If the patio can hold it, container plants can thrive


Question: I live in a third-floor condo that faces south. I get about seven hours of direct sun and have containers on my patio with spinach, tomatoes and peppers that are doing well so far. I was wondering if there are any types of fruit trees that produce and thrive in a patio container.

Yes, there are. I worry a bit about the weight that this will place on your patio. Make sure it can handle this type of load before you attempt containers there.

There are lightweight soil mixes that can be used to lessen the weight load. These mixes frequently use amendments such as perlite to replace heavier components of the mix.

A good citrus to grow in containers is cumquat. It is tolerant of very low temperatures as far as citrus goes and stays very small. Tender citrus to use would be limes and calamondin, sometimes called calamansi, but they will need protection from winter temperatures.

You can use any of the genetic dwarf fruit trees in containers. I would trellis the tree near an available wall. If you select a genetic dwarf fruit tree, the container needs to be large.

If your patio is protected from wind and cold, you might consider kiwi, passion fruit, giant passion fruit or dragonfruit.

Bob Morris is a horticulture expert living in Las Vegas and professor emeritus for the University of Nevada. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com.