out, so as soon as it warms up I'll find out if it's cold hardy to 20F.

If you only bring it inside for a few months it will be OK, but if you keep it indoors you need a lot of light. Even outside, if you have it on a porch under a roof it might not get enough light (mine didn't).
 

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I would only bring them inside during freezing weather. Most of the year I would move to sunny area. Would need to keep smaller that about 8 feet tall and consider pollination (need for additional trees). Do you know why you are not getting limes? Any suggestions on types and varities of fruit trees that I should try?
 

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Hope you are not planning on filling fruit baskets with the potted trees?

First thing that will be missing is the bees. And, if you have been watching? They have been disappearing from a lot of real orchards. You will have to find a way to polinate your plant without them.

No offense, but if you are in Louisville, why not hit your nursery and see what kind of dwarf or standard sweet cherry or grafted, with multiple variety apples, would snow blossoms in a few months? Outside your kitchen window instead?

Trees are not supposed to be inside in winter, even in Louisville.
 

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I guess that you did not read my question very closely. I only want to bring potted inside during freezing weather if necessary, not all winter. Also, I am a bee keeper and the trees would be outside maybe 95% of the time. Don't believe all that you read about the honey bee situation. Most of the loss of bees is associated with commercial bee operations that have thousands of hive that they move from farm to farm. Hobby beekeepers here in Kentucky are doing fine as are wild honey bees.
 

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Part of my family relies on bees to produce some of the best honey on the planet for a living. They do not share their hives. They have seen a dramatic decrease in bee populations over the last three years.

Selfishly, they want the little things buzzing around busily for the honey. We should all want them around as they are still they major polinators of most food crops. All the flowers the things love have been prolific. The bees are just not returning to the hives. Sorry to the poster from Kentucky but for my family the situation is very real.

Bob, used to reach my hands in to get fresh honeycomb and never got stung. Only when I encountered a bee under strange circumstances did I get nailed---three times over my lifetime. Irony is I am violently alergic and do carry an epi pen thing with me. Entomologists in my old hood have tunnels the bees they study can use to get in and stay all winter in their basement. Any bee is welcome in my home.

Anyhow, back to the spirit of the post, apples, pears and so forth can make great container plants. Just don't expect them to be great fruit producers. I don't know of a successful dwarf cherry. Which means nothing. I haven't been in the nursery or landscape business for awhile.

Do provide large containers though. I fear the ones you should have for a contained fruit tree, may not be so moveable. See about grafted varieties of things.
 

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Your trees might grow but getting fuit is a whole other ballgame.

Because cross-pollination between varieties produces variable results, apples and some other fruit trees are usually not grown from seeds. (Instead, cuttings or buds of the best varieties are grafted onto rootstocks to produce trees that bear fruit just like the parent tree’s.) But the almondlike seeds in pits from peaches, nectarines and apricots do a good job of carrying on the desirable traits of their parents. You can simply sprout and grow a seed from a great-tasting specimen, and you have a good chance of sinking your teeth into sweet, juicy fruit from your own tree in only three to five years.

http://www.sunkist.com/products/how_citrus_trees.aspx
 

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Why are we talking about bees??????

Not all fruit trees do well in containers.

If you want to grow a fruit tree in a pot for its entire life then you need to get one that measures 18” to 24” inches wide and deep. Even larger will work better. The general rule of thumb is to start in a container approximately six inches wider than the grow pot it comes from the nursery in. Just make sure it has adequate drainage. Many of the pots we sell will have only a center drain hole. I would recommend drilling 3 more holes with a masonry drill bit or purchasing a container from a company that will custom drill a pot for you. We do provide that service.

Take care when selecting the type of container. Terracotta breathes and will dry out faster than a ceramic or high fired clay planter. It also has the potential to break down or crack over time so a lot of movement is not the best situation. Ceramic or high fired clay pottery are waterproof and fired hard so the sides of the pot will not absorb water. We really like concrete for its durability and look since it comes in many colors but movement is not an option. If it were me I would use a Poly Resin. Today’s product is textured to look like clay, has a UV protectant to keep it from fading and will never chip, crack or warp. I would place a pot caddy under it so it would be easily moveable.

I would also recommend a dwarf tree like lemon, nectarines, peaches, apple or lime. They all do well in containers with regular pruning.
In general the larger the container, the fewer watering it requires. Smaller pots dry out faster. Move the pot indoors during cold spells and keep away from drafts. Once indoors water as needed.

Just keep your eye on them and they should do fine. Once you figure out their needs you can relax and enjoy.
 
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