Small Trees for Pots

Written by ticara gailliard
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Small Trees for Pots
Ficus leaves (ficus image by c-chez-marc from

Having trees in your landscape may seem like it's out of the question with small lawns or with apartment living, but potted trees make it possible. Potted trees bring some flavour to a yard or a home. These trees require extra care to make sure they have the same nutrients as trees planted within the soil. Additionally, these trees may outgrow their pot and need to be repotted every few years.


Also known as the weeping fig, Ficus benjamina ranks as one of the more popular small potted tree varieties. While ficus trees can grow rather tall, as a potted plant, ficus trees only reach about 6 feet tall. Ficus trees prefer lots of sunlight or bright lights when indoors, but too much strong sunlight during summer months may prove detrimental. Soil within the pot for a ficus tree should be soaked thoroughly, then not watered again until the soil feels dry to the touch. In the growing season, ficus trees should be fertilised once a month.

Small Trees for Pots
Ficus leaves (ficus image by c-chez-marc from

Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum, the Japanese maple, can grow up to 25 feet tall under normal conditions. However, it can be cultivated to grow as a small potted tree. Bonzai enthusiasts often select the Japanese maple as their bonsai tree of choice because of the ease of shaping the tree. Japanese maples can grow in partially shady conditions and prefers moist, well-drained soil. Too much wind, sun or dryness damages these trees, so shading them from these things during summer is best.

Small Trees for Pots
Japanese maple leaves (Japanese maple image by Horticulture from

Dwarf Alberta Spruce

Picea glauca 'Conica', the dwarf Alberta spruce, grows within containers easily as a shrub or small tree. These plants can reach up to 10 feet tall but tend to be somewhat smaller. They grow in a conical or pyramidal shape with thick foliage. Dwarf Alberta spruces prefer full sun with moist, well-drained soil. Pollution, long dry spells and excessive heat damage the Alberta spruce, so keeping it in a container outside should be handled with care.

Crape Myrtle

The crape myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica, features a widely varying growth size; this plant may be a groundcover that reaches only about 18 inches tall or a medium-sized tree at 40 feet tall. Potted crape myrtles tend to be between 3 and 8 feet tall. They enjoy sun and moist, well-drained soil. When established within a pot, the crape myrtle can handle dry soil. This plant has gained popularity as a potted tree choice due to the bright pink flowers which can bring in colour to a yard or home.

Small Trees for Pots
Small crape myrtle (Myrtle in ornamental flowerpots out of clay. image by Supertrooper from


Fruit trees take very well to being potted, including lemon trees. Citrus lemon, as lemon trees are known scientifically, can grow nearly 20 feet tall ordinarily with some species, while others reach about 10 feet tall. Varieties such as the Meyer lemon are commonly used as potted fruit trees. Lemon trees need warmth but can withstand poor soil conditions. Having a lemon tree or other fruit tree in the home can provide easy access to the fruits.

Small Trees for Pots
Lemon trees in pots (Lemon tree image by Timo de Looij from

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