Growing Apricot Tree in pot

Hi all,

Has anyone had any success in growing an apricot tree in a pot. By success I mean getting it to fruit well?

The pot is 23 inches in diameter.

(I’m also growing an apple and pear tree in pots as well. Growing okay, both 4 years old…but no fruit yet).



Is this feasible, or am I waiting my time? (In UK)

I haven’t personally done it with an apricot because they’re finicky jerks around here (middle Ohio, US). Even in ground apricots here are barely worth the shade they give in my opinion. That being said, my multigrafted potted pear tried to fruit this year. It was too young so I didn’t allow it to. So the theory is sound as far as I can tell.

I don’t know about which cultivars are available in the UK but that might be the best place to start. We have “patio-style” peach trees here that are designed to live in pots. Do you know what cultivars are available for you?

Wishing you luck and lots of future fruit!


No, it’s not exactly a patio style apricot tree. I can’t remember the name, but it was supposed to be 2m height at full size, do likely dwarf/semi-dwarf I guess.

(To clarify - The pear tree hasn’t flowered yet. The apple tree did flower but only made 2 fruit the size of a plum…so doesn’t count. Lol.)


I have a Robada that I grafted a number of years back. It’s the only tree that hasn’t fruited yet since then. It’s side by side with a nectarine (grafted the same year) which has fruited (albeit lightly) for a couple years. Both in large cement pots.
Not conclusive, but that’s all I know about the topic.

Thanks Aaron.

(The only reason I haven’t planted in the ground, is as I plan to move in a 3/4 years. So want to keep a few trees to take with me.)

If I end up with any good fruit on any of the trees, will post an update on here in a year or two!


I’ve fruited apricots, sweet cherries, nectarines, and pluots in pots as small as 7 gallon but mostly 20-30 gal. Rootstock doesn’t matter too much the pot keeps them small.

The main issue is that after about 2-3 crops the tree loses vigor and gets root bound so needs up potting and major pruning to re invigorate the tree. Fruit size is always smaller than in ground. But fruit quality is good.


Yes. I have an apricot I grow in a pot. The pot is at least three feet tall and holds 6 medium bags of garden soil. I am in zone 9-a/b in France. it is not a dwarf or Patio tree. My weather is similar to parts of California. Where are you?


I have a young Flavor Delight aprium in a 15 gal container. Harvested 3 ripe fruit (like sacs of nectar) this year. My first home grown apricots.



That’s awesome. How old is your tree?

My aprium is 2nd leaf. Received spring 2021 as bareroot.


@fruitnut - I’ve got a Zard and a Hoyt Montrose apricot, both on Manchurian, coming this spring. One’s going in the ground, and one in a container. Bob Purvis mentioned that with Manchurian, a tall, narrower pot may be better than a wider more squat container, but he’s never tried to grow one long-term in container. What’s been your experience and recommendation there?

The container I’ve used for planting my other whips has been the rootmaker II 30-gallon containers… about 24" wide by 15" tall. Being more squat, they’re quite stable (and very heavy) and less profile for sun exposure. They are fabric pots with white solid exterior to reduce evaporation and heat. With apricots, I’m not worried about late frosts, so it is possible they could be allowed to root into the ground once we’ve made it past the spring danger. Since these trees are quite small, I could also go into a 15-gallon for a few years, if you think that’s better.

That pot size and shape will work. The mix needs to drain well and be pretty stable for long term growing. A mix that breaks down and settles risks becoming anaerobic. Other than that, you’re pretty much on your own.

I had been using a variant of the mix Drew uses, with 3 parts pine bark (1/2"), 3 parts Pro-Mix HP, 1-1/2 parts DE, 1/2 part compost. I’m not clear if the pine bark will break down for the anaerobic risk you mention. If you think something should be tweaked, there, would appreciate hearing.

This year, I have to dig into educating myself on proper feeding of container plants.

I like some big chunky pine bark in my mix. That’s for aeration and to provide something that will help to keep the mix from settling and compacting so much. Then some fines for water holding capacity. I’d rather not have fines that will rapidly decompose.

Drew probably knows more about mixes for potting soil than I do.

In terms of feeding, they need regular additions or something that is slow release. Both organic and slow release like Osmocote will work. If not slow release then at least once a month feeding.


Alright… I think I recall you mentioning larger bark before. I should probably blend some of that in. I don’t have a sense of what size decomposes quickly… I’ve seen some pictures of very fine fines… the local landscape material place has some that are about 1/2" or so… probably smaller than ideal.

I had seen some comments about organic not working with potting soil, but sounds like that is not the case. When I looked earlier, Osmocote seems to be the go-to, though on the organic side, sounds like Tree-Tone is a good product (think that requires more feedings). Any issues ‘cutting the feeding’ with Osmocote?

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Osmocote and similar time release fertilizers work well and are certainly more precise than organic alternatives- if you don’t tell the tree it won’t know the difference when it comes to N- not sure why folks believe in the power of Or. N over stuff pulled out of the air with natural gas beyond global warming issues.

Any tree will grow in a pot and your apricot tree should do just fine. I have never had any root bound issues in my bearing age fruit tree nursery, but that’s because I have 25 gallon pots set into the ground. Every year I pop the trees up, snapping some of the roots that have grown out of the pots and pulling some close to the pots to make sure trees can be easily pulled out when I have a sale. I like having a root system growing beyond my containers because they help container trees establish when I plant them in permanent locations and vastly reduce watering and fertilization needs while I baby sit the trees. It also assures that trees won’t develop circling, potentially girdling roots.

Most apple tree varieties will bear by the 4th year within pots in my nursery, even on 111, so I’m surprised yours hasn’t fruited yet. Pots restrict root growth so all trees behave as though they are on dwarfing rootstocks when grown in pots. I hope your potting soil is suitable for your purpose and that poor growth isn’t holding back your apple tree. In large pots, potting soil can be a bit more dense and still provide adequate drainage, but they also can hide drainage problems by bogging down deep in the pot.


Hey Alan, thanks. I realize some of that was intended for the OP, but it’s spot on for something I am considering here, where season extension through containers is what might allow apricots to be more reliable here.

I assume that the in-ground rooting will work well for varieties that harvest before we get below critical temps, but not well for cultivars that will definitely have to be taken in for cold snaps prior to Apple harvest… thinking severing roots prior to harvest would not go well. Let me know if I’ve missed the boat on that.

I’m using ‘solid’ sided fabric RootMaker RootTrapper containers. They make a solid bottom version as well as a mesh bottom version they call The Grounder… made for rooting in.

Do you think a mesh bottom like this is a better option than a solid bottom with a few small holes cut in? I am sure it’s less durable, but when I called they mentioned something about roots being smaller due to the mesh… I wasn’t clear if the mesh girdles the roots when they get too large or something else. Thought you might have an opinion on that.

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I think it’s probably more likely it would increase brix as long as the potting soil is thoroughly moist before you dig and the potting soil has been kept moist enough through the season to have a good root system thriving within the pot.

A reduction in water intake increases brix and loosing some root is little different for a tree when it is done via drought as when the roots are severed. The difference would be mostly a reduction in vigor.

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Ok, very interesting. Sounds less-bad than I was envisioning.

Thanks, Alan!

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