How to Grow a Peach Tree in a Container
A peach tree will benefit from being grown in a container since it produces flowers as early as March. It also bears fruit earlier than many fruit trees. The container makes it easy to protect your peach tree by moving it indoors if frost or wind threatens the tree. Follow these steps for growing a peach tree in a container.
Step 1 - Choose a Dwarf Variety
If you want to grow a peach tree in a container for its entire life, choose a dwarf variety, since a full-sized peach tree will probably not be able to grow to maturity in a container. Most varieties of dwarf peach trees vary between 5 to 15 feet in height, with a slightly smaller breadth than height. The Red Haven peach tree produces delicious fruit, grows 15 feet tall and is hardy in zones 5 to 9. The Golden Glory dwarf peach tree is another hardy tree that grows to only 5 feet tall, but still produces large, scrumptious peaches
Step 2 - Prepare a Container
If you plant a smaller dwarf like the Golden Glory, use a five-gallon container. For a larger variety, like Red Haven, use a larger 15-gallon container. Make sure the container has plenty of draining holes. Place the container on a tray and fill with several inches of gravel or pebbles so that water will drain better and the peach tree roots won't be in standing water.
Step 3 - Plant Peach Tree Sapling
Fill half-way with a loamy compost soil. Place the sapling into the container and fill under and around the plant, filling the soil to within a couple inches of the top of the container. Be sure to plant the tree so that the graft line (where the dwarf was grafted to its parent) is not under the soil. Water thoroughly. The soil may settle if there are air pockets. Add some more soil if necessary and pat down. Mulching is helpful, but not necessary.
Step 4 - Caring for Your Container-grown Peach Tree
Place your container where it can get at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. A container-grown plant is much more dependent on its planter for nutrients as it doesn't have the room to spread out and search for nutrients in the soil. Apply a liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks, and water thoroughly when the soil dries out. Water enough so that there is standing water in the tray under the container. Water again when the water from the tray has evaporated. In cold climates, move your container indoors near a window or in a greenhouse from December to April. To encourage your peach tree to grow larger peaches, pinch off every other small peach. The more peaches on the tree, the smaller they will be. As your tree grows older, it will be able to hold a higher quantity of large peaches.